Tuesday, September 18, 2018

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Listen up: Yellowstone Art Trail expands offerings for fifth year

The free, self-guided art tour this Friday and Saturday features nine locations, demonstrations and giveaways

  • Arneson-Jean-090218

Editor’s note: Listen Up is a Q&A featuring locals in the arts and culture community.

This week: JeanArneson, an artist from Cadott and organizer of the Yellowstone Art Trail. The self-guided art tour runs 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday and Saturday at nine locations throughout northwest Wisconsin.

What is the Yellowstone Art Trail? 

The Yellowstone Art Trail is a free, self-guided art tour in its fifth year.

We’ve simplified the route a bit this year because with only the nine location, it’s easier to hit all of them in one day. So now we have more artists at each location. We have artists giveaways — each artist has items to give away so you can sign up to win one of those. We have brochures with maps available at various locations or on our website, yellowstonearttrail.blogspot.com.

I think we have a nice selection and wide variety of art. We meet earlier in the spring to have a show-and-tell so we can see what other artists are doing because we have to be in our studios and don’t get to see other artists during the trail. We have people making birch bark baskets, stained glass art, pottery, fiber art, handmade rag rugs, handmade jewelry. 

Stops such as the Cadott Area Historical Society (639 N. Highway 27) and ZBCJ Bohemian Hall (26054 135th Ave., Cadott) have guest artists and also give tours of their buildings.

What’s new this year?

We wanted to add some extra features to celebrate our fifth year, so we’re having free family-friendly art workshops for soap making, jewelry and paper crafts from 12:30 to 3:30 p.m. Saturday. There also will be free face painting for kids and adults.

Those workshops are at Nazareth Sudio/​Institute of St. Joseph (31340 Highway MM, Boyd) — it’s the number nine stop on the tour. 

We’ve added a few new artists and a few new businesses this year. And we have a few artists who have been with us all five years who are still adding new pieces.

What will you be displaying on the art trail?

I will be in my home studio, and I will have original oil paintings for sale. I’ll also have some notecards and a couple other odds and ends. My daughter, Jaimee, does wood burning, so she’ll have some items as well and she also does furniture.

What do you enjoy about being part of this event?

It’s really a lot of fun the days of the tour when you get to met the people who come out on the art trail, and meeting the artists and just seeing the quality and talent and skill that goes into their work. 

A lot of the artists are really active in the community and give demonstrations during the tour as well.

It’s really enjoyable. It’s a grueling effort putting it all together, but in the end it pays off to have fun and meet people that come out. We always have positive comments on quality, affordablity and scenery. 

Why do you think people should partake in the trail as viewers?

Just the amount of talent right around our own area. Even neighbors of mine, I didn’t even know they made things and they wanted to be in the art trail. 

It’s kind of fun, people like to get out and take a little road trip, go around little towns and see different places, meet different people. It’s fun to bring in people from outside the area and also for local people.

How did the art trail begin?

A lot of art trails popped up over the years and that’s how we got inspired, thought we could do that ourselves. A couple ladies, René Rickle, Kathy Sedlacek and myself, got together and decided we’ve been going to these art and craft things for years and wanted to do something ourselves. I wanted to establish it as a fine art event more than a craft sale because there are so many around. 

The Yellowstone Trail goes right through these communities and Highway X is where the Yellowstone Trail was in the 1900s. We thought that was perfect. 

We have artists from Chippewa Falls, Eau Claire, Bloomer, Holcombe, Thorp, Colfax, Cadott and Boyd area and one each from Fall Creek, Wisconsin Rapids and Marshfield. 

Would you like to add anything else?

If people are looking for something to do, get out and take a few friends, hop in their car and follow the Yellowstone Art Trail. We have new signs that are brighter and easier to see so that should help people follow the route. 

— Katy Macek

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