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Guest Artists

Since 1999, the Woodson Art Museum has presented dynamic artist residencies filled with workshops and programs for students, educators, area artists, and visitors of all ages. Artists – who often lead a workshop, presentation, or demonstration, along with other programs during their artist residencies – offer insights on diverse mediums through public programs and site-specific installations, providing firsthand experiences with passionate and knowledgeable creators.

Who’s Up Next

Quilter Pat Gaska, Saturday, January 12, 1 – 4 pm 
Illusion Quilts Workshop: Pat Gaska, author of Visual Illusion Quilts, guides adult participants through patterns that create dimension and depth in quilts and the construction of a small block that may be the starting point for your next work of art. Fee: $35 for members; $50 for nonmembers. Call to register; supply list shared upon registration.


Professor Emily Ward, Saturday, January 26, 1 – 2 pm
Seeing & Not Seeing: Investigating the Foundations of Perception 
Why do we often perceive things that don’t actually exist, while sometimes failing to perceive what is plainly in sight? Join Emily J. Ward, University of Wisconsin-Madison assistant professor and director of the Visual Cognition Laboratory as she discusses the cognitive science of visual perception.



Professor Shiela Reaves, Thursday, February 7, 5:30 – 6:30 pm
Art 101: Understanding the Art of Vision
Parts of the brain that help us see objects and connect them to what we believe them to be are referred to collectively as the visual brain. Increased visual multitasking and stress from digital technology are changing our visual brains, impacting our ability to interpret visual experiences such as optical illusion. Shiela Reaves, professor and director of Undergraduate Studies in the Department of Life Sciences Communication at the University of Wisconsin- Madison and a member of the UW-Madison McPherson Eye Research Institute, shares her research surrounding the intersections of neuroscience and the visual brain.


Recent Guest Artist Programs

Artist Josh Guge, Thursday – Sunday, November 1 – 4 
During his residencyBirds in Art artist Josh Guge, an experienced instructor and sculptor, led two carving workshops November 2-4 and 16-18 and a public Art 101 presentation and carving demonstration.


Photo by Kelly Hsaio

Artist Jane Kim, Friday – Sunday, November 9 – 18
Artist, science illustrator, and founder of Ink Dwell – a studio designed to inspire people to love and protect the earth, Jane Kim specializes in creating large-scale public installations.  During Jane’s Woodson Art Museum residency, school groups and Museum visitors observed Jane as she worked on her large, commissioned painting onsite, RGB(ird), which illustrates how bird feathers get their color. She also led a Birds in Art gallery walk, offered a full-day scientific illustration workshop for teens and adults, and presented an evening program about her work and artistic process.


Author Michelle Houts, Thursday, September 20, 5:30 – 6:30 pm 
Count the Wings: Behind the Charley Harper Biography
Learn about artist Charley Harper’s life and beguiling artwork of birds and animals that defined his signature style: minimal realism. Michelle Houts, author of Count the Wings: The Life and Art of Charley Harper for readers ages 9 and up, shares insights designed for nature and art enthusiasts of all ages. A book signing follows; books available for purchase.


Artist Kris Parins, Tuesday – Sunday, October 2 – 7 
Wisconsin native and Birds in Art artist Kris Parins shares her expertise and enthusiasm for watercolor during this residency, guiding area students through hands-on painting in the Museum’s classroom and engaging visitors during public programs. Parins demonstrates her distinctive watercolor-pouring technique during an evening Art 101 program; teens and adults can try their hand at the process during a weekend studio workshop.


Writer Ronnie Hess, Friday & Saturday, October 12 & 13
Journalist and poet Ronnie Hess shares her creative writing and passion for owls during a public reading and creative-writing workshop on Saturday, October 13, 9 am – Noon; call 715-845-7010 to register.


Artist Federico Uribe, Saturday, June 2, 1-2 pm

Gallery Walk with Federico: Visitors saw the world through the eyes of artist Federico Uribe as he led a walk amongst his vibrant, inventive sculptures animating the galleries.
Screenprinting with Artist Anne Senechal Faust, Friday – Sunday, June 22 – 24
Teen & Adult Workshop: Friday, June 22  4 – 7 pm, & Sat. & Sun., June 23 & 24 10 am – 4 pm
Teens and adults joined Birds in Art Master Artist Anne Senechal Faust for a three-part workshop dedicated to the art of screen-printing or serigraphy. With Anne’s guidance, participants created original, two-color serigraphs in an edition of ten.

