photo courtesy of John Michael Kohler Arts Center, 2017


Faythe Levine is an artist, director, author, and the assistant curator at the John Michael Kohler Arts Center in Sheboygan WI. Her practice and curatorial vision is centered around ongoing themes of community, creativity, awareness, process, empowerment and documentation. Amongst her many projects, they include Sign Painters (2013) andHandmade Nation (2009), both feature length documentaries with accompanying books and extensive tours throughout the States. Below we caught up with Faythe to get to know her better.

What do people know you for?

I’ve worn a lot of different hats so it sort of depends where I am and what the context is. In Wisconsin folks know usually know me from starting the handmade event Art vs. Craft (2004-2014), running my various past gallery spaces (Paper Boat and Sky High) and sometimes from serving them drinks when I was a bartender in one of my past lives. In a more broad scope people know me as the filmmaker who did a documentary called Sign Painters and another one called Handmade Nation.

How is Milwaukee special to you?

Milwaukee gave me space as an artist to learn who I am and supported me through various growing pains on that journey.

What may people not know about you?

I’m a left handed only child who’s first memories are all from traveling around the country in the the Maroon Balloon, the name of our family’s van, that I lived with my folks the year prior to me starting school.

What drives your creativity?

My general curiosity in finding things and impulsive behavior to share those things with other people.

What are you going to talk to us about in your talk on “Courage”?

While I am still working on the direction I am going to take speaking to  the theme of “Courage,” I can see myself discussing personal elements and lessons of my last few years. For example, I learned lessons on slowing down to take care of myself and trusting my gut. This path led me to living in rural Tennessee for a stint, then feeling aimless wandering around looking for direction, and then fairly recently finding my way back to Wisconsin for my current position at the John Michael Kohler Arts Center. I’m thinking this will push me to talk about how important I believe community is, what being a permission giver can look like and how having courage means trusting yourself and those you choose to have around you.

Ticket registration opens Monday, March 26th at 11 AM CST. Grab a ticket while space remains tickets are free but limited!