On March 30th, the L.E. Phillips Memorial Public Library hosted its 44th annual Wisconsin ArtsWest Exhibition. They hosted their first in-person reception for this exhibition since 2019. It was installed in their newest addition – the art gallery. The exhibition space is gorgeous, contemporary, and well-lit. The evening began with a public reception followed by an awards presentation with introductions from John Qualheim, member of the library’s art committee and Library Director Nancy Kerr. As the juror, I had the opportunity to say a few words and to recognize the artists that were present. I loved the energy, pride, and appreciation that I felt.
This exhibition brought 171 entries from 104 from Wisconsin with works ranging from paintings to photographs, glass to sculpture, mixed media works to watercolor, and so much more. It was refreshing to see a wide range of art that provided me with a glimpse of what is being created throughout the state. I am always interested in learning more about Wisconsin artists and this exhibition introduced me to many that I was not aware of. I liked that.
Selecting works for this exhibition took a fair amount of time viewing submissions, absorbing an array of subject matter, media, and processes, and crafting a narrative that ties them together. This resulted in a roster of artists whose artwork mirrors what other artists are creating in other Wisconsin regions. Looking through a regional lens provided me with a benchmark that presented a pathway for connection and curiosity leading to what this exhibition presents – an exhibition that brings people together to celebrate the visual arts.
Featured artists are Daniel Atyim, Katina Lamm Bauer, Jamie Bowers, Steven Brown, Quentin Brown, Brianna Capra, Susan Carey, Kay Geraghty, Patricia Hawkenson, Mary Hermanson, Marlin Hostvet, Wendy Ike, Holli Jacobson, George Johnson, Steve Johnson, Rachel Kaatz, Sheri Klein, Ellen Mahaffy, Jeff Nelson, Ross Nordquist, Don Olson, Michael Peterson, CV Peterson, Denise Presnell, Dennis Robert, Scott Robertson, Heidi Schreiner, Russell Semerau, Anders Shafer, Barbara Shafer, Colleen Shore, Rachel Urban, Madilyn Vetter, Jori Viana, Scott Von Holzen, Bruce Warren, Tracy Wicklund, Kimberly Williams, Ashley Wittling, and Timothy Young.
Images by Artdose Magazine
Top Row: Best of Show – Ashley Wittling (Chippewa Falls), “Duality”; First Place – Don Olson (Chetek), “Whiplash Lake”; Second Place – Ross Nordquist (Eau Claire), “Dali Table”. Middle Row: Third Place, Madilyn Vetter (Eau Claire), “You’re A Broken Record”, Honorable Mention: Denise Presnell (Sheboygan), “It Is What It Is”, Honorable Mention: Dennis Robert (Milwaukee), “Helipora”. Bottom Row: Honorable Mention: Sheri Klein (Menominee), “Ancient Doorways 2022”, Honorable Mention: Jamie Bowers (Eau Claire), “Breezin””, Honorable Mention: Mary Hermanson (Eleva), “Omega Point”.
If you go:
Wisconsin ArtsWest 44
Ends May 23, 2023
L.E. Phillips Memorial Public Library
400 Eau Claire Street
Eau Claire, WI 54701
Did you know that they have a call for artists? Click here for info.