Art Along the Ice Age Trail

Art by Mary Lee Reineking

“The Tour,” as it has become known by local art appreciators, will once again capture the local landscape on the weekend of October 4, 5 and 6. Seven studios, all tucked into our forests and fields, will open at 10 each morning. As has always been the case, the organizers have tried to guarantee a profusion of colored leaves, cool fall weather, backed by bright sunlight and a dusting of scattered clouds.

This year’s three-day event will feature eighteen artists offering a wide range of work from paintings to ceramics. The tour will present an opportunity for appreciators of art to meet the artist in an intimate setting. While many of the exhibitors are local, others have come from around the country. This particular show and sale has, after these many years, developed a reputation for recognizably high-quality work.

This is a self-guided tour that can be followed by simply obtaining a readily available map and then driving along the charming, winding backcountry roads from studio to studio. Each studio is unique and delightful, and the home of a professional artist who is more than happy to discuss his or her work. Each studio will also have visiting artists displaying their work. There will also be a number of demonstrations including one involving leaves and the encaustic print process. 

 Paul Klein, one of the organizers, also noted that this year there was a notable feature of fish and rivers. "We very much enjoy sharing our wonderful community and would like to thank our supporters and sponsors for helping us get the word out. This year the Tour will be making a contribution to the nonprofit group "Friends of the Tomorrow/Waupaca River " as they seek to conserve and protect the river. Many of the artists feel a personal connection and draw inspiration from the Tomorrow as it runs through the heart of our local landscape. Water is such a universal bellwether of health and emotion"

Longtime participant Gene Reineking will be showing one-of-a-kind cast fish and Paul Klein will have a wide array of beautifully rendered lamps accessorized with handmade shades. Sometimes described as “The Whimsical Fish Guy,” Steven Palmer will have on hand a delightful creole of imaginative fishes. While the tour lost both Brenda Gingles and John Morser last year, some of their remaining work will still be available at a selected studio.

The Tour will bring to town a number of new participants this year with the addition Joe Kaftan, Win and Sandra Byers, Pat Kroth, and  Jeanette Payne. Joe Kaftan, arriving from Seattle area, will be bringing a dynamic display of glass mosaic featuring birds, fish and seaside settings. Win and Sandra Byers, both artists in clay, take independent paths. While Sandy works with porcelain, creating delicate sculptures, Win produces highly refined functional ware. Pat Kroth, from Verona, is the creator of colorful cloth quilting using contemporary design and a wild imagination. Ms. Payne fashions fine jewelry from silver, gold and anodized niobium.  (Niobium? Look it up!) All five of these artists are new to the show and, like the “legacy” artists, will bring excitement, innovation and, no doubt, robust conversation.

The organizers of “The Tour” suggest that those attending visit their website at where complete information is available. This year looks to be another standout adventure for the world of the annual studio tour featuring Art Along the Ice Age Trail.

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