Among the most important and successful components of the Woodson Art Museum’s role in our community is hosting visiting artists, who work with area school children, families, and adults as well as those who travel to Wausau for these opportunities.
A great example of the positive impact that visiting artists can provide for local audiences recently occurred during “Artists in Action” demonstrations, which took place during the Birds in Art opening weekend. Artists Karen Bondarchuk, Spencer Tinkham, Larry Barth, Tom Hill, and several others demonstrated their processes for audiences in the Museum’s outdoor sculpture garden. While Artists in Action is a once-a-year occurrence, we host visiting artists year-round.
For more than twenty years, residencies have almost exclusively occurred in the Museum’s classrooms in the lower level. Although functional, the spaces were neither built nor outfitted to accommodate certain processes. We have creatively hosted workshops and residencies featuring wood burning, quilting that required many sewing machines, and even limited welding and wood bending.
To ensure a purpose-built space for such activities going forward, the Museum is constructing a “Glass Box Studio.”
The approximately 2,200 square-foot structure will be constructed just southeast of the Museum’s main building, on a now-vacant lot the Museum acquired in 2016. Designed by The Samuels Group, and to be built by The Samuels Group and area subcontractors, the Glass Box Studio will be one of a kind in our region.
If you drive past the lot, you will see extensive work going on and the beginnings of the Glass Box Studio’s foundation. The building will be ready and open to accommodate visiting artists in summer 2023. We look forward to welcoming visiting artists to the Glass Box Studio along with all those who wish to engage in hands-on art-making opportunities.
While there is something special about Artists in Action being located outside, under a tent on those crisp September afternoons and mornings during the Birds in Art opening weekend, I have a hunch that next year, a demonstration or two also will take place across the street.