Arts

Matthew Krusack

The Northwoods is home to its very own children's museum, a place where the interactive exhibits are designed to stimulate children's creativity.  But as WXPR's Emily Bright reports, it takes the efforts and creativity of an entire community to keep it running.

Cindy Thompson gets down on her knees to explain the rules of the Northwoods Children’s Museum to my two-year old.

“Okay my friend, look here. See this red line, and the red light way up high? What does red mean?

Natalie Jablonski / WXPR News

The watercolor artist Bjorn Bernstrom is well-known in his native Sweden for his landscape paintings.  Yet his style is somewhat different from traditional watercolor methods.   

It’s October when the trees outside are bursting with color, and Bjorn Bernstrom is painting an early autumn scene of a road curving into bright trees. A circle of students watches with rapt attention as he creates the trees with short stabbing motions of his brush. 

“What’s the difference between the way you paint and traditional watercolor technique?" I ask him.

Natalie Jablonski / WXPR News

The Director of Minocqua's Campanile Center of the Arts has died.

Woody Woodruff passed away Thursday morning at the age of 58.

Joseph “Woody” Woodruff is believed to have suffered  an apparent  heart attack early Thursday. Friends say it happened at his home in Minocqua, during his regular 4:30 a.m exercise routine.

 

Woodruff was well-known in the community as a business owner and Executive Director for the Campanile Center for the Arts.

 

Ann Sahlstrom

In the small town of Ewen in the Upper Peninsula, a wilderness art camp is well underway.  

It’s called the Visitors Center Artists Camp.  This week about fifteen artists are gathered for the camp’s first run.  They’ll be firing ceramics and pouring metal using simple and sustainable methods, and having an arts festival at the end of the week.  WXPR’s Natalie Jablonski sat down with two of the organizers behind the project to hear about how it began.  

  

Natalie Jablonski / WXPR News

Kids in Lac du Flambeau are working on a mural project this summer. The public art will be displayed on the side of the George W. Brown Ojibwe Cultural Museum.

About twenty five kids have spent the past month helping out on the mural project, which won a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. 

Greg Johnson is one of the project leaders.  He says he worked with the kids to design the mural. 

Natalie Jablonski / WXPR News

Five days of art workshops wrapped up today at School of the Arts in Rhinelander.  Classes ranged from poetry writing, to drumming, to painting with beeswax. It's an old art with a new following. 

Instructor Ashley Gordon is wielding a propane torch during this intermediate course in encaustics, or beeswax painting.  The heat fuses the layers of wax together, and fills the air with the distinct smell of beeswax candles.  Gordon says her love for encaustics is about more than just getting to play with fire.

Matthew Rethaber / WXPR News

The emerald ash borer is having a big impact on forest landscapes and some commercial interests, as it continues to wipe out ash trees in Wisconsin and other parts of the U.S.  It also threatens a traditional Native American style of basket weaving. 

It can be easy to forget that a wooden basket comes from a tree.    

Eagle River is hosting a long-running art show and sale this weekend.  About a hundred exhibitors will participate in the 42nd year of Artarama, the juried fine art event. 

Artarama chairperson Lori Hahn says it’s a competitive process to get into the show, and a committee tries to select a diverse representation of art forms.

“We jury the artwork in March, and we try to pick a number of artists in several different media.  It ranges from painters to potters, woodworkers, chainsaw carving, metal sculpture…” 

The Northern National art show opens next week at the Nicolet College gallery.  It features almost ninety works from artists around the country, including several from Wisconsin and the Northwoods.

Lac du Flambeau artist Christine Alfery says after moving to the Northwoods from Madison…she finds national shows like this one offer important exposure…and a chance to be inspired by other artists. 

Monie Shackleford / WXPR News

Miners Memorial Heritage Park in Ironwood, Michigan, unveiled a new art exhibit last weekend.  As WXPR Contributor Monie Shackleford reports, artists unveiled twelve temporary outdoor pieces along a one-mile trail called the Aurora Loop.  

The one mile loop winds through forests and meadows, and many of the art pieces have a natural theme and use natural materials.  When Amy Anderson heard about the plans for Art in the Park, she had an immediate idea of what she would create.

Pages