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About the Artist

Gary John Gresl


"We can individually define Art, determine what it can embrace, set boundaries of our own, and give it some important meaning in our personal lives. We are supposed to have the freedom to express political observation and belief as well as to explore our individuality. The important language for expression for some of us is visual media...with few or no restrictions on what is said or how it is stated.

This freedom of expression, and the right to nibble away at edges, is what may draw many of us to the use of Art in our lives. You and I can delight in new personal discoveries, in eliminating boundaries and combining meanings. Art expression gives us the opportunity and means to expand our minds, to find satisfaction, to release ground ourselves...and maybe take a few others with us. We can question and then break rules."
~ Gary John Gresl (read more of this statement). | Awards | Bibliography


  • Born May 12, 1943, Manitowoc, WI;
  • Attended Catholic grade school, public high school, Manitowoc County Teachers College;
  • University of Wisconsin Stevens Point (BS with Music Minor);
  • Additional art and art history classes thru UW Oshkosh and Silver Lake College Manitowoc;
  • University of Wisconsin Madison, MS Related Art Dept. School of Family Resources and Consumer Sciences, (formerly called School of Home Economics and subsequently called School of Human Ecology);

  • Art classes in high school;
  • Art and art history classes at UW Stevens Point, UW Oshkosh, Silver Lake College;
  • Art history and Museum Training and Connoisseurship classes at UW Madison;
  • Taught art plus other subjects in the Brillion, WI school district 1966-71, Principal of a small middle school for two of those years;
  • Self-taught in the directions and techniques of assemblage.

Notable experiences and events:

  • Exposure to Abstract Expressionism during the 1950's;
  • During a New York World's Fair excursion in 1963-64 saw Franz Kline and Rauschenburg works in New York City;
  • Youthful experiences as collector of various materials from rocks to coins;
  • Creating first assemblage 1964 using found objects from an abandoned farm dump;
  • Experiences on farms, rural and natural settings as a youth;
  • Example of enthusiastic teaching/learning from a teacher. J. V. Ackerman, at Manitowoc County Teachers College;
  • Real life experience and traumas of growing and teaching in Brillion WI;
  • Marriage... children... divorce;
  • Antique/collectible dealing;
  • Self education in 20th Century abstract art from Kandinsky thru the 70's;
  • Recognition in age 30's/40's that personal judgment of what good art might be is as viable as anointed critics and museum personnel;
  • Operating a business for over 25 years;
  • Working with other professionals in the fields of antiques and art;
  • Personal associations with artists including John Balsley, Estherly Allen, Kenn Kwint, Rudy Rotter, to name but a few.
  • Working on the Board of Wisconsin Painters & Sculptors in all positions for a number of years.
  • Co-founder of MVAR, Milwaukee Visual Arts Roundtable, yr. 2000
  • Contributing author to bimonthly "Art In Wisconsin", newsletter of Wisconsin Painters & Sculptors, Inc.
  • Nominated for 2001 Governor's Award in Support of the Arts, community organizations category
  • Spokesperson for adaptive reuse of the Praries School Old Coast Guard station on Milwaukee's Lake Michigan shoreline for use as a center for regional art
  • Founder and Co-Chair of the Wisconsin Visual Art Lifetime Achievement Awards, along with the West Bend Art Museum and the Wisconsin Academy of Sciences, Arts and Letters.
  • Served as juror for exhibitions and participant in art workshops
  • Invited Guest Speaker UW Milwaukee, Carroll College, and others
  • Recipient of a Wisconsin Visual Art Lifetime Achievement Award.
  • Winner of a $15,000 Nohl Fellowship Award.
  • Carroll College, Waukesha, WI
  • Museum of Wisconsin Art
  • Ronald Wilson Reagan High College Preparatory School
  • Soap Opera Co., Madison, WI
  • Waukesha Public Library
  • Nancy & Stan Lamers
  • Holley Bakich
  • Della Wells
  • Janet Roberts, Brookfield, WI
  • Dennis and Nancy Howard, Rhinelander
  • Terrance Coffman, Milwaukee
  • Peter Reeves and Kathy Moss-Reeves, Brookfield
  • Millissa Dorn Richards, Milwaukee
  • Michael and Susan Kutzer, Bayview, WI
  • Dr. Nancy France, Brookfield, WI
  • Laurette Rusenberger, Milwaukee, WI
  • Albin Erhart
  • Rory Burke
  • Valerie Christell, Milwaukee
  • Nancy Shaw, Milwaukee
  • Peggy Flora Zalucha & Tony Zalucha, Mt. Horeb, WI
  • Mike Brenner, Milwaukee, WI
  • Nancy and Randy Lewis, Wausau, WI
  • Estherly Allen and Gene Galazan, AZ
  • Dr. Mark and Therese Eberhage
  • Bruce and Suzi Niemi
  • Rochelle Whiteman
  • Doug Krimmer
  • Neal Gasparka
  • Chuck Wickler
  • Lee Grantham
  • Michael Kutzer
  • Chris Buth Furness
  • Eriks Johnson
  • Other private collections

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