This summer, we created a Minnesota Art Map that showcased some of the best art attractions throughout the state. Now, we turn to our neighbor to highlight the arts of Wisconsin. Enjoy!
Dragonfly Studio is the personal studio of Sara Balbin. Her work is strongly influenced by her surroundings of northern Wisconsin, her Cuban-born heritage, and her long association with the local band of Ojibwa. Balbin’s large public sculptures are well known in the Cable area of Northern Wisconsin, but she also creates smaller figurative steel sculptures. Dragonfly Studio is open by appointment.
An artist studio and gallery, Accola Gallery is located in a small farm town of western Wisconsin. The gallery began thirty years ago by Jean Accola, who paints primarily Midwestern landscapes using watercolor, oil, and acrylic. Accola occasionally hosts events and offers watercolor classes.
3. Eau Claire
Eau Claire Regional Arts Center
The Eau Claire Regional Arts Center is the hub for the arts in the Chippewa Valley, which aims to enrich the lives of the people in the community. The Arts Center is a downtown destination for community members and visitors, hosting local performances and traveling shows. In addition to the performing arts, the Arts Center has a focus on the visual arts, with the Janet Carson Gallery on the main floor of the center. Additionally, the center has community supported art events and workshops.
4. Spring Green
House on the Rock
The House on the Rock is a unique attraction located between the cities of Dodgeville and Spring Green. Known by many by its inclusion in Neil Gaiman’s American Gods, House on the Rock is a museum-like collection of antiques and oddities. The house sits atop Deer Shelter Rock, a 60-foot rock column in which eclectic exhibits and objects fill the space. The House on the Rock began in 1945 when Alex Jordan wished to build a retreat upon a rock. This would evolve into a destination attraction of unusual and fascinating exhibits.
Madison Museum of Modern Art
Located right downtown, the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art (MMoCA) is an independent organization of modern and contemporary art. After a 105-year history of living in borrowed spaces, the MMoCA opened to the public in 2006. The exhibitions of the MMoCA have included some of the most renowned artists of the last century. The museum has three galleries, as well as a rooftop sculpture garden. MMoCA offers a range of educational opportunities, such as lectures, films, tours, and panel discusses, as well as classes and workshops for children.
Chazen Museum of Art
Located on the UW-Madison campus, the Chazen Museum of Art collects, preserves, and exhibits works of art while supporting the teaching, research, and public service mission of the university. The Chazen originally opened as the Elvehjem Art Center in 1970 and was renamed in 2005 in honor of a gift of expansion that doubled the size of the museum. The Chazen contains the second-largest collection of art in the state of Wisconsin with more than 20,000 works of art. The museum presents temporary exhibitions on a regular basis. Additionally, the museum offers educational programming for college students, K-12 classes, and community members of all ages.
Center for the Visual Arts
The Center for the Visual Arts (CVA) works to engage the people of Wausau in the arts, adding to the vibrance of the community. The center does so through free exhibits in its three professional gallery spaces, art classes for child and adults, selling original artwork, and collaborating with other local organizations. CVA was established over 30 years ago when local watercolor artist, Rita Crooks, recognized a need for art education beyond what was provided in school.
ArtStart is a group of volunteers with a passion for art who have created an arts center in the historic Federal Building of downtown Rhinelander. The City of Rhinelander purchased the building from the government for just $1 and began leasing it to ArtStart. The non-profit organization aims to strengthen the community through the arts, providing workshops, events, and exhibitions to the community.
8. Green Bay
ARTgarage aims to develop an appreciation and increase participation in the visual, performing, and literary arts. The ARTgarage was created by local artists who wanted to continue making art in a studio after finishing art school at UW – Green Bay. The organization has developed to include several gallery spaces, numerous workshops, and a performing arts venue.
Abler Art Glass Gallery
Since 1976, Abler Art Glass has been providing glass services to the Midwest, both in creation and restoration. Abler works with stained, leaded, etched, fused, painted, enameled, and hand blown glass. Additionally, Abler has two art galleries and a glass blowing studio that are open to the public.
Haggerty Museum of Art
The Haggerty Museum of Art is located on the campus of Marquette University in Milwaukee. As a teaching museum, the Haggerty’s programming and exhibitions offer many learning opportunities. Aiming to strengthen the academic and creatives sides to the students, faculty, and Milwaukee community, the museum exhibits a wide range of art that represent various periods and media. The Haggerty presents about 8-9 exhibitions a year that represent the diverse works found in the permanent collection. In addition to working with college students, the museum works collaboratively with local elementary and middle schools to design youth educational programs.
David Barnett Gallery
The David Barnett Gallery is one of Wisconsin’s finest art galleries, with a broad range of works that include more than 600 artists. The gallery has a specialization in European and American masters, emerging Wisconsin artists, regional and nationally acclaimed artists. Additionally, the gallery includes work from Latin American, Asian, and African American artists. The David Barnett Gallery also provides appraisals, art consultation, restoration/conservation, framing, and installation services.
Milwaukee Art Museum
The Milwaukee Art Museum is home to 30,000 works of art and welcome over 400,000 visitors each year. What opened as Milwaukee’s first art gallery in 1888 has grown to be arguably the most important art institution in the state. The collection of the museum is extensive and comprehensive, which ranges from antiquity to present day, and is particularly known for its collection of American decorative arts, American art after 1960, German Expressionism, folk art, and Haitian art. Additionally, the museum has one of the largest collections of work by Georgia O’Keefe, a Wisconsin native. The museum completed a six-year, $34 million renovation and expansion project in November 2015.
Racine Art Museum
Racine Art Museum is home to the largest collection of contemporary craft in North America, which is comprised of more than 8,000 objects from national and international artists. RAM aims to raise the statute of craft art to fine art, presenting works of glass, metals, ceramics, polymer, and wood alongside sculpture and painting. The exhibitions at RAM emphasize the ideas behind the artwork rather than focusing on media categorization. The museum also offers a variety of arts education programs, including community outreach and studio art classes.
Anderson Arts Center
The Anderson Arts Center was originally a private residence mansion that now functions as a multi-functional, full-service arts center. The space displays over 25 art exhibitions each year, featuring a variety of local, national, and international artists. The center has a particular focus on supporting the creativity of young artists, with the entire West Wing dedicated to displaying artwork by students in the area. Anderson also offers art campus in the center, which includes classes in painting, sculpting, fiber art, drawing, puppet making, and cartooning.