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Father and Daughter Team Up to Showcase Their Artistic Strengths

The summer edition of Gallery Night and Day is almost upon us. Artists of all kinds, along with gallery owners, will be showcasing work at multiple venues around town.

Whitefish Bay resident Liz Phillips paints in oils and her father, Dave Belling, paints in watercolors. Both have had many solo exhibitions, but their joint exhibit Oil & Wateropening this Friday at The Sadler Gallery in the Third Ward, is a first for both artists.

Originally from Milwaukee, Dave Belling spent the past 55 years working in local advertising - first as a freelance designer, and later as a creative director and advertising agency partner. He now enjoys a retired life in Florida and paints full-time.

"I guess it started off as a hobby. And because I paint quite a bit, we had to do something with those paintings so we put them in galleries. So now I guess I'm a professional painter," says Belling.

Liz Phillips also spent most of her career working in advertising, but found it frustrating when she realized she was sitting on the wrong side of the artistic desk knowing she could create a better image.

"Fortunately, I didn't have parents that said 'don't go into art because you have to make a living,'" says Phillips.

Although the father and daughter duo are no longer involved in the advertising world, both found their experience to be very valuable and applicable to painting.

"Instead of taking a picture of (places) to put in an ad, I paint them...(Liz])has that same eye that I have. We can find those things when we see them and say, 'I can paint that. That's a painting. And it'll be beautiful,'" says Belling.

Bonnie North
Bonnie joined WUWM in March 2006 as the Arts Producer of the locally produced weekday magazine program Lake Effect.