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The Artist's Corner: Steve Mireau & The Chapel Theater

One may study the broad subject of physics in order to become specifically trained as an astrophysicist or a high school science teacher. One may study biology to become an educated medical doctor or an evolutionary biologist. One may study painting in order to become a painter oneself, or an art historian. This specialization seems integral to practicing a career.

Artists, however, escape this specialization quite often. A painter may direct a film and call it "a moving painting." A poet may write a novel of fine prose. A sculptor may decide instead to draw politically motivated cartoons. This is yet another reason I admire artists and aspire to remain one. Artists can bend the rules—even break them, sometimes. Not only can they bend and break rules, but they're often encouraged to do so, as if it is the artist's job to corrupt convention as much as it is to create beauty.

How is that for a job description? Imagine telling that to someone you just met at a party.

"What do you do for a living?" she asks.

"Well, I corrupt convention and create beauty," you reply.

Artists whom are not specialized in one particular medium simply apply a label to their work. That label is, "Mixed Media." Which brings me to The Steve Mireau Exhibit, which took place this Saturday at The Chapel Theater in Star Prairie.

** Artist's Spotlight **

Steve is a daring artist who paints wonderfully provocative images — from landscapes to abstracts to naked ladies. Not only is he a painter, but he's a musician as well. At the exhibit, Steve played guitar, harmonica, sang songs and regaled an audience with stories about his history and his art. He does it all from a wheelchair, paralyzed from the chest down. As I sat on the steps and watched him perform, time seemed to grow hazy and boundless. I began to drift into a great space. And then I realized suddenly that Steve is truly a "one of a kind," if there ever was one.

Did you miss the exhibit? That's okay. You may still amble down to the Chapel Theater of Star Prairie and appreciate his paintings over the course of this month. Want to see Steve perform his music? He'll be playing from 3-6 p.m. at Not Justa Café in Somerset this Saturday (March 16). Don't miss out!

In other news, I cannot neglect to mention the supremely talented Nici Peper, who will soon release her debut album. However, releasing an album costs money, and she is just a couple of hundred dollars short on her goal of $1,650. You can help make this album a reality by donating to her GoFundMe page. Alternatively you may visit her website: nicipeper.com.

And here's the rub, folks: All art is local! The influence of great art can spread all across the globe, but it all starts here in New Richmond, Wis. That's why we support our local talent. I will now sign off with our creative quotation for the week, this one from Herman Hesse, a German-born novelist who once wrote, "As far as talent is concerned, there will be such an excess that our artists will become their own audiences, and audiences made up of ordinary people will no longer exist."

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