The Pfister Hotel Names Heidi Parkes as its 15th Artist in Residence

Join The Pfister in welcoming Parkes during Gallery Night MKE on January 19

The AAA Four Diamond Pfister Hotel, owned and managed by Marcus® Hotels & Resorts, today announced Heidi Parkes as its 15th Artist in Residence. Parkes, a Milwaukee-based fiber artist specializing in quilting, begins her residency in The Pfister Hotel’s lobby-level artist studio this month, and succeeds the previous Artist in Residence, and visual artist, storyteller, and photographer, Nicole Acosta.


The public is invited to join The Pfister in welcoming Parkes during Gallery Night MKE on January 19, 2024. Her artwork will be on display in The Pfister Hotel’s Artist in Residence studio where she will be available to talk about her art, her creative process, and her vision for the Artist in Residence program.

“We are thrilled to welcome Heidi as The Pfister’s 15th Artist in Residence,” said Brandon Drusch, managing director of The Pfister Hotel. “This is an exciting milestone for this internationally recognized program that has made an impact on the local arts community as well as everyone who has visited The Pfister in the past 15 years. Heidi and her art form of quilting closely align with what The Pfister Hotel is known for – history and tradition. Guests and locals alike will be able to witness her quilted works come together right before their eyes while gaining a better understanding of Heidi’s work.”

Continuing a family legacy of quilting while combining her multidisciplinary art training, Parkes uses raw textile materials from domestic culture, fashion, family heirlooms, and scavenged prints, as well as custom designed fabrics she makes to create her main quilt imagery. She hand-stitches designs to create unique patterns on the quilt surface to tell their story, treating the quilt like a diary. She will share her art form with others in the studio by offering handwork classes throughout her residency, in addition to inviting guests into her studio to understand her process. Parkes also mends clothing, and plans to offer this service to Pfister guests and visitors. Currently, Parkes’ pieces can be seen at Gallery 224 in Port Washington, Wisconsin as well as in upcoming exhibitions a QuiltCon presented by the Modern Quilt Guild in Raleigh, North Carolina and Shift Change at Pacific Northwest Quilt and Fiber Museum in La Conner, Washington.

“I am thrilled to be working at The Pfister Hotel as the 15th Artist in Residence,” said Parkes. “I look forward to teaching handwork classes and continuing my practice of making Diary Quilts. Like any good diary, my work incorporates abstraction to hold secrets, goal setting to manifest dreams, and artifacts from daily life to tell stories. I’m eager to see what will unfold by shifting from the domestic realms of my home studio into the luxurious and friendly atmosphere of this treasured historic hotel.”

The Pfister Hotel’s Artist-in-Residence program hosts emerging and mid-career artists from Milwaukee and beyond in its lobby-level artist studio, enabling them to be at the forefront of Milwaukee’s growing art scene, and to share their work with the thousands of guests that visit the Pfister Hotel each year. Over its 15 years, the program has celebrated many diverse art forms, including fashion design, photography, painting and more. Through one-on-one visits, art receptions, gallery nights, tours and events, guests and visitors are invited to engage in each Artist in Residence’s creative process as they watch the evolution of their work firsthand. In addition to creating works of art for potential buyers and others, the Artist in Residence also creates a legacy piece during their residency that will go on permanent display at The Pfister Hotel, highlighting the mark they made on the hotel’s guests and associates.

For more information about Parkes and her work, please visit: www.heidiparkes.com.

For more information on The Pfister Hotel’s Artist in Residence program, please visit: www.thepfisterhotel.com/artist-in-residence.

To learn more about Marcus Hotels & Resorts and its properties, please visit: www.marcushotels.com.

About The Pfister’s Artist in Residence Program

Now entering its 15th year, The Pfister Hotel’s Artist in Residence program features a working art studio and gallery that is open to hotel guests and visitors. The program encourages the public to interact with the artist and witness the evolution of their art firsthand. Over the years, The Pfister has received national and international attention for its Artist in Residence program. Since 2009, the hotel has been named a member of the Alliance of Artist Communities, an international association of artists’ communities and residencies featuring a diverse field of more than 1,000 programs worldwide.

The program’s past artist include: Nicole Acosta (2023); Christopher T Wood (2022-2023); Nykoli Koslow (2020-2022); Rosy Petri (2019-2020); Stephanie Schultz (2018-2019); Margaret Muza (2017-2018); Pamela Anderson (2016-2017); Todd Mrozinski (2015-2016; Niki Johnson (2014-2015); Stephanie Barenz (2013-2014); Timothy Westbrook (2012-2013); Shelby Keefe (2011-2012); Katie Musolff (2010-2011); and Reginald Baylor (2009-2010).

About The Pfister Hotel
At more than 130 years old, The Pfister Hotel is one of the oldest and most prestigious hotels in the Midwest and downtown Milwaukee. Originally opened in 1893 by businessman Guido Pfister, it was the most lavish hotel of its time. The hotel’s storied elegance had faded following World War II, until 1962, when Ben Marcus, founder of The Marcus Corporation, purchased this grand hotel out of bankruptcy. The Marcus Corporation renovated and restored the hotel to its original glory, adding convention facilities, a parking garage and 23-story guest tower. The Pfister Hotel is home to the largest collection of Victorian art of any hotel in the world, as well as an award-winning Artist in Residence program.

Today, The Pfister Hotel continues its tradition of gracious service and impeccable style and has been recognized by AAA as a Four Diamond property for over 45 consecutive years. The hotel is also consistently recognized by top national industry and travel publications and associations, such as Condé Nast Traveler’s annual Reader’s Choice Awards as a Top Hotel in the Midwest. This exceptional property is a member of two distinguished hotel organizations, Historic Hotels of America and Preferred Hotels & Resorts. For more information, please visit www.thepfisterhotel.com and follow the hotel on Facebook and Twitter (@PfisterHotel).

About Marcus Hotels & Resorts
Marcus Hotels & Resorts owns and/or manages 15 hotels, resorts, and other properties in the U.S. The company’s distinctive portfolio includes city-center meeting hotels, upscale resorts, historic properties, and premium branded and independent first-class hotels. Marcus Hotels & Resorts is an approved operator for all major lodging brands. A leader in the hospitality industry since 1962, Marcus Hotels & Resorts creates asset value for hotel owners through its expertise in management, development and product repositioning. This includes hotel food and beverage concepts developed by its Marcus Restaurant Group, featuring premier brands such as Mason Street Grill, Milwaukee ChopHouse, Miller Time® Pub & Grill and SafeHouse® Restaurants. For more information, please visit: http://media.marcushotels.com and follow the company on Facebook and Twitter (@MarcusHotels).