Resume 2021

Origins 2005#1
Education: Informal & Formal

African American History & Racism Today expanded my focus on mental health rights to include racial justice when I interviewed award-winning journalist, Gregory Stanford [my art agent’s partner] at the end of December 2007.

Cynthia Henry and Greg introduced me to the Black community, expanding the scope of my activism for justice to battle institutionalized racism, mass incarceration --especially of people of color and too many whose mental illness is active. They need treatment, not prison when they’re non-violent. Other “professors” include George Sanders; Rev. Willie Brisco; Vel Phillips; Lauri Wynn, RL McNeely and too many more justice leaders to name here. I've interviewed a number of them in Milwaukee and elsewhere, which are available at “Profiles of Solutions” @ -- since arriving in Milwaukee, WI in August 2004.

Mental Health Rights Activism was born in me in 1991 when I learned that people were being mistreated in public and private mental institutions. I knew the devastation that fear of your own thoughts and actions brings. I lived like that for seven years. Shock silenced and suspended my emotions in the two years that followed, and the portrait I painted in words of my run-in with full-blown mania and depression continued to focus my fear on the terrifying experiences that my bipolar 2 mental illness inflicted on me. And when I at last read Love and Madness, as a reader rather than editor, I recognized that the first warning signs of illness were symptoms, not lifelong reactions to times of intensity. My professors in mental health activism were: Susan Keenan; Kathy Lynch; Joanie Luangpakdy; Judy Trysnicki; Doug Usiak; Maura Kelly.

What follows are the steps that brought me to where I am today in 2021, beginning with my formal education:

New York University BA History -- 1968-69

Lake Forest College “English Lit” major -- 1961-64

Parsons School of Design, Fashion Illustration, Manhattan 1964-65

NFA @ Art Students League, Life Drawing & Painting with Vaclav Vytlacil, Manhattan –- 1965-68


Milwaukee 2004 to present

Won Wisconsin Arts Board/National Endowment of the Arts Community Collaboration Grant 2008 to create “Colors of Self” traveling mural of self-portraits with Transitional Living Services clients--summer 2008

Won Walker’s Point Center for the Arts grant to facilitate “Colorplay” in 2006 at:
— Kagel Elementary School
— Spanish Immersion School
— Fratney Elementary

Buffalo 1988-2004

NYS Office of Mental Health, founding editor, Mental Health World, award-winning quarterly journal entered into New York State University library bound journal stacks -- 1992-99

Burchfield-Penney Art Center, store manager -- 1989

Chicago 1975-87

Temporary Agency: clerical; law firm receptionist -– 1985

Ad Agencies & Retailers: Freelance ad/pr copy -- 1984

Helene Curtis Ind., Inc.: Copy Supervisor –- 1980-83

Two retail chains: Fashion/Special Events Dir. -- 1976-80

Manhattan 1964-75

Modern Bride magazine: Sales Promotion copywriter -- 1972-74

Sew Business Magazine, layout and ad copy –- 1972

Seventeen Magazine “Abigail Wood” advice columnist –- 1969-71

MGM’s 2001: A Space Odyssey, assistant to Sales Promotion Creative Director -- 1968


Milwaukee — Since September 2004

DNC 2020 Convention virtual artist interviews at Ayzha Fine Arts Gallery to celebrate Juneteenth Day with former VP Joe Biden – June 19, 2020

MKE Art Museum/Haggerty Museum of Art Advisory Committee for November 1-3, 2018, Symposium on The Role of Art in Criminal Justice –- 2018

MKE Turners Programming Committee -- 2018 -21

Milwaukee Mental Health Task Force Steering Committee: -- since 2017

Milw. Turners Confronting Mass Incarceration Committee; Wisconsin Decarceration Project Advocacy Team [since 2018] -- 2017-21

--Latest Series Mke. Turners Confronting Mass Incarceration Presents
February 2021 series on solutions to the recidivism of violent offenders after being released to parole or probation:

