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Anita Burgermeister, eclectic independent artist in Milwaukee. Art is what I do. Life is never boring. Please visit links below, follow me on social media & BUY Art By Anita. Thank you! My blog includes musings or news about creative people & events in art, music, magic, dance, dining, film, writing, city life & more. Hope you enjoy and read often!
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Aug 2022 - One Off, Connections, Surprise Wedding, 3 Funerals, Cooking Love, Poetry


It's the Aug Blog.

The Marvelous Martini Girls are hosting a group show called 'ONE OFF' at the ART BAR in Riverwest. It features something the artists have never done before or may not be likely to do again. The reception is Sep 2 / 6-9pm (exhibit thru Sep 28). Go see my piece, along with work of 40 other artists. *But not me. I'll be in Iowa for a Lieber Family reunion. My piece is called 'Martini Time' - it's a wooden martini glass (that I've had in my studio for eons) w painted paper collage and a mess of silver watches. Not high art, but high fun. The Martini Girls and the PU (Photography Unlimited) Girls met for a fabulous brunch at Nessun Dorma in Riverwest. The salmon platter and tiramisu waffle were outstanding! But we were a raucous bunch. I am going to start a new movie club with these fierce and wild women with their super spouses. My Classic Film Group is wrapping up next month. They are amazing fun and intelligent critics, but we never met in person. I feel like it's time for long, fun, movie nights with lots of wine.

PICS: Martini Time / Current Martini Girls - Marcia, Patty, Marcia, Debbie / Janet, Elsa, Me / Tom n Murr / My 2015 show at the MG Studio when Janet bought Debbie's Madonna painting.
It's been a month of curious connections. I had a lunch date with Dawn Bowers, an old Washington High School classmate who I have not seen since 1979! We laughed and reminisced over old yearbooks, which she never owned. Our connection was through Swing Choir and musicals. She also works for the VA. In fact, she left HS at 18, just before the end of her senior year, to join the service! So remarkable. The day after our lunch I had a request for a new adult piano student with a familiar last name. Turns out her dad is Bob Monagle - who was also a classmate of mine. He played guitar in the jazz band, and he still gigs around town and owns Tanner Monagle video / audio recording studio. HAHA - at the lesson I asked 'Wanna see your pop's old yearbooks? She did. I also got stopped 3 times with 'Aren't you Anita the Artist?' by people who I painted homes for or sold art to, like 25 years ago. Wild.

PICS: Anita & Dawn / her VA promo poster / Our senior pics! lol / The '76 and '77 WHS jazz band. I think at least 10 classmates (that I know of) still make a living in music.
Instead of "4 Weddings and a Funeral" which was a charming and funny movie - I've been to 3 funerals in 3 weeks, and one surprise wedding. Good news first. My stepson Adam & Denae got married! They have been together for nearly 10 years and suddenly decided they just wanted to make it legal. Thankfully, there are no plans to hyphenate Burgermeister-Doberstein. Though I think Burgerstein or Dobermeister would be cool names. Since the pandemic, all that is required to marry is a mail-in courthouse certificate. Adam's mother was the officiant (also via mail-in certification!) And Tom and I signed as witnesses. A small party is coming up; and they plan a bigger celebration later. Congrats kids ~ we wish you a lifetime of love!

Adam brought grand-darling Sophia to hear Tom's band at a festival. I'm pretty sure she would have been dancing and loving it, except the volume was so insanely loud inside the tent that we just sat in the parking lot and covered our ears. My old pal Cindy joined me for a fun - but hot - afternoon listening to the band at State Fair. It's been a nice month getting out to events.
PICS: Adam, Denae and Sophia on 'Wedding Day' / Sophia not digging the loud band (photos by Peggy Howe) / Fair Day w kids and Cindy
On the sad, sad, sad, side of life...It's also been an emotionally exhausting month. I attended funerals of Armins Muižnieks (Latvian, repair guy and chef - age 64, prostate cancer), Dakota Lieber (my cousin's son, chef - age 32, diabetes complications), and Linda Sokup (book club neighbor, teacher and cook - age 57, accidental). There is a love of food theme here. My friend Alice says 'cooking for people you love - is love'. She is also an amazing cook. She brought around a lemon cake w blueberries last week and Tom and I decimated it within a day and a half. So fast I never even got a photo of it. And Tom is not known to be a 'sweets' guy. But I digress. Cooking is how all 3 of these special people showed love. Armins cooked meals at the Latvian church and was a member of the Latvian dance group. Dakota always wanted to open a yellow food truck. At his service, family and friends wore bright yellow. It looked like a sea of sunflowers. But Linda's death was saddest of all because it was a tragic accident. She survived serious illness with sepsis 4 years ago, then during the pandemic she cared for her husband till the end when he passed from Parkinson's. She got through all that. One day she was dropping her dog off at doggie day care. The pup was excited to go, and his leash caught her off balance. She fell back, hit her head on the concrete, suffered a brain bleed and concussion...and never regained consciousness. We are still in shock. Eight members of our old book club were at the service. Linda's neighbor and close friend, Tammy, gave a moving tribute. Afterwards we went out for a wonderful lunch and drank a toast to our friend. We celebrated them all with love and food. 

On a side note, I've given up on my diet.

I read a poem about aging and the beauty of women on the morning of Linda's service. It was called Beneath the Sweater & the Skin. I was overwhelmed by it and so saddened that Linda did not have the gift of aging. It was one of the most beautiful and powerful pieces I've ever read. The author is Jeanette Encinias from Oregon. She also writes a monthly blog, and short articles. I think these pieces are exceptional, too - Don't Abandon Yourself and Golden Dove - about death. I am reminded of so many strong beautiful women I know and admire. I love you all. Keep shining. Your beauty is breathtaking. 

Peace, Anita
PICS: Yellow for Dakota / Book Club gathering for Linda's service / Linda - in the center - at a book club martini party I hosted.
PICS: Amy O, Linda B, & Anita - Bay View Arts Guild founders - and our fellas. Plotting the overthrow of the art world at the South Shore Terrace beer garden early in August. I had to end on a lighter note. It's the only way I can get through the sad times.
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