Photographer Ian Plant, Saturday & Sunday, May 12 & 13
Area photographers and outdoor photography enthusiasts are joined Ian Plant for weekend public programs and a photography class, complementing the Woodson Art Museum’s traveling exhibition Rarely Seen: Photographs of the Extraordinary, which includes Ian’s photograph of Wisconsin ice caves.


Author & Illustrator Eric Rohmann Residency, Tuesday – Sunday, April 3 – 8
Caldecott award-winning artist Eric Rohmann shared his passion for children’s illustrated literature during residency visits with over 300 area students and public programs. Eric’s teen/adult programs included relief printmaking and visual storytelling workshops.


Artist and Author Mary Fons in Residence, Friday – Sunday, January 19 – 21
Quilter, designer, writer, and television personality Mary Fons shared her love of quilt design and history during workshops and programs.



Support for the Mary Fons residency is provided through the Community Arts Grant Program of the Community Foundation of North Central Wisconsin, with funds provided by the Wisconsin Arts Board, a state agency, the Community Foundation, and the B.A. & Esther Greenheck Foundation.


Wisconsin Valley Woodturners, January 4 and 6

Thursday, January 4, 5:30 – 7 pm, Art 101/Hands-On Art: Wisconsin Valley Woodturners demonstrated and discussed woodturning techniques, answered questions, and invited participants to try their hand at the lathe. Saturday, January 6, 1 – 3 pm, Art Park Open Studio: Wisconsin Valley Woodturners shared their enthusiasm and expertise as they guided participants in basic woodturning techniques.

Glass Vignettes with Artist Ricky Bernstein, Saturday, December 2, 1 – 2 pm
Sculptor Ricky Bernstein described the inspiration, designs, and production process for his whimsical, large-scale glass sculptures, like his site-specific artwork Destined for the Stars created for the Woodson Art Museum, on view beginning December 2.


Lessons from Birds Lost with Author B.J. Hollars,
Saturday, November 18, 1 – 2 pm

Author and University of Wisconsin- Eau Claire English professor B.J. Hollars led conversation on conservation and read from his book, Flock Together: A Love Affair with Extinct Birds. Materials in the Museum’s collection aided Hollars in his research for Flock Together.


Rachelle and Wes Siegrist Artists Residency, Sunday – Friday, October 28 – November
Tennessee-based Birds in Art artists Rachelle and Wes Siegrist are internationally recognized for their paintings on small canvases, usually less than nine square inches. Drawing upon their experiences as artists and instructors and their admiration for nature, the Siegrists incorporate the centuries-old traditions of miniature artwork into their twenty-first-century practices. During their residency, the husband-and-wife team worked with visiting students creating miniature watercolor paintings and presented public demonstrations, presentations, and a workshop for teens and adults.

Photo by Mike Roemer

Wisconsin Poet Laureate Karla Huston, Saturday, October 21, 1 – 2 pm

Words Take Flight: Poetry & Conversation: Wisconsin’s Poet Laureate Karla Huston shared avian-themed poetry and led conversation in the Birds in Art galleries.


Master Artist Don Rambadt in Residence, Thursday – Sunday, October 12 – 15

This fall, Master Artist Don Rambadt worked with Wausau East High School art and technical education students to develop original sculpture designs for fabrication in the school’s metal workshop. During his residency, Museum visitors observed his working process during a public demonstration or try their hand at small-scale metal sculpture in a three-part workshop for teens and adults. 

Backyard Birdscaping with Author Mariette Nowak, Thursday, September 28, 5:30 – 6:30 pm
Mariette Nowak, author of Birdscaping in the Midwest, discussed native plants that attract, shelter, and feed birds to enhance backyard birdwatching; following her talk Mariette offered a book signing.

Convergence: Where Art, Writing, and Conservation Meet, Thursday – Saturday October 5 – 7
Visitors explored the intersection of the arts, humanities, and natural sciences with environmental stewardship through programs featuring writer and outdoorsman John Gierach, plein-air painter Bob White, photographer Mike Dvorak, forest ecologist Alan Haney, and conservation biologist Eric Anderson. Through public presentations, art making, a panel discussion, and gallery conversation, these guest artists, authors, and scientists asked participants to consider varied ways to understand, appreciate, and protect the natural world.

Native Birds of Cuba with Author Nils Narvarro, Thursday, September 21, 5:30 – 6:30 pm
Cuban ornithologist Nils Navarro, author of Endemic Birds of Cuba: A Comprehensive Field Guide, offered a window into the colorful and diverse species of birds found on his native island. This program was supported in part by the Natural Resources Foundation of Wisconsin.

