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Leigh Yawkey Art Museum Wausau Wisconsin

Awesome Museum In Wausau

Sculptor Walter Matia discusses “Three Wild Turkeys” at the Woodson Art Museum

Best bird paintings and sculpture in US! Wonderful exhibits in historic house. The Origami traveling exhibit was very interesting as well.

Thank you for your encouraging words we hope you return often!


Birds in Art is an annual event that is always a treat and a credit to the Greater Wausau community. It brings art from near and far- U.S., North America, Europe and more to be enjoyed in a beautiful setting. All that is asked is to consider donating in order to support the Museum and its continued quality work. A local treasure!

Thank you for your lovely comments about the Birds in Art exhibition, presented anew each fall at the Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum. Thank you for encouraging others to support the Museum and its work, too, and continuing to share your enthusiasm far and wide. We hope youll return soon and throughout the coming year!

This museum is a must see! The collection starts with the statues and structures on the outside of the building. A stroll through the gardens is a must! Many opportunities for photos. When you get inside their collection is large and has a wide variety of mediums and interest. In the bird area, some of the pieces are so well done you think you are looking through the window at the real thing. It is amazing to see such a large collection in a place like Wausau. Great Job, Wausau!!

Making The Cut: Relief Prints From The Woodson Art Museums Collection

December 4, 2021 February 27, 2022As printmaking evolved, artists expanded relief-printing methods in new and innovative ways. Making the Cut examines the processes, tools, and techniques used to create relief prints. In his single-color woodcut Owl, Leonard Baskin used nothing more than surface grain to create background texture and space. Sherrie Yorks complex multi-color reduction linocut Cruisin masterfully depicts a pelican moving through abstract water reflections. Complementing American Woodblock Prints, Making the Cut showcases a range of relief-print possibilities.

Cranes And Artists: A Creative Dance

This online-only exhibition, featuring a selection of artwork from the Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum collection, arose from an International Crane Foundation From the Field Series webinar. The conversation during this Cranes and Artists: A Creative Dance webinar on June 18, 2020, featured Lizzie Condon, ICF Whooping Crane Outreach Coordinator, and the Museums director Kathy Kelsey Foley and museum educator Catie Anderson and images of these artworks.

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Birds In Art Returns To Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum

WAUSAU, Wis. – The Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum is bringing back its Birds in Art Exhibit for the 46th year Saturday, September 11. Much of the festivity surrounding the event had to be cancelled last year, so they are looking forward to allowing people to gather socially.

Museum Director Kathy Foley says birds helped a lot of people cope during the pandemic lockdown.

The ability for birds to soar freely while we were shuttered and sheltered I think brought comfort and inspiration. And similarly art making was a source of comfort for many, many people, she said.

One hundred thirteen artists are represented from around the world, chosen from 510 entrants. Marshfield artist Rebecca Korth is showing for her third year. She said she was inspired to start using birds in her paintings after the death of her mother ten years ago.

Some of my last memories with her were sitting in a room and watching the birds outside the window. So I do realism still life. So I started adding a bird to all my paintings just to remember her, honor her and keep her around, Korth said.

Opening day Saturday will feature demonstrations by artists in the sculpture garden, and even a chance to try out making something yourself at their Art a la Carte. Admission and activities are all free to the public.

There is also a new rooftop sculpture garden space that features a soothing fountain and great views.

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On The Rise: House Of Rad Milwaukee Wisconsin

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Local artist Emma Daisy as she examines her 2-color print at the inaugural Steamroller Print benefit for Anchor Press Paper and print, hosted by the House of RAD. Photographer, Eric Purdue.

The House of RAD began as an idea in a sketchbook twelve years ago, but has transformed far beyond a doodle and some notes on a page. While also a slang term for excellent, RAD actually stands for resident artist doers, and operates as a communal hub and studio space for artists. The building home to House of RAD is a renovated battery factory in Milwaukees Riverwest neighborhood located at the intersection of Keefe and Fratney Streets. The collaborative space is home to 20 individual studio spaces that house craftspeople, artisans, and makers with different skill sets, ranging from photographers, designers and digital content creators to multidisciplinary artists, painters, muralists and sculptors. The physical space officially opened in 2020 and occupies 13,000 square feet in the old battery factory, previously the shipping and receiving department. Unlike a makerspace, House of RAD provides private studios for artists to focus on independent projects, but also includes communal areas that are useful for collaboration.

Within the House of RAD a look at one of the larger combined studio spaces of Brandon Minga, Tim Priebe, and Saint Louis Studios. Photographer, Eric Purdue.

Visit on Instagram for information.

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Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum Hours

TuesFri 9am4pmFirst Thurs of each month 9am7:30pmThursdays during Birds in Art 9am7:30pmSatSun Noon5pmClosed Mon & holidays, including Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Years Day, Easter, July 4, and Thanksgiving

Always-Free Admission

Wheelchairs and strollers are available. If you need special accommodations, please connect with the Museum in advance by calling or .

Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum

Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum, Wausau

The Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum in Wausau celebrates its 40th anniversary this year. Best known for its annual, flagship exhibition Birds in Art, which features new art work by some of the worlds most accomplished artists, the Woodson Art Museum offers ever-changing, diverse experiences from oversized woodcuts printed with a steamroller and upcycled couture created from repurposed materials and custom-built guitars assembled in a re-created luthiers studio. Through programs that enliven changing exhibition themes, the Museum presents hands-on, accessible, art and cultural experiences for visitors of all ages and stages. Committed to always-free admission, the Woodson Art Museum is a valued community resource and north central Wisconsin cultural attraction.

