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It is no surprise that Milwaukee is a creative city. With the plethora of music venues, theaters, galleries, and a prestigious art school, it is only natural that artists are drawn to it. What may surprise you is that the Pfister Hotel, a major Milwaukee landmark, houses an artist every year. 

The Pfister opened its doors in 1893 and for more than 125 years, and is an icon in the Brew City. Besides the beautiful architecture and lavish design, it holds the largest Victorian art collection of any hotel in the world. The founders, Guido and his son Charles Pfister had a great appreciation for the arts, this, later on sparked the idea for the Artist-in-Residence.

The Artist-in-Residence program began in 2009 with artist Reginald Baylor, a local painter. Other past artists include Timothy Westbrook, a past contestant on Project Runway and Stephanie Schultz, an artist who focuses on Steampunk fashion. The Pfister recently announced its 11th artist, Rosy Petri, the first African-American female artist to be a part of the program! 

A panel of judges select artists and then a vote opens to the public. The selected artist will then have  access to the Pfister’s art studio. If the artist is not local, they are given a room at the hotel as well. The artists are required to be in studio 30 hours per week, and by the end of their residency, have created a legacy piece that will be displayed in the hotel gallery. 

An interesting tidbit about the art studio is that it is open to the public so that the artist can interact with and get to know the community. Here, the resident artist gives tours of the Victorian art gallery and can become fully immersed in the hotel’s culture and history. 

The Pfister will continue to be an iconic Milwaukee landmark that draws in art and creativity to the community. Artists locally and nationally are drawn to this unique experience and is a wonderful opportunity for artists to create beautiful pieces and form lasting connections. It will be fascinating to see what artists will create in the future of this program.

Never Stop Creating