Wausau’s Artrageous Weekend
Three-Site Community Art Extravaganza Is Back!
WAUSAU, WISCONSIN: This year’s 23rd-annual Wausau’s Artrageous Weekend, September 8-9, features a three-site visual arts celebration that continues to be north central Wisconsin’s biggest art extravaganza.
Three free weekend events – Art in the Park, Festival of Arts, and Birds in Art – offer distinct, complementary experiences, from artists’ demonstrations, displays, and sales to handmade crafts, children’s art activities, food, and entertainment. Free shuttle buses link the three cross-town sites that span the Wisconsin River. The art-packed weekend offers diverse, affordable art experiences, because all events are admission free and are linked by the complimentary, handicapped-accessible, shuttle bus service throughout both Saturday and Sunday, September 8-9.
- WESTSIDE: Art in the Park brings together the work of 120 juried artists and craft exhibitors from Wisconsin and neighboring states in Marathon Park’s East Gate Hall and historic Exhibition Building. Affordable art and hand-crafted items – paintings, prints, pottery, art glass, jewelry, woodcraft and carvings, furniture, and wearable art – make this a holiday shopping mecca; ATM available. Art in the Park also includes a children’s book reading, portraits and caricatures, a butterfly release, a free children’s art and craft area, and food and beverages sold by non-profit organizations. The Butterfly Release at 3 p.m. on Sunday, “Spread Your Wings for Art Education,” supports the Wisconsin Valley Art Association Art Scholarship Fund. Free admission. Saturday, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.; Sunday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
- DOWNTOWN: The Festival of Arts, at the recently renovated and enhanced 400 Block and along an expanded section of Third Street, presents work by 120 juried, national artists offering for sale a selection of their finest work. A lively lineup of instrumentalists and vocalists offers a musical backdrop from three stages in the heart of the festivities. Art enrichment for youngsters is encouraged in several ways: hands-on children’s art activities, the Young Collector’s Mart – where youngsters can purchase affordable fine art – and a scholarship silent auction to benefit area art students. Food and beverages, offered as fundraisers for more than a dozen non-profit organizations, provide refreshments for purchase throughout the weekend. Free admission. Saturday 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.; Sunday 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
- EASTSIDE: Back by popular demand for the opening of the 37th annual Birds in Art exhibition, the Woodson Art Museum presents Artists in Action featuring artists demonstrating how they paint, draw, and sculpt, Saturday, 9:15 a.m.-12:30 p.m., in the sculpture garden. Dozens of other Birds in Art artists will be in the galleries on Saturday morning to talk with visitors and to sign catalogues and posters. Browse galleries to see why birds, celebrated by some of the world’s most talented artists in an array of mediums, continue to inspire with their exquisite plumage, amusing poses, and majestic bearing. Opening day of the Birds in Art exhibition on Saturday, September 8 also marks the debut of the forty-three-painting collection, “Owen J. Gromme: An Enduring Legacy,” along with a re-created Gromme studio in the Woodson Art Museum’s new building addition gallery.
The Museum is a fitting, permanent home for the Gromme paintings, commissioned in 1965 by Marshall & Ilsley Bank for its new Milwaukee building and given to the Museum in 2011 by BMO Harris Bank. Gromme, a celebrated Wisconsin artist, is recognized as the “father of Birds in Art” for his role in organizing the Woodson Art Museum’s inaugural exhibition. Always free admission. Special opening-weekend hours: Saturday, September 8, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.; Sunday, September 9, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. Birds in Art remains on view through November 11.
Note: Free handicapped-accessible shuttle buses between all three locations run every 15 minutes or so from 10 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. from designated locations. Visitors can catch a bus that goes to Marathon Park and the Museum at the southeast corner of the 400 Block at Fourth and Jefferson streets. A bus that goes to the Museum and returns downtown can be boarded at Third and Franklin streets.
For additional information contact the Woodson Art Museum at 715-845-7010, the Festival of Arts at 715-842-1676, and Art in the Park at 715-581-1484 or log on to www.lywam.org, www.wausaufoa.org, or www.wivalleyart.org.