Felmers O. Chaney Advocacy Board, 2nd Recorder; Mental Health Committee Chair; Oversight Committee: -- 2017-18;
2021 to Present

Community Coalition for Quality Policing:" -- since 2016

“Beautiful Minds: Raising Mental Health Awareness” @ Milwaukee Area Technical College, initiated and co-organized with MATC President’s Diversity Council -- 2014-15

Co-Editor, “Creative Sexuality: Memoirs of a Catholic Nun” by Barbarlie Steiffermann, OSF -- 2014

“Heart & Spirit Matter 2013” @ Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design 2013” initiated and co-organized with National Alliance on Mental Illness Greater Milwaukee Area -- November 4, 2013

Milwaukee Area Technical College President’s Diversity Council member –- 2013-15

Word Portraits for of and by justice activists, including in 2012, the founding pastors of MICAH, Milwaukee Inner-City Congregations Allied for Hope; behavioral health experts; administrators of youth organizations; educators and other leaders for spiritual freedom through art and education in ‘Profiles of Solutions; The Artist in Us’ and more on Index and Sidebar. Founding Editor; sponsored by founders -- since 2009

MICAH, Milwaukee Inner-City Congregations Allied for Hope Communications Team –- 2011-13

Washington Park Partners Arts & Cultural Committee — 2011-14

Alfons Gallery Advisory Board, School Sisters of St. Francis, Milwaukee — 2010-14

“Taste of Harambee,” painting Milwaukee Sewer Department rain barrels with kids in a park -- 2010

Citizens for Reform Campaign Strategy Committee to Elect Civil Rights Attorney James H. Hall, Jr. president of NAACP Milwaukee Branch -- 2010

“Block Party Art with Kids” with Reynaldo Hernandez -- 2010

“Art In Wisconsin,” arts reporter -- 2006-09

“Creativity Heals 2009,” organizer with National Alliance on Mental Illness, Greater Milwaukee Area -- 2009

“Creative Forces TV” Panel Discussion, organizer/host; produced & sponsored by Milwaukee Access Telecommunications Authority, channels 14/96; also @ -- first televised June 2008

Washington Park Beat, writer/proof reader -- 2007-09

“Put your money where your mind is” Mental Health Awareness Campaign: tail signs for Milwaukee and Chicago buses, partnering with Clear Channel Outdoor and Titan Worldwide (2008) -- 2007-09

Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin Mental Health Advocates Committee -- 2007-10

Facilitated “Colorplay Workshops” to help people unwind, have fun and inspire their imagination with colors and doodles while listening to music, never looking at the colors before selecting them, or at our random marks on paper, always finding recognizable images -- since 2005:

-- Nehemiah Project
-- Our Space, Inc.
-- Walker Middle School of the Arts
-- Wilson Senior Community Center
-- Neighborhood children

Buffalo, NY -- 1988-2004

“Diva by Diva,” O’Connell & Co. Theater, Supporting Cast Member; Scenery Artist — 2004

Activist for Spiritual Freedom through Art and Education — since 1991

Won grants for and organized first three “Heart & Spirit Matter Fine Art Exhibition” with panel discussions with artists and mental health specialists @ Impact Artists’ Gallery, Tri-Main Building — 2002-2004 (funded through 2008, given Pres. Bush II's Horrific Recession ruined too many millions of people.)

Community Charter School “Colorplay” Classes – Fourth Graders – 2004

Mental Health Peer Connection Agency Advisory Council -– 2003-04

BryLin Hospital Art Committee -- 2003-04

Catholic Charities’ Creative Edge Art Therapy Program Advisory Council -- 2003-04

Impact Artists’ Gallery, Inc. president, Board of Directors -- 2002-04

Fine art publicity: Impact Artists’ Gallery — 2002-04

Crisis Services “Draw the Line” poster art contest — committee member; juror; collateral materials' signature image — 2002-03

Crisis Services, Inc., Foundation Board vice-president; Board of Directors -- 2000-04

