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Contact: Susanne Thiede-Barnet, 608-242-8895
Get Out Of Everyday and Into Art!
Wisconsin offers attractions, activities and events that help travelers relax, have fun and focus on creativity
(April 27, 2010)—For many travelers, vacations are about kicking back, relaxing and just tuning out. For others, travel is all about learning, experiencing and engaging in the places they’re visiting. Many travelers connect with the places they visit through art.
Whether you want to see great art, improve your own artistic skills or see beautiful landscapes that inspire you to create great art, these Wisconsin destinations are the places to be.
If you’re looking to really immerse yourself in the visual arts, West Bend is the place to go. Throughout Historic Downtown West Bend, visitors will find dozens of pieces of sculpture as part of the West Bend Sculpture Walk. In Regner Park, a Labyrinth Garden Earth Sculpture invites you to travel along its interwoven pathways. To clear your mind, take a stroll along the scenic Riverwalk, which follows the course of the Milwaukee River, providing wonderful waterscapes and idyllic scenery.
Once you’ve had enough outdoor art, head indoors to the Museum of Wisconsin Art. The museum is home to the largest collection of work by Wisconsin artists ever assembled. See paintings, drawings and sculpture by hundreds of Wisconsin artists, including the world’s largest collection of works by Milwaukee-born, Munich-trained painter Carl Von Marr. Less than an hour from Milwaukee, West Bend is one of southwest Wisconsin’s best kept secrets.
Northern Wisconsin is home to hundreds of talented artists and craftspeople. Woodworkers, weavers, potters, painters, fiber artists, photographers, metalworkers and glass-blowers—all call northern Wisconsin home. Many of these artists moved to the area for the very same reasons tourists flock to the area—the lakes, forests, abundant wildlife and a laidback way of life.
In an effort to share their work and talents, artists from Oneida, Price and Vilas counties have put together a series of art-related events, called Artists Interactive, including art classes, hands-on demonstrations and a number of exhibits to share their talents and work with visitors and residents. Events are scheduled throughout the region from May 1 through the end of the summer.
The classes and demonstrations are a fantastic way for travelers to learn some new skills and enjoy the natural beauty of the Northwoods. Art-loving visitors to the Northwoods should also check out the weeklong School of the Arts, held each summer in Rhinelander.
A Landscape Painters Paradise
In the mid- to late-1800s, the landscapes of Wisconsin’s Mississippi River region were among the most celebrated in the United States. Even though the majority of the country’s population still lived in the easternmost states, the citizens of the young nation took great pride in the natural beauty and spectacular vistas of the faraway places reported to them by explorers and travelers heading to the West.
Places like Lake Pepin, the confluence of the Wisconsin and Mississippi rivers near Wyalusing and Trempealeau Mountain were written about by everyone from William Cullen Bryant, Henry David Thoreau and Mark Twain. Colored engravings and prints of Mississippi River vistas hung in living rooms throughout the U.S. But by the late 1800s and early 1900s, as settlers began moving into the western states in great numbers, images and travel accounts of places like Yellowstone, the Grand Canyon and the Rockies captured the imagination of Americans. The lush, placid landscapes of the Upper Mississippi River region were replaced by images of Crater Lake and Monument Valley.
But those same scenes that so engaged American’s of the past are still alive and well today. Often, first-time travelers along the Wisconsin Great River Road are awe-struck by the incredible beauty of the area. From the numerous bluff-top overlooks, one gets a sense of the fertility of the soil and the rich variety of the landscape. For a beginner landscape painter or seasoned professional artist, overlooks like Buena Vista in Alma and Maiden Rock in Pepin County and natural areas like Potosi Point and the Trempealeau National Wildlife Refuge, provide diverse subjects for painting.
And if you’re preferred subject matter is picturesque village scenes, you’ve also come to the right place. Many of the buildings in the 33 river towns were built in the mid- to late-1800s.
Learn more about all West Bend has to offer by visiting www.wbachamber.org.
View video profiles of Northwoods artists and find classes, exhibits and demonstrations by visiting www.artistsinteractive.org.
For more information on scenic overlooks and other interesting sights along the Wisconsin Great River Road at www.wigreatriverroad.org.
For more information on these and other art-related activities and destinations in Wisconsin, contact Susanne Thiede-Barnet at 608-242-8895 or [email protected].