Lisa Adamowicz Kless

Kenosha artist’s work debuts on national TV program

dylewski

Katie Dylewski (photo courtesy of Joe Barr)

Back in November, we reported on a Kenosha artist who had created an incredibly detailed painting of TV personality Anderson Cooper.  Katie Dylewski usually works with with oil paints and sometimes watercolors, but a while back, she decided to try experimenting with a different medium: brewed coffee.  Dylewski had created a whole series of coffee-painted work before getting the idea to paint a portrait of Cooper, after watching his TV show, “Anderson Live”, this past summer.

The Cooper portrait was part of a show that Dylewski had at the Pollard Gallery in downtown Kenosha in September, and a photograph of the painting was included in a Kenosha News story.   Unbeknownst to Dylewski, a local resident saw the News’ photo and “tweeted” about it on Twitter, “CC-ing” the “Anderson Live” show.  After seeing the Twitter post, it only took about an hour for the show’s producers to contact Dylewski and interview her about the portrait, asking if she would be willing to ship it to them to possibly be featured on the show.

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Grewenow Hosts Second Annual Art & Craft Fair

The gym, lunch room, and even a few of the hallways of Grewenow Elementary School were jam-packed this past Saturday, for their second annual art and craft fair. Over forty vendors were on hand, with such a variety of items that last-minute holiday shoppers were bound to find something for almost anyone on their list. Candles, home décor, jewelry and ladies’ accessories were plentiful, but there were some more unique items to be found too. At Larry Kruescher’s table, the Packers/Bears fan rivalry played out as he had steel football helmet signs for both teams for sale. Wild ‘N Welded had some whimsical metal sculptures available, and Michelle Gogoel was selling empty bottles that she’d turned into working lamps.

Vendors also contributed items to a raffle, with the tables for this stretching down almost the length of one of the halls. Across the way, the jolly old elf himself, Santa, and Mrs. Claus were greeting children and posing for pictures with them. Students from the first through fifth grades entertained visitors to the fair, singing carols in both English and German.

Another special addition was a table set up so that people could stop and write a letter or a card to a soldier serving overseas this holiday season. They will be distributed using information from the website any soldier.com.

After visitors shopped and enjoyed all of the activities, there were plenty of snacks and other treats to top off the afternoon. Joe Catuara was there from Trolley Dogs, offering service with a smile and plenty of humor. The Grewenow PTA had dessert covered, with baked goods and beverages available too. Judging by the crowds and festive atmosphere, Grewenow’s 2012 art and craft fair should go down in the books as a success.

Kenosha 2012 Dickens Celebration coverage

Dickens-Celebration-004-webThe Civil War Museum was the host of the Kenosha 2012 Dickens Celebration on Dec. 9, an event to commemorate the two hundredth anniversary of Charles Dickens’ birth. The free event featured many different activities happening simultaneously, creating a family-friendly afternoon that appealed to both adults and children.

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Walls of Whittier brightened by new murals

Janette Louden /Joe Barr photo

Whittier Elementary School got to add some great new art to their halls last week, thanks to the talent of Janette Louden, a visual artist and former Kenosha resident.

Originally from England, Louden got her start working as a graphic designer for a firm there, and went on to illustrate characters for educational materials. This particular skill came in handy again after Louden moved to the U.S., and was asked to redesign the Whittier School mascot, Thunder Paws, during the time she lived in Kenosha.

Recently, Paula West, whom Louden used to share an office with, asked if Louden would be interested in painting a mural for Whittier. She agreed, though she says that it took a bit of thought about how best to do it, since she now lives in Minneapolis.

Louden explained:
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Local artist’s work captures national TV show’s attention

Katie Dylewski’s portrait of journalist Anderson Cooper.

Katie Dylewski

Kenosha artist Katie Dylewski was watching Anderson Cooper’s daytime show, “Anderson Live” this summer when inspiration hit. Having previously been a writer and reporter for WLIP, Dylewski says that she has a lot of respect for Cooper and his reporting, so after seeing the show, she decided to paint a portrait of him.

