“Cultural Currency” Opens at the Woodson Art Museum

Wausau, Wisconsin: It’s used every day – some people don’t give it a second thought, while to others, money means everything. Money can make us feel a certain way, behave a certain way; it can allow us to travel the world, or to never leave our home – it’s more than the paper, coins, or plastic that we hold in our hands. So, what is the real meaning of money? Cultural Currency: Contemporary Art from the Riemer Collection, explores the innovative ways artists use money as a medium to expand its worth beyond a given denomination. The exhibition is on view March 4 – June 4, 2023.  

Each of the artists featured investigates preconceived definitions of monetary value, meticulously repurposing bills and coins into exquisite, precise artworks. Cultural Currency asks viewers to consider how the definition of currency can be reshaped into a multifaceted object steeped in meaning and intrigue. The collection is the passion of Louise Rothman-Riemer, who grew up in Wausau, and Davis Riemer, investment advisers from Oakland, California who began collecting money-themed art in 1995 to encourage new attitudes toward money’s intrinsic value. 

Several artists also have Wisconsin roots including one who held a residency at the Woodson Art Museum in 2019 – Mark Wagner was born and raised in Marathon County and creates intricate collages made from deconstructed U.S. Dollars. He’s not the only Cultural Currency artist from Wisconsin – C.K. Wilde, Stacey Lee Webber, Tim O’Neill and Kelli Hoppmann also have ties to the Badger State.


Program Highlights:   

  • Thursday, March 9, 10:30am – Noon

SPARK! – Cultural Currency: Adults with early-to-mid-stage memory loss and their care partners gather for interactive, guided experiences in the Cultural Currency galleries followed by hands-on art making inspired by observations and conversations. Register online or call 715.845.7010

  • Wednesday, March 22, 1-3 pm

Making @ The Museum – Currency Inspired Collages: Stop by the Museum’s classroom to create collages that incorporate designs and motifs found on money

  • Thursday, April 13, 5:30 – 6:30 pm

Guest Artist Talk: Through his work, artist C.K. Wilde poses the questions “what is value?” and “what is valuable?” Re-examining perceptions of agency, worth, and sociocultural perspectives informs and inspires Wilde’s studio practice. Learn more about Wilde’s process and why money remains his preferred medium for creating art centered on social justice and narrative

  • Friday, April 14, 2 – 4 pm

Open Studio & Conversation: Observe visiting artist C.K. Wilde at work in the Museum’s classroom studio. Engage in conversations on representation, inclusion, history, and creative community while watching a currency collage take shape

  • Saturday, April 15, 1 – 4 pm

Mini Workshop – Connecting to Community through Collage: Themes of identity, place, and history are at the core of C.K. Wilde’s art making. Participants are invited to make collages relating to personal narrative and the social, natural, and cultural histories of north central Wisconsin. By sourcing and utilizing meaningful materials like images, maps, and print media, participants will learn Wilde’s techniques and conceptual approaches to collage. Registration required; fee: $25 for museum members, $40 for non-members. Register online or call 715.845.7010

  • Sunday, April 16, 1 – 2 pm

Gallery Conversations: Stroll the Cultural Currency galleries with C.K. Wilde as he highlights favorite artworks and shares insights from the perspective of an artist making from money

  • Saturday, April 29, 1 – 2 pm

Money Matters Gallery Walk: Join collectors Louise Rothman-Riemer and Davis Riemer, investment advisers from Oakland, California, for a walk-through of their money-themed collection. During this afternoon gallery stroll, they share insights and stories about Cultural Currency’s artworks

  • Saturday, May 6, 10:30 am – Noon

Art Beyond Sight – Cultural Currency: Individuals with low vision and blindness explore Cultural Currency via a multisensory gallery experience led by Museum educators. Time in the galleries is followed by guided art making in the Museum’s classroom studio. Register online or call 715.845.7010

  • Wednesday, May 24, 1 – 3 pm

Making @ the Museum – Imprints & Impressions: Drop-in to the Museum’s classroom to create and combine image transfers through coin rubbings and currency-inspired stamps to produce unique mixed-media illustrations


For more information on these programs, events, and our exhibitions visit www.lywam.org, e-mail the Museum at info@lywam.org, call 715-845-7010, and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Always admission free.

Woodson Art Museum

Hours: Tuesday – Friday                                9am – 4pm
              First Thursday of each month             9am – 7:30pm
              Saturday – Sunday                              Noon – 5pm
              Closed Monday & holidays
Phone: 715.845.7010
Location:  700 North Twelfth Street, Wausau, Wisconsin 54403-5007
Online:  www.lywam.org


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