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Architectural attractions add allure to art tour

Tom Latane did joining work on the timbers of the McIllrath Barn renovation. (Submitted photos)1 / 2
A watercolor by Jean Accola of the 19th Century one-room schoolhouse, Little Plum Schoolhouse, one of the tour sites.2 / 2

BAY CITY--The Fall Fresh Art Studio Tour, now in its 15th year, features 15 artists’ studios and galleries open to the public when the leaves are most colorful.

Artists will demonstrate their techniques, and show and sell their work, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Friday-Sunday, Oct. 4–6.

Throughout Pepin and Pierce counties in scenic Western Wisconsin, in and near the Villages of Pepin, Stockholm, Maiden Rock, Durand, Ella, Plum City, Arkansaw and Bay City, artists are tucked into the coulees and hills looking as though Mother Nature’s streak of Abstract Expressionism painted the maples in vibrant orange, reds and yellows.

Accompanying nature’s display, the artists’ studios and galleries will be a true inspiration. A number of the artists who participate in the tour have turned structures such as barns and old, abandoned schoolhouses into intriguing studios and galleries.

A historic schoolhouse

One site new to the tour is the Little Plum Schoolhouse, located three miles southwest of Ella. This one-room schoolhouse, built at the end of the 19th Century, is not far from the Laura Ingalls Wilder cabin in Pepin. The classic structure, with its bell tower and front vestibule, has been maintained by the congregation of the Little Plum Lutheran Church and used for 4H meetings for years. The schoolhouse is also open for self-guided tours throughout much of the year.

Several artists at the schoolhouse site will demonstrate their techniques. Returning artist Beth Tabor will show hand-spun, dyed and woven creations. New artist Yvonne Wilken will describe her appealing quilt and fabric designs. Also new is Matt Anderson, an oil painter from Arkansaw.

A transformed horse barn

Wendy Ike’s horse barn near Plum City will become a temporary gallery. She kicks the horses out to the pastures, sweeps away the cobwebs and uses the stall fronts as gallery walls. She also has hung a wagon-wheel Mason-jar chandelier in the aisle. The feed room is decorated with Penny Sciascia’s beautiful quilted pieces. Kay Geraghty displays her photo renditions of local sights and countryside down the horse aisle. Ike’s passion for anything equine is reflected in her own art with bold and colorful brushstrokes in watercolors and acrylics.

For more please read the Sept. 4 print version of the Herald.