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Nov. 21 marks return of Open Canvas benefit

The eagerly awaited Open Canvas 2009, a fundraiser benefiting Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design scholarships and The William F. Eisner Museum of Advertising and Design, returns Saturday, November 21, 6 — 11 p.m., at 320 E. Buffalo St. in Milwaukee’s Third Ward.

Open Canvas offers the unique experience of watching 90 leading artists create individual paintings in one day, bidding on the works through a silent auction, and taking new treasures home that evening.

The benefit is presented by Good Knight Promotions and chaired by Jeff Kursel. Kursel originated Open Canvas with his family in memory of his father, William Joel Kursel, whose passion for art and creativity was at the forefront of a successful advertising career.

Honorary Artist Chair is William Suys Jr., who turned to painting following 20 years in corporate life. Suys’ work is included in local, national and international collections. His paintings and commissioned portraits have been included in national and international shows, including the Salon International at the International Museum of Masters of Contemporary Fine Art, and the Portrait Society of America. He holds a double-major in Business and Art, and has taught classes and workshops in a variety of venues.

Other artists of note include MIAD alumni and faculty, such as Fran Balistreri, James Barany, Chris Beetow, Charles Dwyer, David Martin, Katie Musolff, Mike Samarzja and Christopher Willey; Art Institute of Chicago alumni Mel Theobald, Peter Kursel and Scott Okin; and top regional artists John Constable (Laughlin Constable), Tom Nachreiner (Art Factory), Oscar Romero (Mexico/Chicago), Holly Segel (former MIAD trustee), Anthony Stencel (Chicago; MIAD alumnus), Marcelino Stuhmer (UW-Milwaukee faculty) and Chuck Weber (renowned Waukesha portrait artist).

Fine food, hors d’ouevres and libations are served throughout the evening courtesy of 20 sponsoring restaurants and caterers, who are among the more than 40 event sponsors.

Tickets for the event are $50 in advance, $55 at the door. They are available clicking here; or by calling MIAD at 414‑847‑3236 or the Eisner at 414‑847‑3285.