"LogoQuest 2001" logo art contest juror, sponsored by Partnership to End Violence in Childhood & Youth, c/o EPIC — 2001

Created Colorplay: Making Something Out of Nothing Workshops @ universities, psychiatric care agencies and conferences, neighborhood children. “Colorplay” wins grant from county department of mental health to help people unwind by exchanging fact or fiction stories while marking paper with oil pastel colors grabbed unseen without watching what they do -- 2000-04:

— BryLin Hospital
— WNY Independent Living Project
— Good Shepard Church day campers, ages 8-12
Created “Wordshop” in 1991 to help people write about their experiences for a quarterly newsletter to increase self-knowledge and self-respect:
— Clarkson Center (at-risk youth) -- 1993
— NYS Del Nor Psychiatric Resource Treatment Center -- 1991-93

Community Services Mental Hygiene Advisory Board of Erie County, plus additional state and local policymaking boards/task forces – 1993-99

Burchfield-Penney Art Center, Marketing Committee — 1990
Chicago, Il. -- 1975-1989

Art Institute of Chicago Museum Information desk -- 1975
Manhattan, NY -- 1964-1975

Bedford Stuyvesant Community Youth Center, painting murals with kids -- 1966

Buffalo, NY -- 1943-1961

Buffalo Children’s Hospital, read to and offered books to patients — 1961


No Studios Art Activated Social Justice Story Award Nov. 13, 2019 –

Crisis Services Media Award 1997

Courage to Come Back Award 1992 — sponsored by United Way; Buffalo News; ABC-TV affiliate Ch. 7
NYU First Prize, Chemistry Art Competition 1969 — juried by HW Janson, New York University Art History Prof; author

Selected Fine Art Solo Shows

Ayzha Fine Arts Gallery & No Studios Art Crawl -- Oct. 11, 2019

Lt. Gov and Chair, Wisconsin Arts Board Barbara Lawton’s “Art in the Office: Celebrating the Arts: Paintings by Patricia Obletz,” Madison, WI — Sept. 24-Oct. 28, 2010, Capitol Building

Ayzha Fine Arts, LLC presents Commentary by Patricia Obletz @ — 2010

Stump Town Gallery, Alma, WI. — September-October 2009
Gallery 2622 "The Music in Art," Wauwatosa, WI — June 2009

City Hall Lobby “Horse Worship,” Milwaukee, WI — October 2008

Signature Image, Anti-Stigma Bus Campaign —2007-09
Milwaukee; 2009 Chicago, Milwaukee
Reuss Federal Building Lobby, Milwaukee, WI — May-June 2007

In Tandem Theatre production of Equus, UWM Peck School of the Arts, Milwaukee -- 2007

Art Bar, Milwaukee — Dec-Jan -- 2005-06

Guerilla Gallery, Milwaukee — 2005

Selected Group Shows

Racine Art Museum From the Heart Virtual Community Art Show 7/7- 10/4, 2020 Pandemic 2020 March Shutdown 16x12 oil pastel on paper:!gallery/2/image/272/Obletz%20Pandemic%202020%20March%20Shutdown

Ayzha Fine Arts Gallery hosts Voting Rights for Formerly Incarcerated people for DNC Convention to air virtually between August 17 and 20, 2020, time and date TBD.

Ayzha Fine Arts Gallery Celebrates Juneteenth Day, 2020, with DNC National Convention and Frmr VP Joe Biden – June 19, 2020

Ayzha Fine Arts Gallery, Milwaukee – since 2008

Off Bradford Art Collective Semi-Circle PopUp Gallery III, Milwaukee, celebrating the arts: painters, poets, dancers and musicians –- October 7, 2017; July 8, 2017

Gallery 2622: Landscapes: Paintings by Obletz; Photography by Becker -- July 2017

Off Bradford Art Collective Semi-Circle PopUp Gallery II, Milwaukee, celebrating the arts: painters, poets, dancers and musicians -- July 2017

