It’s May and that means the Rising Star Mill in the Village of Nelsonville is planning the 32nd Annual Art Show and Sale on May 25 from 10 to 5, and May 26 from 10 to 4. The Mill, now on the National and State Historical Registers, produces the show to kick off the summer season of fundraisers, which support the historic building. The show is family friendly and is a great destination to celebrate the Memorial Day weekend. Admission is free, and sandwiches and sweet treats are available in the Mill’s Feed Sack room. You can tour the mill and enjoy its unique architecture, visit friends while sitting on the recently established deck overlooking the Tomorrow River, and watch the artists as they demonstrate their talents or even participate in producing your own artwork!
This year, it’s exciting to feature twelve “new to the show” local artists.
Karen Dostal of Custer is a rug weaver but also weaves what she calls market baskets. “I hope people will use them for shopping local foods at farmers’ markets,” said Dostal.
Deana Hammel lives on a farm in the Town of Lanark. She’s a wool and silk fiber artist who uses eco-felting and eco-printing to create unique home and personal items. She works with heritage and rare breeds of sheep and processes the fibers from fleece to final creation by hand. Eco-printing uses leaves, flowers and bark to print and color a variety of silk and silk/wool textiles creating on-of-a-kind creations.
Jaime Konopacky of Plover, a wire and gemstone jeweler, was in Quartzsite Arizona when she discovered her love for beautiful stones. A friend made a pair of earrings for her and inspired Konopacky to start making her own jewelry pieces. Her first pair of earrings used copper wire and when her inventory expanded, she tried a few shows and her business, ColorMeHappy, was born.
John & Joe Makovec are a father-son woodworking team from Iola. Old Truck Woodworks started in January 2017, right before Joe’s 17th birthday. Neither one has any formal training and are pretty much self-taught. They have 2 vintage lathes dated 1947 and 1957 to turn vessels. They get almost all their wood in Wisconsin, a lot from right outside Nelsonvile
Charles McConkie of Custer became interested in creating remarkable water patterns using simple copper materials in the early 1990s. His first forays were basic geometric figures. He originally concentrated on learning how water patterns are created and the effectiveness of different designs. He later became enamored with creating realistic-looking copper flora and now his daughter, Maia Johnson, has joined him in making the pieces. Function with form is at the heart of his creations, made of 100 percent copper excluding the sprinkler parts, creating beautiful functional art for gardens and lawn.
Brooke Newman, of Stevens Point, is the daughter of UWSP Art department alumnae. She grew up in the Southwest and the simple, bold desert colors and Native American art forms inspire her paintings. In 2010, after deciding to change careers, she enrolled at UWSP, declared an Art major and graduated in 2016 with a BFA degree. Her artwork garnered her a Festival of the Arts award as a senior in 2015.
Carol Stewart Tully and husband, Janeau Tully, are from Stevens Point. Carol is a graduate of Layton School of Art in Milwaukee and has won numerous awards for her paintings and has work in several galleries throughout the state. Jan was an art major at UWSP; he is an avid fly fisherman of forty years and hand ties a wide spectrum of lifelike flies and bugs...”to fool the fish,” he says. Before retirement, they owned and operated Stoney Birch Studio in Wisconsin Rapids, a custom frame shop and art gallery.
Andrew Williams, Stevens Point, graduated from UWSP with a degree in graphic design. He produces one-of-a-kind art that ranges from multi-media tribal/relic-type art to wood and metal furniture that are intended to test the boundaries of artistry, form and function.
Shane Zach of Stevens Point is a self-taught carver from central Wisconsin. His true passion is jade carving and he travels the world to distant countries to find it. Every carving and design is an original, from concept to paper to the carving. “I take great pride in being able to create something beautiful for others to appreciate.”
Returning to the show this year are: Troy Abey – wood; Selene Bloedorn-Saeed – hand crafted goat-milk soaps & lotions, locally grown wool, yarns and fiber items; Jeanne Chase – painting; Joe Clark – raku pottery; Bob Cline – carved cottonwood; Linda Durrant – art quilting, fabric baskets, fiber; Bud Eagon – lathe demonstations; Brenda Gingles – fine jewelry; Marsha Haynes – photo cards and unique walking sticks; John McDonald and Margy Kettle – metal garden art; Roxine Kabowski – horse themed wire jewelry; Marge Krogwold – loom made rugs and antique loom demonstration; Gary Landowski – ceramics; Jim McKnight – watercolor paintings; Ashley Megal – ink drawings and printed t-shirts; Mary Therese Murphy – silk fusion; Kathryn Negaard – paper on metal jewelry and paintings; Linda Packer – needle felted fiber; Wayne Reineking – carved and turned wood pieces; Robert Rosen – photography; Karin Sieg – colored pencil drawings; Sue Semrow – weaving and loom demonstration; Clark and Sarajane Snyder – art baskets, wood carving and dyed silk scarves; Toni Starr – paintings and jewelry; Elise Thornton – willow and birch bark baskets; Nancy Thorson – watercolor and collage/mixed media; and Lori Woldt – hand crafted fine metal jewelry. With so many artists, in a wide range of mediums, there’s something at this show for everyone that attends.
The Rising Star Mill is owned by the Portage County Historical Society, a non-profit organization, and is maintained by the volunteers on the “Mill Committee”. All proceeds from booth rental fees, refreshment sales, and retail sales fund the annual maintenance expenses.
Please join us for a fun filled two-day art festival!