Our issue this week abounds in a wealth of Medarises. This is in great part coincidence, and the natural outcome of being closely associated with a family for a very long time. The streams had to converge at some point.
Pictured on our cover this week is the painter S.V. Medaris. In 'Animal Farm,' critic'at'large Kent Williams profiles the artist he was captivated by when she did a show at the Madison Public Library in 2004. That show was devoted to representing chickens in loving detail; she has had other shows devoted to farm animals and the rural life. 'Driftless in WisCOWsin,' her contribution to CowParade Wisconsin, pictured on the cover, was snapped up by the Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board as an icon for Wisconsin's iconic industry.
Sue Medaris is sister to David Medaris, longtime Isthmus staffer. And when I say long time, I mean long time. Isthmus has been around 30 years, and David Medaris has been around Isthmus for 29 and three'fourths, off and on, mostly on. He started helping out on The Guide while still a junior at West High and has had a hand in the paper whenever he's been in Madison during the interim. He writes the 'You Are Here' column and the recreation department and contributes other articles and photographs to both the paper and The Daily Page.
In this week's 'You Are Here,' he recounts his family's arrival in Madison from California 40 years ago. Though he doesn't mention his sister in the column, it makes a nice prelude to Williams' profile. In a way, Sue Medaris' story nicely completes her brother's reminiscences about the family's relocation. Medaris fille has obviously made the cultural shift from the coast to the Driftless Area, from the urban to the unmistakably rural, and has found the message she wishes to send through her chosen medium.
Mom and Dad Medaris, you did well. Isthmus and Wisconsin are the better for your transition 40 years ago.
Isthmus, as is its custom, celebrates its holiday party this Saturday, Dec. 16, at the Brink Lounge on East Washington Avenue. The public is invited to join us for the entertainment portion of the festivities, beginning at 9:30 p.m. Waylan St. Palan & His Magic Elves (a subsidiary of Kissers Inc.) provide the fun and frolic. The cover is $7.