Off Bradford Art Collective Semi-Circle PopUp Gallery I – Oct. 2017

Milwaukee, celebrating the arts: painters, poets, dancers and musicians -- May 2017

Grohmann Museum - MSOE DAW Fine Art Exhibition, Milwaukee -- Oct 2011

WVA Exhibition 2011, Alverno College Gallery, Milwaukee — Jan-Feb 2011; delivered “Brown Bag Artist Talk” 2/17/11
MARN (Milwaukee Artist Resource Network) Treasure Hunt, Westside Artwalk -- April 23-24, 2010

MARN Salon IV, Sharon Lynne Wilson Center, Brookfield, WI -- Jan 22-24, 2010

“Big, Bold & Beautiful,” Creative Expressions Art Gallery, Mequon -- Dec-Jan 2010

“The Intimate Page,” Portrait Society, Milwaukee -- Nov-Jan 2010

Wisconsin Arts Board Lobby “Horse Worship,” Madison -- April-May 2009

Ayzha Fine Arts Gallery Night with Chicago Collectors, Milwaukee -- July 24-25,2009

Renaissance Theaterworks, Milwaukee -- Jan. 16-Feb. 8, 2009

“Artworks,” Ayzha Fine Arts Gallery Night & Day @
Harambee, Milwaukee -- Oct. 16,2009; Jan. 16, 2009

Milwaukee Times Newspaper Black Excellence Awards Dinner, Ayzha Fine Arts Presents Fine Art, Milwaukee -- Feb 2009; ‘08

Wisconsin Visual Artists (WVA) Juried “Issues Drawing & Print Show,” Walker’s Point Center for the Arts -- Jan. 16-Feb. 28, 2009

WVA “Portraits,” Northwestern Mutual Gallery, Cardinal Stritch -- Sept-Oct 2008

“Womanly Ways,” Gallery Grand, featured artist, Milwaukee -- July-Sept. 2008

“Bare V,” DeLind Gallery, Milwaukee -- Jan.-Feb. 2008
“Art-Ology,” Ayzha Fine Arts Milwaukee -- May 24, 2008

WPS Prints & Drawings, Ozaukee Art Center -- Feb 2008

ABEA Invitational, “Relationships and Love,” Walkers Point Center for the Arts, Milwaukee -- Jan-Feb 2008
Museum of Wisconsin Art Member’s Show, West Bend, WI -- 2007-08
WVA Juried “Time” Exhibition, Steenbock Gallery, Madison, WI -- July-Sept. 2007

Museum of Wisconsin Art, Juried WVA Show – West Bend, WI -- May 23-July 15, 2007

Milwaukee Underground Film Festival Fine Art Invitational, Walker’s Point Center for Arts Gallery -- May 2007

Kiefert Portrait Exhibition, Reuss Federal Plaza, Milwaukee -- Jan-Feb. 2007

John Michael Kohler Arts Center, “Utopia,” Sheboygan, WI. -- June-Sept 2006

Annual Niagara Frontier Juried Art Exhibit, Kenan Center Gallery. Lockport, NY -- May 2004

Collectors’ Gallery, Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, NY -- 2000-04

Welland Gallery of Ideas “Real Art Horse Show,” Ont., Can. -- Spring 2004

College Street Gallery, Buffalo, NY – Gallery Night -- May 2004; May ‘03

Stuyvesant Gallery, Buffalo, NY -- Jan-July 2004
Art Dialogue Regional Juried Fine Art Show, Buffalo, NY -- Aug 2003

Featured by:

Artist Pocket Collection, Premiere Print Edition, April 2011 hardcopy; Facebook publication -- May 2011

The Journal of Psychosocial Nursing, National Alliance for Research on Schizophrenia and Depression: Image of 2008 oil painting, Woman with Dog -- Jan 2011 print edition

Wisconsin State Journal, Madison, WI -- October 10, 2010
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel – Aug. 14, 2007""
Shepherd Express ken.folder=2007-02-01&-token ;

