Spring into artThe Fresh Art Tour is the opportunity to have an art adventure in one of nature’s remaining unspoiled regions, the area between the rivers, the villages of Pepin and southern Pierce County. The homes, studios and galleries, some formerly old farms and their out buildings, have been made into spaces of beauty. The gardens, some groomed by master gardeners, are blooming and charming.
The Fresh Art Tour is the opportunity to have an art adventure in one of nature’s remaining unspoiled regions, the area between the rivers, the villages of Pepin and southern Pierce County. The homes, studios and galleries, some formerly old farms and their out buildings, have been made into spaces of beauty. The gardens, some groomed by master gardeners, are blooming and charming.
The Fresh Art Tour is May 18-20.
Jean Accola and Linda Day are artists who have been a part of the tour since its beginning – and now the two help organize and jury in new upcoming artisans.
“It really has evolved over the years,” Accola said.
Noting the Fall Art Tour has typically been the superior event of the two, she added.
“We realized the spring is an underappreciated time over here with wild flowers and hillsides of color and there wasn’t quite as much traffic as the fall — we thought it would be the way to go,” she said.
And with 14 sites on the list, the number is largest in the history for the spring.
Many of the artists purchased country farmsteads when they were cheap, moving here in the 1970s with a back-to-the-land intention, organizers said. Now a thriving art scene includes Pepin, Stockholm, Maiden Rock, Durand, Arkansaw and Plum City and the rural areas they serve.
With theaters, music, artists, writers, a film festival and more - it may in fact have more to offer in the arts than St. Paul and Minneapolis, per capita, Accola and Day speculated. The many art events that are offered draw tens of thousands from the larger cities and towns and opportunities grow each year.
One of the tour sites is Myklebust-Sears’, which will offer a range from Andrea Myklebust’s homespun wool creation to architectural designs mocked up for work to be done at locations like airports, colleges, the capitol.
At the Maiden Rock Inn – where owners Gary and Jennifer Peterson have transformed a once worn-down school into a bed-and-breakfast inn, guest artist photographer and videographer Celeste Nelms will display works.
“Even if the site is the same as past years, the guest artists are different,” Accola said.
For more information, visit the website at www.freshart.org or call 715-672-8188 for more info.
What you can see and where
What to find: Jean Accola’s continuing collection of paintings and artist-made books along with an extraordinary exhibit of wildflower paintings by Harold Crowell.
Where: Highway 25 and Second Avenue East, Durand
Regular hours: Wednesday-Saturday 10 a.m.-5 p.m. from mid-April to mid-January or by appointment
More info: 715-672-8188 or www.accolagallery.com
What to find: Visit Linda Day and Bruce Dunlap in their funky rural home and studio and see some fun new work: pottery, paintings and birdhouses.
Where: W9012 Pottery Lane, Arkansaw
Regular hours: Open year-around by appointment
More info: 715-285-5692 or www.lindadayclay.com or www.bruce-dunlap.com
What to find: Functional stoneware for kitchen and garden. Stroll the lovely gardens, unusual perennials for sale. Guest artists include Barbara Andersen and Art Gannett from Little Plum Pottery.
Where: W9977 Goatback Road, Pepin
More info: 715-442-3506 or www.stockholmpottery.com
Old Courthouse Museum
What to find: Historic Courthouse Museum features one-of-a-kind original wall art and accessories with botanical themes, “painted” with textiles by Pepin County native guest artist Jane Foos. Demonstrations of fabric paintings will be held Sunday May 20.
Where: 315 W. Madison St., Durand
Regular hours: Open seasonally and any time by appointment
More info: 715-672-5709 or www.oldpepincountycourthouse.org
BNOX Gold and Iron
What to find: An eclectic gallery with exceptional regional artisan-made jewelry. Featured artist Katia Olivova is Czech born and her designs are nothing short of sculpture that you can wear.
