Wednesday, Dec. 28th, 2016
Thursday, Dec. 22nd, 2016

City Reviews 3-D Concepts of Cannery District

Uncanny Cannery concept (A conceptual drawing of the proposed Cannery Park).
Uncanny Cannery concept (a conceptual drawing of the proposed Cannery Park).

Plans are beginning to coalesce for the Cannery District, the former industrial area on the west bank of the Chippewa River in downtown Eau Claire. This week, the city’s Redevelopment Authority – which owns much of the property in the neighborhood, which lies roughly north of Madison Street – reviewed conceptual models of the proposed development. According to Downtown Eau Claire Inc., Ayres Associates of Eau Claire worked with the RDA to create three-dimensional animations of the area. Included in these concepts, one of which is shown here, are potential road layouts; a vision for future commercial and residential buildings; a large, multiuse neighborhood park just south of the High Bridge; and a neighborhood park and bike trail along the Chippewa River. A final report – including more conceptual details and images – is expected from Ayres in January. “We’re excited to have this conceptual design and animations of the Cannery District for showing the possibilities of development,” said Mike Schatz, the city’s economic development director. City of Eau Claire staff members are currently working to implement plans for infrastructure and parks improvements in the Cannery District. These improvements are expected to take several years to complete as funding is available.

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Watch Bon Iver's Pioneer Works Concert on NPR

Earlier this month, Bon Iver performed a breathtaking set at Pioneer Works, a 25,000 square foot ironworks warehouse turned art space in Brooklyn, New York, and NPR was right there to capture the whole thing. Pioneer Works is made up of artist studios, exhibition and performance spaces, a science lab, a recording studio, and more – and Bon Iver frontman Justin Vernon is active as an advisory board member.

The hourlong performance swung between choppy electronic new cuts on the band’s Grammy-nominated new album 22, A Million, peppered with hushed oldies, all washed under an epic light show and astral iconographic visuals. Or as NPR put it, it was "a transcendent night of voices masked, faces hidden in darkness and a performance aimed at soul-searching and purpose over pop and stardom."

Today, NPR finally released a video of the complete performance which you can watch right here:

Pioneer Works Concert Set List

• "10 d E A T h b R E a s T ⚄ ⚄"
• "33 'GOD'"
• "Heavenly Father"
• "29 #Strafford APTS"
• "Beach Baby"
• "666 ʇ"
• "715 - CRΣΣKS"
• "Calgary"
• "22 (OVER S∞∞N)"
• "8 (circle)"
• "Minnesota, WI"
• "____45_____"
• "Creature Fear"
• "00000 Million”

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Monday, Dec. 19th, 2016

Ink & Paper 2016: Just a Few More Weeks

There are so many more artists in the Chippewa Valley than the ones whose work is displayed at our local galleries. Volume One’s Ink & Paper print sale is designed to showcase local art and allow artists to sell their work to tons of people at an affordable rate (usually $15-$60). For this year’s sale, with our co-sponsor Powertex, we’ve got an army of artists offering over 340 different pieces of 2D work. The Volume One Gallery is chock full of prints of all sizes for you to sift through and grab for yourself or as a gift for one of your loved ones. The sale includes screen prints, woodcuts, mono-prints and other traditional print forms, as well as quality digital prints of illustrations, photos, and more.

For full details visit The sale runs through Jan. 7, 2017.

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Tuesday, Dec. 13th, 2016

Eau Claire Releases Tour Videos

A still from the city's new
A still from the city's new "Connected Neighborhoods" video.

Following several months of planning and filming, you can now view a series of community 'tour videos' focusing on Eau Claire. According to the city, these videos aim to display Eau Claire's unique attributes, highlighting things like quality of life, educational opportunities, our neighborhoods, recreational opportunities, the arts, the downtown area, healthcare facilities, and the city's music scene.

The brief videos (11 in all) are available on the City of Eau Claire’s website right here. You'll notice plenty of familiar visuals, and even a number of familiar individuals like Michael Perry.  

The City of Eau Claire Economic Development staff worked with CGI Communications of Rochester, New York to produce the videos.

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Now Hiring: Graphic Designer

Volume One, the Chippewa Valley’s growing media, retail, and event company (and 2016 Chamber of Commerce Small Business of the Year award winner) is seeking dynamic graphic design talent for a full-time position. Collaborate with editors, programmers, photographers, and other professionals to create interesting and important local projects at a creative-friendly organization that places a high priority on visual aesthetic. Learn more ➜


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Local Gingerbread Sculptor Redefines Holiday Tradition

ARK DE TRIOMPHE. Eau Claire’s Adam Sieth enters his elaborate gingerbread works of art in an annual national competition. His creations have included Noah’s ark (right) and a hungry frog (above).
ARK DE TRIOMPHE. Eau Claire’s Adam Sieth enters his elaborate gingerbread works of art in an annual national competition. His creations have included Noah’s Ark.

Gingerbread isn’t just for Christmas anymore. Just ask Adam Sieth: For the past three years, the Eau Claire artist has been turning gingerbread into impressive sculptures and works of art. A real estate agent by trade who also paints with oils, he got into working with gingerbread after watching a story on Good Morning America about the National Gingerbread House competition in North Carolina.

Earlier this year, Sieth joined fellow gingerbread artists at his third Gingerbread House National competition in Asheville, North Carolina.

Adam Sieth
Adam Sieth

The Gingerbread House Nationals are a big deal among serious gingerbread sculptors, kids and adults alike. There are 100-plus entries every year, Sieth says. In the adult category, monetary prizes are awarded to placers, including a $5,000 grand prize. They also have a $1,000 “Furthest Traveled” prize, which Seith won at last year’s competition. 

