The community is invited to view an art exhibit titled “Seeing the World” by Gregory Martens in the University of Wisconsin-Manitowoc Founder’s Hall Art Gallery on display Apr. 11 through May 10.
During his childhood, Martens traveled back and forth from the country to the city to visit his Grandma and older uncles and discovered the incredible early Mad Magazines. As a young teen Martens was attracted to the art section at the library and the “Northern Line” of Bosch, Brueghel, Schongauer, and especially Durer. Later, during the 1970s counterculture, Martens discovered Underground comics, Robert Crumb, Rick Griffin, Victor Moscoso and Robert Williams.
“I saw tremendous similarities among all those ‘Black-Line’ artists and realized they were all influenced by medieval manuscript painters in Europe,” said Martens.
After many years as a salesman on the road, Martens became a cobbler in Wauwatosa, where his whole family helped fix the shoes in their busy shop. After ten years as a cobbler, at age 46, Martens was suddenly stricken with a very aggressive case of bone marrow cancer which is now in remission.
Physically unable able to fix shoes, Martens went back to college to study art. He says the harder he worked as an artist the more he recovered from his illness. Martens earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree and a Masters of Fine Arts degree from UW-Milwaukee. Now he spends time working in his studio workshop called Hip Joint Press, and teaches printmaking at UW-Milwaukee.
The UW-Manitowoc Founder’s Hall Gallery is open to the public weekdays, 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m. There is no admission cost. Call (920) 683-4735 for more information or visit “The Arts” section of the UW-Manitowoc website at uwmanitowoc.uwc.edu.