Brighter winters to come: Kimberly Weiss and Erin Paisley at Hot Pop
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For many in Wisconsin, the looming drudgery of winter is an omnipresent threat that is delivered every year right on schedule. The shortening of days slowly gives way to darkened happy hours and painful shoveling duties, and although many of us look forward to the winter’s ﬁrst snow, by the time mid-January hits, the things we most looked forward to in winter are long gone. We’re trapped in our houses, desperately trying to ﬁnd the first sign of spring.
Thoughtfully inspired by the darkest days of winter, Kimberly Weiss and Erin Paisley may have found the answer to the drudgery of the second half of winter. Bright Winter, an exhibition featuring the duo at Hot Pop in the Third Ward, explores endless winter as a romantic idea. While Paisley’s paintings focus on women of Siberia—delicate ladies bundled by rows of braids and brightly patterned coats—Weiss utilizes relief printmaking as a means to collage on wood, exploring the colors of the winter sky, the way sunlight reflects off of snow, and wintry homes.
Weiss and Paisley met while working at a coffee shop when Weiss was attending MIAD. She graduated in 2004 with a BFA in printmaking. Afterward, Weiss started a community printshop called RedLine Milwaukee with a former classmate, which she now manages as a volunteer. Paisley is self-taught, sells her work through her Etsy stores, is a determined blogger, and is a regular ﬁxture at craft fairs like Renegade in Chicago. These ladies have been sharing a table at Art vs. Craft since its inception in 2004.
Although both Weiss and Paisley have varied backgrounds, the pairing of their work in a show like Bright Winter is delightfully complementary. “I think we work well together because we balance each other out,” Paisley explains. “I obsess over my work, my lines are ﬁne, precise, and I erase a lot. I feel like Kim could spin around 20 times, start carving dizzy as heck, and end up with a masterpiece. She’s not afraid of making her ﬁrst mark, and you can really see that boldness in her work. Her pieces reﬂect the dauntless nature and beauty of winter, and mine, the inner workings of warmth that winter forces out of the human spirit.”
The exhibition will open at Hot Pop on Gallery Night, Jan. 20 from 6-9 p.m., and runs through March 16.