Raku with Reineking: Teen & Adult Three-Part Workshop
Saturday, June 24, 10 am – 4 pm; Saturday, July 8, 9am – Noon; Sunday, July 9, 10 am – 4 pm Wisconsin sculptor and ceramist Gene Reineking lead participants in a three-part Raku pottery workshop inspired by artwork on view in Contemporary Japanese Ceramics. The first session focused on hand-forming ceramics, followed by glazing in Part 2 on Saturday, July 8, 9 am-Noon, and firing during Part 3 on Sunday, July 9, 10 am-4 pm.

Student Artist Molly Hassler, Thursday, June 15, 10:30 am – Noon
Exercise Your Imagination: Textile Marbling Adults ages 60+ joined specially trained student artist Molly Hassler to explore creativity – through textile marbling – in a supportive environment. Molly is part of the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee’s Student Artist in Residence (SAIR) Program, created by Professor Anne Basting, a 2016 MacArthur Fellow. Funded by Bader Philanthropies, the SAIR Program pairs art students with organizations serving older adults to provide intergenerational connections and creative engagement through workshops. Anne Basting states, “Research shows that engaging in the arts in late life, as a beginner or lifelong artist, has multiple benefits for health and well-being. It has been a joy to watch both generations thrive in this program.”

Woodblock Printing, Saturday, April 8, 10 am – 4 pm AND Sunday, April 9, 10 am – Noon
Inspired by M.C. Escher’s early woodblock prints, participants designed, carved, and printed woodblock prints with guidance from printmaker and paper artist Shannon Pueschner and Museum educator Catie Anderson during this two-part studio workshop.

Artist Robin Lauersdorf, March 4, 25, and 26
Wisconsin artist Robin Lauersdorf draws inspiration from the artwork of M.C. Escher to create his precise yet whimsical drawings featured in Illustrating Illusion: Drawings by Robin Lauersdorfon view through May 28. Robin led dozens of visitors through his exhibition on Saturday, March 4 and offered a two-day drawing workshop for area teens and adults Saturday and Sunday, March 25 and 26.

Nicholas T. Kondoprias, Thursday, March 23 Noon – 1 pm OR 5:30 – 6:30 pm
During his M.C. Escher: Reality and Illusion gallery walks, Nicholas T. Kondoprias shared stories about Escher’s life and artistic career. Nicholas T. Kondoprias is a partner at PAN Art Connections, Inc. which organized the M.C. Escher exhibition.

Professor Catya von Karolyi, Saturday, March 18, 1 – 2 pm
Recognizing impossible figures, like those found in Escher’s artwork, has been associated with artistic talent and also with dyslexia. During her March 18 lecture, University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire psychology professor Catya von Karolyi presented research about these relationships and discussed the importance of nurturing visual spatial abilities in the classroom and with children at home.

Woodland Glass Arts, Thursday, February 2, 5:30 – 6:30 pm and Wednesday, February 15,12:15 – 1 pm
During their Art 101 programs, Denis and Janine Daniels of Wausau’s Woodland Glass Arts, illuminated the stained glass studio process from start to finish. Visitors learned that whether beginning with a commission or a concept, designing elaborate stained glass pieces for architectural windows or decorative lampshades requires precision and planning. Judy Shumway, January 6/7 & January 13 /14
Glass artist and instructor Judy Shumway, co-owner of The Glass Garden studio in Janesville, offered two beginning stained-glass workshops beginning Friday evening and finishing up on Saturday afternoon, where participating teens and adults created a small hanging window panel.Lindsy Parrott, Saturday, December 3, 1 – 2 pm lindsy-parrott_neustadt-glass-archive-copy
Lindsy Parrott, director of The Neustadt Collection of Tiffany Glass and Tiffany Glass exhibition curator introduced visitors to the exhibition, offering a Saturday afternoon program on the methods, artisans, and materials that made Louis Comfort Tiffany and Tiffany Studios American art icons.Ecologists Alan Haney and Eric Anderson, November 3 and 16


Dr. Eric Anderson and Dr. Alan Haney

During two November Art 101 presentations, University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point College of Natural Resources emeriti professors Alan Haney and Eric Anderson presented research on the uncertain biodiversity of the northern Midwest in the face of climate change and other human-caused disruptions.

Museum Programs Supported by
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