His sculptures mix playfulness, originality, and a dash of humor. One piece imagines Santa’s summer vacation with a Wisconsin twist, depicting a day on the lake. Rudolph sits on an innertube while old St. Nick pulls him on a speedboat.

“All of my gingerbread sculptures have had some sort of water involved in them, but it’s not intentional,” he notes.

Sieth doesn’t limit himself to holiday themes. He draws on everything from Bible stories to swamps when looking for inspiration. Last year, he sculpted a gingerbread frog on a log. This November, he made an edible version of Noah’s ark for the Gingerbread House Nationals.

He has his artistic process down to a science. He creates color and texture in his pieces with 100 percent edible materials, including colored icing and Jell-O. The little figurines adorning the gingerbread structure are molded from gum paste – pretzels keep them standing. Each sculpture usually takes months to complete.

Sieth transforms gingerbread construction from a childhood activity to a grown-up art form. His edible sculptures put typical gingerbread houses to shame. We’re just hungry to see what he does next.

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Thursday, Dec. 8th, 2016

LOOK: Chippewa Riverfront Project Takes Shape

The Chippewa Riverfront project. Make it big. Photo: Green Oasis by Greener Grass Systems, Inc.
The Chippewa Riverfront project. Make it big. Photo: Green Oasis by Greener Grass Systems, Inc.

Whoa! Take a look at the progress on the Chippewa Riverfront project in Chippewa Falls. This photo, taken December 1, provides a good look at the full scope of the project and the dramatic changes taking place. The city hopes the new multi-faceted, riverfront venue will inspire community residents and visitors to gather downtown to enjoy a variety of activities.

According to the Chippewa Falls Department of Parks, Recreation & Forestry, here's what we can expect ...

It will include a large stage with lighting, ground level and slightly raised seating areas, support facilities, trails, fountains, walkways, fishing areas, picnicking shelters, benches, a winter skating ribbon, and public restrooms. (An additional restroom is currently under construction.) The entire park will offer WiFi access.

• Amphitheater for small gatherings and seating for more than 3,000
• Fishing pier and water access for fishing, boating, wildlife viewing
• Canopy cover and a pergola for sun and shade control
• Pavilion for staging events, shows and concerts with full electrical
• Attractively landscaped downtown entryways and parking areas
• Connections to regional trails
• A skating ribbon
• Bike facilities, Wi-Fi, trailheads, picnic facilities, signage, benches
• Parking for 2,000 within one half of a mile
• Enhanced water features and shoreline restoration

The complete project should be able to accommodate a wide array of events, such as outdoor festivals; farmers and other specialty markets; non-profit fundraisers; concerts; plays; art shows; weddings; social gatherings; reunions; music of all types; water events; tube launches; movies in the park; date and family night programs; and more.

Whew! That's a lot of community engagement. What you see in the photo represents the project's first phase of development. Fundraising for Phase 2 is underway, which will add the amphitheater, the stage/canopy, recreational trails, restrooms, an entry plaza, pavilions, and more. Phase 2 is slated to happen throughout 2017 and 2018.

You can learn more and find the project's huge FAQ document here.

Chippewa Riverfront conceptual art. Make it big.
Chippewa Riverfront conceptual art. Make it big.

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Tuesday, Dec. 6th, 2016

Bon Iver Nominated for 2 Grammys (along with some guy named David Bowie)

Justin Vernon performs with Bon Iver at the Eaux Claires Music & Arts Festival, August 2016.
Justin Vernon performs with Bon Iver at the Eaux Claires Music & Arts Festival, August 2016.

For the outstanding work of 22, A Million, Eau Claire’s own Bon Iver is yet again nominated for a couple Grammys, one for Best Alternative Music Album and another to the band and visual artist Eric Timothy Carlson for Best Recording Packaging.

Bon Iver and Justin Vernon are no stranger to the music industry awards show, as the band was nominated for four and won two – for Best New Artist and Best Alternative Music Album – in 2012 for Bon Iver, Bon Iver. 

In the Best Alternative Music Album category, Bon Iver’s up against the likes of Iggy Pop, Radiohead, PJ Harvey, and the late David Bowie. 

The 59th Annual Grammy Awards show will be held on February 12 at the Staples Center in Los Angeles and televised live on CBS.

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We Made a Downloadable Huebsch Site Plan So You Can Daydream

Crews razed the century-old Huebsch Laundry building on November 29.
Crews razed the century-old Huebsch Laundry building on November 29.

In the wake of demolition crews ripping down the old, dilapidated Huebsch Laundry building at the corner of N. Dewey and Galloway Streets, many are wondering exactly what (new owner) JCAP Real Estate has in store for the property – one the nicest parcels of build-able riverfront land to remain in downtown Eau Claire.

People had been daydreaming about remodeling that building for decades but now, with such a clean slate, there's room for bigger dreams. As we reported last week, JCAP is considering a mix of commercial space and condos. They even have an initial site concept detailing three new buildings.

But is that what you'd do? What other ideas do you have? Heck, even Justin Vernon has been sketching/tweeting about the property. If Vernon can dream, why can’t we?

The Volume One World Headquarters sits right across the street, so we're understandably very curious about what will rise from the Huebsch ashes.

What About You? Download a Blank 'Huebsch Property' Site Plan!

Even if you don’t own the land, we’re betting you have your own idea (or twenty*) as to what should happen with one the city’s most interesting development properties. In that spirit, we’ve prepared a handy downloadable PDF showing the former Huebsch site. Print if off and start sketching. Your hard work and vision may have zero effect on the final project, but it’s fun to brainstorm, right?

And hey! If you like what you draw, snap a picture and post it to Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram, adding #v1riverfront

*Yes, we know you’d love a French bistro overlooking the river. Any other ideas?

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