Riverwest Currents -- April 2009; Jan 2006, Milwaukee
Milwaukee ArtBeat, talk show at Hide House -- April 3, 2009
“Creative Forces TV” organizer/host; produced & sponsored by Milwaukee Access Telecommunications Authority, channels 14/96 -- May 2008; replay here:

“Put Your Money Where Your Mind Is Mental Health Awareness Campaign,” signature image for tail signs on Milwaukee and Chicago buses, partnering with Clear Channel Outdoor and Titan Worldwide -- 2007-09
Art In Wisconsin, September/October 2008; November/December 2007; 2006; September/October 2007; -- Sept-Dec 2007

Washington Park Beat, featured Jan-Feb and April/May 2007, Milwaukee
Shepherd Express, Feb 1, 2007; Shepherd Express, Jan 5, 2006, Milwaukee
Capital Times, June 6, 2005, Madison
ArtVoice, 5.13.04; 10.9.03; 10.23.96, Western New York/Ontario, Canada
Pulse Niagara, Ontario, Canada, 4.22.04
The Buffalo News 2.3.04; 4.13.03; 4.9.01; 5.28.96, Buffalo, NY
Buffalo Spree Magazine, April-May 2003

ArtScope! National Telly Award-Winning local talk show, March-April 2004; June 2003

By the People talk show, CBS affiliate, February 2003
ArtViews local talk show, March 2002


"Exotic and creative by a talented artist...well more of your work please...."
--Cheryl Sperie, artist 2021

"You are so good. That painting was so finely done and evinced a sense of pathos, and sadness, giving that dog a voice.
"We both sat looking at it and admiring the work of a great artist."
-- Dr. Daniel Maguire, retired professor, Marquette University 2021:

“I gravitate toward art alive, art breathing and speaking. Such art is hard to come by, yet here it was, staring me in the face… The truth stood out. For Patricia Obletz, the art of painting was neither a hobby nor a pastime; it was a calling, a driving force that shaped her being from childhood to adulthood. The paintings were incandescent, radiant. They whispered and pulsed and thundered, and reached for your hands. Paints applied like a shower of gemstones. A ghostly cellist bowing his instrument. Vivid horses trying to rescue us from boredom. A well-known conductor, his eyes searching for a future symphony…Sensuous figure paintings. Landscapes so deep and mysterious I could hear them. Portraits with penetrating eyes – wise eyes, thoughtful eyes, melancholy eyes, and Holocaust victims, their eyes pleading for mercy… Obletz’ paintings are unforgettable. Like all serious art, her art is enduring, indelible, personal to the core. She works with the mind’s heart.”
--Steven DaGama, award-winning poet, writer and visual artist -- 2019

“(Patricia’s) paintings, images and colors, really grip, not only events but pungent sweat and gruel, integrity right to the bone. Gifts all of them.”
--Laura Priebe, artist 2017

“Paintings by Patricia Obletz are strong, interesting, fresh and new.”
--Carrie Ann Seymour, Milwaukee Artist Pocket Collection, Curator, 2010

“For Milwaukee artist Patricia Obletz, color is an inspiration and a catalyst.

“Her paintings, saturated with bold, primary hues, capture people in motion, almost as though the subjects were creating the colors themselves.”

--Lindsay Christians, Arts Reporter, Wisconsin State Journal, Sun, Oct 10, 2010

“From great doodles to monumental paintings.”
-- Evelyn Patricia Terry, MFA, Visual Artist, Sept 29, 2010

“Samara Studios represents a long list of local artists, including accomplished favorites such as Patricia Obletz, Tim Decker and John Sayers.”
-- Mary Louise Schumacher, Art Critic, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Aug 14, 2010

“Patricia Obletz’ art is a bracingly buzzing expressive mode that rides on her human creativity and electricity rather than a plug mechanically sucking from an AC outlet. (Her work) helps us to rediscover our humane, life-affirming energy in an electro-gizmo fixated age that may kill us off as we text ourselves to death behind the steering wheels of our self-created four wheel coffins.“
-- Kevin Lynch, Pulitzer-nominated arts writer, Sept 30, 2009

