November 2, 2020 – December 29, 2020
Fritz Hoppe’s art career began in the mid 1990’s during early childhood. As the son of full-time artists, he had been exposed to the sculpting process at a very young age. This allowed Fritz to develop his talents into skills while learning techniques and processes necessary for creating high quality pieces. Spending time in the studio taught Fritz the engineering aspects of sculpting, such as using accurate measurements, scaling, and building structurally sound armatures. This knowledge gives Fritz an edge in sculpting because applying skills to the processes allows him to produce any project, no matter how complex or large it may be. Now he has developed some of his own creative techniques in the process of creating bronze sculptures.
In 2012, at age 18, Fritz produced his first bronze piece, the quarter size Rocky Mountain Elk. Although he had previously sculpted many small pieces in clay, Rocky Mountain Elk was the first of his works cast in bronze. Later that year, he went on to produce Bison Hunter, having it cast in bronze at age 19. Then in 2013, he had produced two more sculptures, including Primitive Man (a contemporary work) and his best selling piece, Plains Hunter (a realistic work). Pieces from each of these additions have found their way into people’s homes.
Fritz was invited by the Columbus Arts Council to display all four sculptures in their monthly exhibition in the fall of 2015. A reception was held on October 17th, 2015. He and his high school art teacher, Nancy Shadle, brought the largest crowd to ever attend a monthly Columbus Art’s Council reception with their art works.In 2016, Hoppe received a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from the University of Nebraska Lincoln. Having taken elective classes in the art history department has allowed him to further his knowledge and understanding of art. Putting together the creative and historical aspects of the industry, along with the business side of things, has added even more opportunity to Hoppe’s art career. He plans to continue producing more works while experimenting with the creative process.
Putting thought, words, and emotion into a work of art has been my greatest strength. I was very fortunate to be born with an art talent from a long bloodline of gifted artists, from my mother’s and father’s families. I have been even more fortunate as to have instructors who have taught me how to act upon this talent by building skills in drawing, sculpting, and painting. They have assisted me in developing a strength in art making, something I will forever be grateful for. Studying art from the Renaissance to the Western art of America has given me additional skill and knowledge in the field. Putting everything together, old and new, has led to a well-rounded ability to create in different style and mediums.
Constructing the perfect piece is not just about size, space, or color; it involves bringing a vision into reality. Proportions, values, and anatomy may be accurate, but if the result is not what I envisioned, the piece will lack the life I wanted to give it. My best works have been the result of an idea developed within seconds of an inspiration. I may add to a piece or slightly alter it, but changing it altogether never seems to work well, regardless of the medium. In my opinion, my best work to this day, the Plains Hunter, was an impulsive idea. It occurred unexpectedly, at a time when I was not necessarily looking for any creative inspiration.
Envisioning the Plains Hunter was not the result of tediously sifting through sketches or brainstorming ideas, but rather a spontaneous inspiration I experienced while walking through a dark museum. The dim lights revealed a massive mural painted on the wall. It was a sunset scene depicting the silhouette of a Native American man, standing in contrapposto gazing out at the land. Flocks of geese covered a sunset sky as his shadowed figure stood beneath them. His familiar landscape was a riverside marsh, like the one near my home in Nebraska. I immediately saw an opportunity in emulating this man’s silhouette. What was only a shape was sculpted into a physical form. My high school art instructor, Nancy Shadle, stopped by after completion of this piece. She peered into the hunter’s eyes, and gave me a nice compliment by saying, “You captured his soul.”
Passion for history, culture, and nature is what drives my artwork. Hiking across a North American Landscape allows one to imagine who else might have crossed it. The people and animals of an older time may be gone, but their presence and culture lives in the land and in our history. Awareness is the key to preserving what the earth and its inhabitants provide. It is crucial that mankind learn from the past in order to give hope for the future.
Combining my knowledge of history with inspiration from the countryside allows me to develop a connection between myself and that artwork I create. Michelangelo, Russell, and Remington are among the many great storytelling artists one can learn from. Analyzing works of the old masters, the western artists of America, or even a modern sculptor near my home reveals there is an important story to be told, in which words alone cannot describe.
Thomas attended Layton School of Art and became an Illustrator, creating artwork for advertising and children’s books for many national and local companies during the last 46 years. During summers he exhibited at Art Fairs and also did Pastel Portraits.
Recently Thomas has been doing Plein Air Painting ( painting from life outdoors). Much of his current work is representative of this discipline.
He tries to capture the light and atmosphere of a scene within a few hours. Thomas believes that a painting is not just a two dimensional illusion, but also that of a moment in life, captured by an artist on canvas.
Thomas is a founding member of Wisconsin Plein Air Painters Association. The WIPAPA has been established as a state wide fellowship of artists dedicated to promoting and practicing the traditional discipline of Plein Air painting. Members seek to honestly interpret the natural and man-made beauty and diversity of Wisconsin’s landscapes and culture. We will strive to enhance member’s skills and reputations by providing regular opportunities to paint outdoors together, and to critique our work and share our expertise with fellow artists in order to maintain the highest standards of the Plein Air tradition of painting.
