Four of Wisconsin’s fascinating art environments have got a great event for artists coming soon. Actually the Wandering Wisconsin Plein Air Competition has something for everyone, regardless of whether you are an artist, would like to learn or just enjoy the outdoors and unique hidden places. Spend an August weekend.
The painting competition is for artists of all ages. Two sites will host the event on August 10 and 11 and the other two on August 17/18. For those who’d like to learn or hone their skills, there will be work
shops on painting in the Plein-Air style on the same-size canvas. For experienced painters, there’s a competition with cash prizes; no entrance fee. Work must be on postcard-sized canvases/boards (4” X 6”) and feature facets of the host environment. Artists can bring their own materials and materials will be provided if you need them.
On August 10th and 11th you can visit Nick Engelbert’s Grandview near Hollandale in Iowa County or James Tellen’s Woodland Garden near Sheboygan. Grandview is a beautiful rural site, almost equidistant between New Glarus and Mineral Point on Highway 39 in southern Wisconsin. The Tellen site is nestled in the woods in the town of Wilson just south of Sheboygan.
The next weekend’s events will be at the Painted Forest in tiny Valton in Sauk County and Fred Smith’s Wisconsin Concrete Park in Phillips. Just the drive to Valton is worth the time – it is a secluded, gorgeous place well off the beaten path (check your Gazeteer!). The Wisconsin Concrete Park is known to many as the granddaddy of Wisconsin’s art environments, and includes over 200 outstanding sculptures created by lumberjack Fred Smith, who once said, “It’s gotta be in ya’ to do it.” Isn’t that the truth?
The competition starts at 8:00 am Saturdays and ends on Sunday at 4 pm. Judging will occur Sunday at 4:00 pm. Each environment has a slightly different twist in schedules so contact them in advance if you need to be sure of something.
Nick Engelbert’s Grandview, 7351 State Highway 39, Hollandale, WI (Iowa County, 9 miles east of Mineral Point). Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
James Tellen’s Woodland Sculpture Garden, 5634 Evergreen Drive, Sheboygan, WI, Email email@example.com
Ernest Hupeden’s Painted Forest, Painted Forest Drive, Valton, WI (just east of Cazenovia), Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Fred Smith’s Wisconsin Concrete Park, N8236 Highway 13, Phillips, WI, Email: email@example.com
Each site will award three prizes each for three age groups: Children up to 13 (first prize is $50), young adults 13-18 (first prize – $150) and adults (first prize – $300). Better yet, photographs will be taken of each event’s winning entries and automatically entered in a statewide competition with the same prize categories and amounts.
Workshop schedules vary a bit so contact the sites. Grandview will have a workshop in the morning each day – a great experience for the kids. Two sites offer camping but all have lodging nearby if you want to make a weekend of it. Grandview will feature the Moo Grass String Band from 4-6 pm on Sunday August 11th – bring a lawn chair and your favorite beverage. Snacks will be available.
For more information and competition guidelines contact the individual sites or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Wandering Wisconsin is a program of the Wisconsin Art Environment Consortium, a group representing nine art environments, including the Carl Peterson Garden, Dickeyville Grotto, Rudolf Grotto Gardens and Wonder Cave, Paul and Matilda Wegner Grotto, and the Prairie Moon Sculpture Garden and Museum.
And it’s all free, how about that? Thanks to sponsor the Kohler Foundation you can bring a carload to this family event and have the neighbors join you.
The Wandering Wisconsin Plein Air Competition has something for everyone – fun for the whole family! And it’s a great way to become acquainted with some of Wisconsin’s unique treasures, which you’ll want to visit again and again.
Rick Rolfsmeyer, Hollandale, WI (pop. 288)