WRAP SESSION: Wis. Regional Art Program Exhibit Slated for Heyde
for the first time ever, regional program comes to Chippewa Valley
A long-running program to foster emerging, nonprofessional, and student artists across the state will hold an exhibit in Chippewa Falls for the first time in its 82-year history.
The Wisconsin Regional Art Program exhibit will be on display between Oct. 13 and Nov. 18 at the Heyde Center for the Arts in Chippewa Falls. This regional WRAP exhibit will be hosted by the Valley Art Association, a network that connects artists from around the region.
Val Naber, chairperson of the local event, said she was pleased that so many entries came from local artists of all kinds: There were 99 entries from about 58 different artists, she said. Mediums include photography, fiber art, metal, glass, and pierced fabric, as well as oil, acrylic, and watercolor painting, plus much more.
“We did our homework and reached out, and I think that’s why we got the response we got,” Naber said of the organizing effort for the first-time event. Those who entered include Naber herself, who paints on porcelain with watercolor.
The WRAP program traces its roots to an effort to promote the arts in rural Wisconsin during the Great Depression. The first exhibit was held at UW-Madison in 1940, and over the years it has expanded to encompass annual regional exhibits around the state that feature more than 600 works of art annually. Of these, about 200 receive awards that allow them to move on to an annual state exhibit.
The local WRAP exhibit has multiple goals: In addition to giving nonprofessional artists an opportunity to exhibit their work, it helps them network with each other and offers an opportunity for statewide recognition.
Regional exhibits are being held this year at various locations, including Madison, Fond du Lac, Wausau, Beloit, Waunakee, Antigo, Wautoma, Eagle River, and now Chippewa Falls.
“What’s unique about the WRAP program is there’s no other state that has such a program,” Naber said.
The local WRAP exhibit has multiple goals: In addition to giving nonprofessional artists an opportunity to exhibit their work, it helps them network with each other and offers an opportunity for statewide recognition. While the show is not juried, it will be judged by Amanda Bulger – an art lecturer and Foster Gallery director at UW-Eau Claire – who will choose some entries for awards.
In addition to the WRAP exhibit, which is open to all artists 18 and over, the Valley Art Association is also hosting a Statewide Teen Art Mentor Program (STAMP) exhibition, which is open to student artists between the ages of 13 and 19. (The registration deadline for STAMP closes on Oct. 1. Follow this link for details.) The STAMP exhibit will run at the Heyde Center at the same time as the WRAP exhibit.
Several events are being held in conjunction with the exhibits. A public reception with artists will be from noon to 4pm on Saturday, Nov. 5, and will feature awards, music, and a silent auction. Artists and members of the public alike will be able to hear a presentation by Alan Servoss, a longtime Chippewa Valley-based professional artist, who will speak about “How to Achieve Unity in Your Art” from 3-5:30pm on Thursday, Nov. 3, at the Heyde Center (the presentation is free for artists who took part in the exhibits and $5 for everyone else).
A number of other public workshops for children and adults are planned for Oct. 29 and Nov. 5. See www.cvca.net/events for more information.
And while this year’s exhibit has yet to open, plans are already in place to bring WRAP back to Chippewa Falls in 2024.
“Part of the idea of this is to keep artists creating and give them venues to show their work and get their name out there,” Naber said.