GREEN BAY – If you are opening of an art gallery in Green Bay, what better way to start than with a show related to Brett Favre?
LH clearance opened its namesake “Dg Clearing, an art gallery” at 1270 Main St. on Tuesday with 23 paintings commissioned by the Pro Football Hall of Fame and the former Green Bay Packers quarterback.
Clearing acquired the paintings, including a set commemorating Favre’s (at the time) NFL record 421 touchdown passes, through a third-party vendor. The series consists of portraits of the receivers who have caught every 50th pass, such as Robert Brooks at 50, Edgar Bennett at 100, Antonio Freeman at 150 and so on. Pieces measure 48 inches by 36 inches.
“It’s a beautiful wall,” Clearing said of the 421 series.
The artist was painter James Hartel. He has done commissions for Ariana Grande, Reggie White, Fleetwood Mac and others.
“I think for sports fans and art lovers, James Hartel is a fairly well-known portrait painter. The Root Art Museum just bought one of his pieces,” Clearing said.
The paintings were exhibited in the private dining room of the now defunct Brett Favre’s Steakhouse near Lambeau Field.
Originally from Seymour who now lives in Menasha, Clearing is both a artist and poet. He attended the University of Wisconsin and the University of Minnesota, and in the 1980s and 1990s he was known for his large-scale photographs which were exhibited along with works by Andy Warhol, George Morrison, Peter Dean and others.
His family was from Door County, and he operated a gallery there called Settlement Images about 20 years ago. His work has been exhibited at the Trout Museum of Art in Appleton, among other venues.
Clearing chose its location on Main Street because it is in a neighborhood that is slowly becoming an arts district. Not far from there are the garage art and the Technical College of Northeastern Wisconsin Craft and business center.
“The arts really help give stability to a region,” he said. “It’s exciting. I look forward to the start of the gallery walks this summer.”
In addition to the 421 series, Clearing has a painting commemorating Favre’s stint over 3,000 meters, and more on other career highlights, including one based on the iconic photo of Favre celebrating victory holding his helmet up. above him as he crosses the field.
There are also a dozen paintings done by students when Brett and Deanna Favre asked them to paint number 4, which was Favre’s uniform number.
“For young artists, it was quite exciting to be on display in the restaurant,” he said.
Clearing would prefer to sell the 421 series as a group, but will take offers on individual items.
“As a group, it’s history. Once it’s broken up, they’ll never get back together,” he said.
The largest painting, also by Hartel, is “Retro Favre”, showing the quarterback in a retro uniform with the 1919 Packers in the background. It measures 122 inches by 80 inches. Student pieces range from 18 inches by 22 inches to 28 inches by 34 inches.
Clearing declined to disclose the selling price of the paintings. He said the prices are available on request for potential buyers.
He expects to have three or four shows a year featuring different artists or themes.
The gallery is open from noon to 4 p.m. on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays, or by appointment. The phone number is (920) 419-1444.