Returning to Places that Resonate

By: Amy Beck, marketing and communications manager on October 10th, 2018

After an anniversary get-away to Door County, I’m reflecting on the powerful pull of place, what resonates, and why we return.

Some vacationers return repeatedly to the same spots, but our family has a penchant for roaming, variety, and seeing new sights.

Perhaps that’s why – long before becoming Wisconsinites – our interest in returning for a vacation in this state was unusual for us. Twenty years ago marked our first and only other anniversary excursion to Door County and our first time in Wisconsin. Smitten by its beauty, we brought our kids back several years later for a vacation exploring the state, convinced then that if we ever had the opportunity to move here, we’d take it.

In 2007, we did so. Visiting the Woodson Art Museum during Birds in Art opening weekend that fall – three years before I joined the Museum staff – made us glad we’d decided to move to Wausau. Because I was so impressed, effusive comments and TripAdvisor reviews don’t surprise me. I recognize the awe expressed and am delighted anew.

Visitors’ comments reveal that many travel to the Museum from beyond Wisconsin as part of an annual migration to see new Birds in Art artwork, fall foliage, and nature’s beauty – both in the region and in the galleries via artwork from the Museum’s collection focused on art of the natural world.

The Woodson Art Museum continues to be ranked #1 on TripAdvisor’s list of “things to do in Wausau.” Here’s a sampling of recent reviews:

    • A Small Piece of Heaven
      We love birds, we love birds in art. The Woodson was perfect for us. We loved the beautiful grounds, stunning building, and magnificent displays. The Birds in Art exhibition took our breath away, several times. Several of the artists were known to us, many others are now on our radar. We hope to return, again and again. I almost forgot to mention, it’s free!!!


    • Annual visit
      The museum itself is outstanding, but the Birds in Art exhibition is even more outstanding. Each year this is one event we look forward to. World class artists and birds. A great combo! A must for birders!!


    • Magnificent birds!
      What a wonderful place to visit!! The building itself is well cared for and beautiful. The 2018 Birds in Art exhibition runs through November 25 and is well worth seeing. The museum is full of bird paintings. Truly an amazing place. Don’t forget to check out the charming animal sculptures in the garden and the willow seat enclosure. A must see if you love birds! Oh, and it’s free. Just enjoy.


    • Birds in Art, Artists in Action
      We drive to Wausau to see Birds in Art every year and we love this museum, which keeps getting better all the time. This year we came early for the opening weekend, to hear Master Artist Cindy House speak, mingled with the large crowd which included many artists whose works were in the galleries, plus several who demonstrated and discussed their works. Birds in Art 2018 is an amazing exhibition. The Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum puts tons of effort into this world class annual event. Wausau’s Artrageous Weekend is over but Birds in Art goes into November so go yourself if you can. We came back on Sunday afternoon when the Museum was not crowded to take some more time to view Birds in Art, plus two other exhibitions we had skipped on Saturday. One huge room of bird ‘portraits’ from their permanent collection (which must be amazing!) and several dozen serigraphs by Anne Senechal Faust, who we also love. The Woodson Art Museum is always free! They close at 4pm on weekdays, 5pm on weekends. I didn’t mention the lovely sculpture garden on the grounds. The Museum is located in a residential neighborhood on the east side of town. At present there’s not much road construction so getting in and out of Wausau is fairly easy these days. Pretty soon the colors will be changing and there’s still a lot of trees in that part of the state. That would make for a beautiful drive and enhance your experience; on your way home you might see the landscapes differently. But even if you go when its cold gray and the leaves have blown, treat yourself and prepare to be charmed. This place is a gem.

Visit the Woodson Art Museum soon – always admission free – to discover what sparks your imagination and interest in migrating to the Museum, returning throughout this fall and many seasons to come.

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