Thomas states he has found that while doing a painting outdoors he is immersed in the moment, later when he look at the painting ” I can remember all the things that went on as I painted, the weather, the birds singing, a small animal moving through the scene, people who have stopped to talk to me.” The memories are all part of the painting.
Plein Air Painting events include;
3rd place in Quick Paint – 2008 Downer Street Event
1st place in Quick Paint – 2008 Mid-Summer Brush
1st place in Quick Paint – 2009 Mid-Summer Brush
Honorable Mention at IPAPA First Brush of Spring 2009
1st place in Painting – 2010 Wauwatosa Plein Air and Village Affair
3rd place in Dockside Quick Paint 2010 Door County Plein Air Festival
3rd place in Oil at the 2011 IPAPA First Brush of Spring
2nd place – 2012 Richfield Historical Society Art at the Mill- Plein Air Event
2nd Artist Choice Award – 2013 Cedarburg Plein Air Event
1st place – 2013 Richfield Historical Society Art at the Mill- Plein Air Event
1st place – 2013 Historic Third Ward Plein Air Event
People’s Choice at 2013 New Berlin Plein Air Event
Merit Award at 2014 IPAPA First Brush of Spring
Best of Show and People’s Choice at Paint the Point Plein Air Event – Mineral Point
1st place at 2014 New Berlin Plein Air Event
Shorewood Historical Society Award and People’s Choice at 2014 Shorewood Plein Air Event
2nd place-2014-Theodore Robinson Plain Air Event
3rd Place 2015 Paint the Point Winter Edition-Mineral Point
Beloit College Patron of the Arts Award-2015 Beloit Friends of the Riverfront Plein Air Event
Honorable Mention-2015 and 2016 Historic 3rd Ward Plein Air Event
2nd Place Nocturne 2015 and 2016 Paint the Point Summer Plein Air Event-Mineral Point
1st Place Quick Paint 2015 Catiris Plein Air Event
Merit Award 2015 Between the Bluffs Plein Air Event -LaCrosse
1st place 2016 Pewaukee Waterfront Art Fair Plein Air Event
People’s Choice at 2016 New Berlin Plein Air Event
1st place-2016 Historical Evansville Category -Theodore Robinson Plain Air Event
Best Field Study-Field to Finish Show 2017 IPAPA First Brush of Spring
Merit Award- 2017 IPAPA First Brush of Spring
2nd Place Quick Paint 2017 Milwaukee Museum Mile Plein Air Event
Artist’s Choice and Judge’s Choice for best nocturne at the 2018 Fairfield Plein Air Event.
Best representation of Fairfield at the 2018 Fairfield Plein Air Event.
Merit Award at 2019 IPAPA First Brush of Spring.
2nd place Best of Cedarburg Award 2019 Cedarburg Plein Air event.
3rd place Artist’s Choice 2019 Cedarburg Plein Air event.
Juried Art Exhibitions;
Firefly Art Festival – 2008-2009-2012-2013-2014-2015-2016
Milwaukee Domes Art Festival – 2010-2011-2012-2013
Hidden River Art Festival -2010-2011-2012-2013
Plymouth Art Fair -2010-2011
The Little Show-Cedarburg -2011
Stevens Point Art Festival-2012-2013
Richfield Historical Society Art at the Mill- 2013
2014 National Oil and Acrylic Painters “Best of America” Show
One Man Show-October 2015 month long at the Beloit Fine Arts Incubator
Richeson 75 2013 Still Life and Floral Show -2 Finalist and 4 Meritorious
Richeson 75 2015 Small Works Show -Finalist
League of Milwaukee Artists 2016 POE-etry Show 1st Place, 2017 Oconomowoc Show 3rd place
3rd Place “Under the El” 2017 LMA Winter Show #2
Art Exhibition Awards;
Honorable Mention – 2008 Waukesha Art Fair
Best of Show – 2010 Plymouth Art Fair
First Place – 2011 Plymouth Art Fair
First Place – WIPAPA Annual Show 2010
Third Place – WIPAPA Annual Show 2012
Certificate of Excellence – 2013 Stevens Point Art Festival
Best of Show – 2013 Kenosha Art Fair
8 Time – Favorite 15% BoldBrush online Competition
First Place -“Point of Color: The Wisconsin Plein Air Painters Association Juried Show,” at the Monroe Arts Center
2nd Place- 2015 “En Plein Air” Exhibit, The Lighthouse Art Center, Tequesta, FL
One of 3 Judges for the 2016 Wisconsin State Fair Plein Air Event
One of 3 Judges for the 2017 Wisconsin State Fair Childrens Art Event
One of 2 Judges for the 2017 Oconomowoc Art Fair
Best of Show-Bauhaus Prairie Art Gallery January 2017 Online Show
Best of Show “Under the El” 2018 Bauhaus Prairie Art Gallery October Online Show
May 1 – June 30, 2021
The Mississippi Valley Quilters Guild was organized in 1983 to educate and encourage members in the quilting arts; encourage high standards in color, design, and construction of the quilted medium; and to stimulate interest in quilting in the community.