“The Impossible Teapots by Patricia Obletz are vibrant and don’t follow the rules of teapot designs -- the spouts curve and bend to the side, over the top of the pot, or under, providing a strong and playful sense of animate objects.”
-- Melanie Hupfer, Riverwest Currents, April 2009

"I never tire of my brilliant painting, Through the Woods, by Patricia Obletz. It is an endless maze in an atmosphere of tension, beauty and mystery that is a little bit frightening. Her art is compelling and can have a dark side. Always interesting, it resonates with truth.”
--Mike Nussbaum, Chicago stage and screen actor, June 2008

“In Tandem Theatre’s production of Equus has . . . some good eye candy in the lobby . . . a series of horse paintings by artist Patricia Obletz . . . I was immediately put into some kind of equestrian trance...”
--Jonathan West, “Artsy Schmartsy,” -- March 30, 2007

-- Lisa Kaiser, Shepherd Express, Feb. 1, 2007

”Obletz’ somewhat abstract ‘Origins 2004' hints at haystacks with a Monet-like splendor...“
-- Kevin Lynch, Capital Times, June 15, 2005

“Obletz’ work is unmistakably unique for its extreme, vibrant color play . . . (the) odd colors of Piet Mondrian’s pre-geometric paintings and the thick, painterly texture of Jackson Pollock that she applies to subjects like landscape and horses make her work unique.”
--Jenny Santomauro, art reporter, ArtVoice May 13, 2004

“Obletz’ oil paintings range in subject from vast landscapes to portraiture to horse worship. In a modern-Seurat petit point style . . . non-traditional . . . oil stick paintings, particularly ‘The Red Horse,’ are thick and sculptural . . . “
--Jenny Santomauro, ArtVoice, Oct 9, 2003

“Patricia Obletz uses oil and oil sticks to striking effect.”
--Joanna Manning, Pulse Niagara, Ontario, Canada, April 22, 2004

“Short List: 19 artists mentioned by more than one collector.”
--Cynni Gaasch, ArtVoice art reporter Oct. 9, 2003

“Obletz’ art is so strong I can hear it communicate.”
-- Susan Scholterer, director, Buffalo-Niagara Cultural Tourism Bureau, July 2003

Artist Statement 2019

As a colorist, I paint what I cannot photograph, translating external/internal complexities into layers of random colors with spontaneous markings on canvas, paper, wood or cardboard.

I was five when drawing and painting became my first holy communion, and my religion. I took my first painting lesson with a local fine artist when nearly six.

Be my subjects flesh, land, water, air, imagination or abstraction, viewers and collectors often speak of the spirit in each. This universal connection makes my art priceless to me.

Color inspires my compositions and drives their energy, movement and depth. Oil colors, in a stick, tube or pastel, stroke shapes and textures onto paper and canvas, rendering social, political and cultural issues, portraits of nature and of existence.

Each work is unpremeditated and begins with rhythmic strokes of color dictated by my heart and spirit in streams of consciousness, where self-awareness disappears into solitary acts of creation, where God is.

The first three colors are chance selections that dictate the palette. Each new layer of color urges evolution, until one subject dominates the whole, exciting me with its unexpected presence and the challenge of its development. Many of my subjects are first discovered by others.

What influences my work goes beyond art school and art history courses to current events and the rhythms of classical and contemporary music, Mahler to Dylan to McFerrin to Sheeran. Unintentional colors commingle, sometimes change the work’s direction.

Art museum and gallery travels across America to Hawaii, Europe and Russia connect me to past and present art worlds.

Some of my drawings and paintings advocate for justice, raising awareness of spiritual freedom that art and education create. These are the priceless components of my passion to paint in black and white and color.

Critically Acclaimed Art by Colorist Patricia Obletz