MILWAUKEE—Saint Kate—The Arts Hotel, owned and managed by Marcus Hotels & Resorts, has immersive art experiences. To add to its programming, the hotel recently named interdisciplinary artist Jeff Zimpel as its first artist-in-residence. Starting this month, Zimpel will welcome guests to the studio inside Saint Kate where they can engage with his artistic process and view his art.
“Saint Kate showcases locally, nationally, and internationally known artists that push the boundaries of their artform. Through their incredible and diverse contributions, we create unexpected opportunities for our visitors to discover and connect with artists in new ways,” said Linda Marcus, one of Saint Kate’s visionaries. “In choosing Jeff to serve as Saint Kate’s first artist-in-residence, we have found an artist who is bold in his practice, inviting those who experience his work to become part of his process and leave their mark along the way.”
Drawing from Marcus Hotels & Resorts’ artistic experiences, Saint Kate’s artist-in-residence program offers Midwest-based artists working in any art form or medium an eight-month residency inside the hotel’s studio. Chosen by Saint Kate’s creative team, the artist’s practice and residency must continue Saint Kate’s commitment to creativity and promote community and collaboration while building a common ground between the artist and guests.
The studio will welcome guests to view the art over time. The artist-in-residence will also host events, talks, tours, and other opportunities for guests to interact directly with the artist. During the residency, Saint Kate’s artist-in-residence will create a legacy piece that will become part of Saint Kate’s permanent art collection. The residency will end with a two-month exhibition showing the artist’s work at Saint Kate.
From Cedarburg, Wisconsin, Jeff Zimpel is an interdisciplinary artist whose art practice intersects painting and photography using mark-making. He explores his artform by developing site-specific installations using tools, media, and surfaces to grind rocks into dust and paint markings using different techniques, ideas, and collaborators. Zimpel encourages guests to be part of his process as they interact with his work, such as helping build the tools, preparing the color for his next piece, and exchanging ideas to inspire future works.
“I’m honored to be named the first Artist-in-Residence at Saint Kate—The Arts Hotel,” said Zimpel. “I’ve long admired Saint Kate’s mission to provide an arts experience that arouses our imagination while inviting all to explore the creative process. This beautifully aligns with my work as I feel every person is a mark-maker, yet we have so much to learn from marks made by the world around us. I’m looking forward to sharing my art with Saint Kate’s guests and drawing attention to the ecology around us as visitors contribute to my process and evolve my art in ways I never expected.”
Extending his ongoing community-based project “An Ecology of Marks,” Zimpel will turn Saint Kate’s AIR Space into a space of potential. His residency will serve as a component of his larger project and will be titled “Studio Ecology” as guests explore his ecological approach to living and creating his art in Saint Kate’s studio.
“We are thrilled to welcome Jeff to Saint Kate as its first-ever Artist-in-Residence,” said Brandon Drusch, general manager at Saint Kate——The Arts Hotel. “The program is an extension of what Saint Kate is—a place to celebrate the arts unlike anywhere else. Jeff understands what it means to go beyond his medium and develop art pieces that foster discussion, entice curiosity, and allow our guests to dive deeper into each piece. His unique ability to connect our guests and visitors to his work as co-collaborators will create breathtaking pieces while offering more opportunities for our guests to be immersed in the arts.”
Zimpel is currently the instructional designer for Arts@Large in Milwaukee and has also taught art and design at secondary and collegiate levels. He holds a Master of Fine Arts in art and social engagement from the University of Wisconsin—Milwaukee and a Bachelor of Fine Arts in graphic design from Cardinal Stritch University in Milwaukee. Zimpel and his work have been featured in exhibitions and residencies throughout the greater Milwaukee area, including with Arts@Large, Cedar