Where: 404 First St., Pepin
Regular hours: Friday-Saturday 11 a.m-9 p.m., Sunday noon-6 p.m. Thursday and Monday 11 a.m.-7 p.m. from Labor Day through Memorial Day
More info: 715-442-2201 or www.bnoxgold.com
T & C Latané
What to find: When you walk through the Latanés’ door you are on a journey to a previous century in which useful items were skillfully designed and made by hand. Tom and Catherine will give demonstrations producing decorative original metalwork in old-world styles using traditional hand techniques. Guest artist is wood-turner Roger Abrahmson.
Where: 412 Second St., Pepin
Regular hours: Friday-Saturday noon-6 p.m. from May to December,
or by chance or appointment
More info: 715-442-2419 or www.spaco.org/latane/TCLatane.htm
Lake Pepin Art & Design Center
What to find: The Lake Pepin Art & Design Center is a comprehensive cultural center serving the people of the Lake Pepin region. The current exhibition is “Art of the Lake” open from May 11 to June 17.
Where: Second and Main, Pepin
Regular hours: Friday 2-6 p.m., Saturday noon-6 p.m., Sunday noon-4 p.m.
More info: 715-442-4442 or www.pepinartdesign.org
Smith Bros. Landing
What to find: Wrought iron yard art and garden sculptures with fused glass components in outdoor metal designs.
Where: 200 E. Marina Drive, Pepin
Regular hours: May 1 to Nov. 1, 8 a.m.-8 p.m.
or by appointment
More info: 715-442-2248 or www.pepinsmith.com
Hilsgen Family Farm
What to find: Visit the farm where practical is artistic. Find gourmet cheese, hand-woven rugs, pure beeswax candles, homemade soaps, heirloom tomato/vegetable plants. Featured artist is Darrel Chopper Bowman making quiet, confident, useful stoneware pottery made to bring beauty to your life’s everyday rituals, especially preparing, sharing food and drink. Guest artist is Devon Johnson making jewelry from salvaged material.
Where: W3104 190th Ave., Maiden Rock
More info: 715-448-2050
Gail Pommerening Studio
What to find: Gail’s painting, “Summer Dew,” is the 2011 wine label winner for the Danzinger Vineyard in Alma, Wis.
Where: N944 133rd St., Plum City
Regular hours: Home studio open by appointment, Art & Soul Gallery in Alma open seasonally
More info: 715-448-2049 or www.artbygail.com
Pepin Farm Pottery
What to find: Welcome to the bluff top studio and gallery, gardens and woodland walk with views of Lake Pepin. Featured artists include Bill and Linda Sumner - fiber artists who create wall art inspired by nature using handmade paper and wool. Guest artist are potters Judy and Larry Thoreson.
Where: W3706 110th Ave., Maiden Rock
Regular hours: Open by appointment
More info: 715-448-3300 or www.pepinfarmpottery.com
Flaming Fire Art Studio
What to find: Nature and tile unite at this rural studio creating unique art tiles and sculptures. Gardens and poultry abound. Demonstrations will be ongoing Saturday and Sunday for clay extruding, slab rolling, hand-building and printing in clay, also nature printing with featured artist Sue Fiblin.
Where: N3002 County Road CC, Maiden Rock
Regular hours: Open by appointment
More info: 715-647-2159 or www.flamingfireartstudio.com
Maiden Rock Inn
What to find: Artistically, meticulously renovated from the 1906, 16,000 square-foot Maiden Rock Schoolhouse into an exceptional bed and breakfeast, Wine Bar and Event Centre. Find wine, beer and real fine food. Featured artist is photographer and videographer Celeste Nelms.
Where: N531 County Road S, Maiden Rock
Regular hours: Open year around
More info: 715-448-2608 or www.maidenrockinn.com
Myklebust & Sears Studio
What to find: Check out work in progress on Myklebust & Sears’ large scale public art with handspun yarn, fleeces, spinning wheels and fiber tools. Guest artist Leslie Stewart will have landscape artworks in oil and pastel.
Where: N3049 Nelson Lane, Stockholm
More info: 715-448-2074 or www.myklebustsears.com