While Dylewski almost exclusively paints with oils, she occasionally uses watercolors and brewed coffee. She became interested in using coffee as a medium because, as she says, “I like experimenting, and it was always something I wanted to try painting with. I’ve had such a big response from them (brewed coffee paintings) that I’m going to start doing more.”

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Dimensions of Learning Academy is President’s Challenge Physical Fitness State Champion School

Principal Diana Pearson (left) and physical education teacher Terry Hedman.

There was excitement, cheers, and a definite sense of pride and school spirit during the daily all-school “morning meeting” at Dimensions of Learning Academy (DOLA) on Friday, and with good reason. The announcement was made that they had been awarded the title of President’s Challenge Physical Fitness State Champion School for 2011-2012.

This is the highest award for outstanding achievement in physical fitness, and DOLA, a Kenosha charter school, was the only school in the state of Wisconsin to receive this distinction for the ’11-’12 academic year.

Principal Diana Pearson and physical education teacher Terry Hedman presented individual awards to 37 DOLA students Friday morning, from grades 2 through 8.

Pearson praised Hedman for her dedication and excellence in teaching (citing her past nominations for “Teacher of the Year”), a factor that she credited in the school winning the award. One former student who is now in ninth grade even returned to accept his award in person, and to serve as a representative for other former students who couldn’t make it to the ceremony.

The President’s Challenge is a program of the Presidents’ Council on Fitness, Sports & Nutrition, and began in the 1960’s, as a fitness test for students. It includes challenges and physical fitness tests that schools around the country participate in each year, designed to encourage children to live healthier, more active lives. Awards are given to both schools as a whole, and to individual students.

Beginning in 2013, a new program, the Presidential Youth Fitness Program, will be introduced.

“60 In 60” Recruitment Drive for mentors for students under way

Making a difference in a child’s life can be as simple as sharing a half hour to an hour of your week with a Kenosha Unified student. The Kenosha Retired and Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP) has launched a new mentor recruitment drive, hoping to encourage more people to do just that. Called “60 in 60,” it aims to add sixty new mentors to their program by December 8th, and to help get children off of the waiting lists at schools that have one.

Mentoring takes place once a week, and volunteers are able to choose any grade level from Kindergarten to eighth, at any KUSD school. All of the mentoring takes place at the school of their choice, during school hours. While mentors can do some tutoring during weekly sessions if they‘d like, that’s not the aim of the program. It’s meant to provide children with a caring, supportive adult who will be a stable role model in the student’s life, a vital element that may be lacking in some children‘s lives. Program coordinators provide orientation for those interested in becoming a mentor, and ongoing training is available at UW-Parkside several times a year (though it is not mandatory). Experienced mentors are also available to help get new volunteers started and to provide ideas and advice.

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Harvey School gives Red Ribbon Week a rousing kick-off

County Executive Jim Kreuser addresses the Red Ribbon Week kick-off at Harvey School on Monday.

A buzz of excitement filled the air of the Harvey Elementary School gymnasium on Monday morning, decked out with festive posters, ribbons, and banners. As music from the Bradford Percussion Group floated in through the open doors, children dressed in red fidgeted eagerly in their spots on the floor.

They were gathered for the opening ceremony to kick off the twenty-fifth annual Red Ribbon Week, a campaign at the local and nationwide level aimed at encouraging a drug-free lifestyle.

Harvey principal, Ursula Hamilton-Perry, began the ceremony, welcoming the many special guests in attendance, including KUSD Superintendent Michele Hancock, Sheriff David Beth, Chief of Police John Morrissey, County Executive Jim Kreuser, and fifth district Alderperson Rocco LaMacchia. Laughs echoed throughout the room when it was revealed that LaMacchia was standing in for Mayor Keith Bosman because Bosman had been called to serve jury duty that morning.

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