Both the Museum and the community have their roots in the lumber industry. Wausau is nestled amongst lake-dotted, rolling farmlands and woodlands, intersected by the Wisconsin River, which define north central Wisconsins natural beauty. In 1973, John E. Forester and Alice W. Forester donated an English Tudor home and four-acre estate to be the communitys only art museum, one that would always be free to all. The home was renovated and a two-story gallery added prior to the Museums September 1976 debut. A second two-story gallery was added in 1987 a new main entrance was added in 1997 and a 9,000-square-foot addition was completed in 2012.



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Molten: 30 Years Of American Glass

From seemingly traditional to wildly abstract, glass artwork from the Woodson Art Museum collection highlights the range of studio glass experimentation from the 1970s through the 1990s. The Studio Glass movement with origins in Wisconsin, its spread to the East and West Coasts through a student-teacher network led by glass artist Harvey K. Littleton, and international reverberations ushered in a new approach. In a radical departure from glass manufactured in factories, studio glass was designed and created by the same person the artist. From initial studio glass experimentation to more technical subsequent methods, Molten showcases the possibilities unlocked by this new and ever-exploratory artistic approach. The presentation of and Molten: 30 Years of American Glass and Art Deco Glass from the David Huchthausen Collection coincides with the 60th anniversary of the Studio Glass movement and the International Year of Glass 2022, proclaimed and endorsed by the United Nations.

Thursday October 17 2019

Tiffany Glass Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum

Enjoy a docent led tour of the exhibit starting at 10 am, which will include a free avian art project. Following the museum tour, LOLA art lovers can have lunch at a reserved room at Thrive Foodery, which is near the museum.

FREE tripregister by October 14Space on tour & class limited 20 Max

Imaginations take flight, inspired by new breathtaking depictions of birds by some of the worlds most talented artists who push themselves to new heights, striving to be selected for the internationally renowned Birds in Art exhibition. Majestic yet fragile, amusing, and poignant, birds connect us with the natural world, heralding each dawn and signaling environmental shifts. Savor artistic interpretations and discover anew what inspires you. The 44th annual exhibition features avian wonders through all-new interpretations in original paintings, sculptures, and graphics created within the last three years. The Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museums 2019 Master Artist is British colored-pencil artist Alan Woollett, who will be honored during the Museums 44th annual Birds in Art exhibition this fall.

Field Trip Itinerary

8:00 am Carpool from LOLA Center gather your friends!10-11:30 Arrive in Wausau for docent led exhibit tour, includes a free avian art class.11:45 -12:00 Carpool leaves museum.12:00 12:15 Arrive @ Thrive Foodery for lunch 2105 N 2nd St. Wausau, WI1:30 pm Time to shop, or head home your choice. Have fun!

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Christian Robinson Illustrations & Relief Prints Exhibitions On View

Visit to see the 2022 snow sculpture soon, anytime 24/7 it remains as long as weather allows! . For a bit more about previous snow sculpture projects, click here.The exhibition of Christian Robinsons childrens book illustrations, highlighting the value of different perspectives and being kind to all, is on view this season, along with American Woodblock Prints and Making the Cut: Relief Prints from the Woodson Art Museums Collection. Get additional details via this press release.Visit to experience collection artwork on view and the wire-bird murmuration flock created collaboratively during San Francisco-based sculptor Tom Hills fall 2021 residency, and installed as a single sculptural work at the Museum. The 120-page Birds in Art catalogue features every artwork along with artists statements get purchasing details here.

On The Rise: Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum Wausau Wisconsin

The Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum began with a dream and a gift: three daughters desire to honor their mother by giving an art museum to the Wausau community. Since opening in 1976, the Museum and dream have expanded, via its renowned Birds in Art exhibition, collection focused on art of the natural world, diverse changing exhibitions, and robust visual arts experiences, serving all of the northern Wisconsin community and beyond always admission free.

The Woodson Art Museum, as its known colloquially, is located just northeast of downtown Wausau and includes an outdoor sculpture garden, gallery spaces spanning two museum levels, two classrooms, a Rooftop Sculpture Garden which debuted in September 2021, and Art Park, an interactive space. Art Park invites visitors of all ages to engage in art-making at the Museum, complete puzzles, read books, and explore thematic, exhibition-related content.

The story of the Museums early days includes a celebration of women three daughters highlighting their mother, Leigh Yawkey Woodson, and her love of beautiful objects. During their childhood, Nancy Woodson Spire, Alice Woodson Forester, and Margaret Woodson Fisher were fortunate to be surrounded by handsome items, including their mothers collection of porcelain birds and grandmothers Victorian glass baskets. The daughters were inspired by their upbringing and devoted themselves to opening a space that honored their mother and provided barrier-free access to the visual arts.

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On The Rise: Art Preserve Sheboygan Wisconsin

Constructed only three miles away from the John Michael Kohler Arts Centers downtown location in Sheboygan, the Art Preserve is home to over 25,000 artworks and is the only space of its kind in the world. The three-story structure was designed by architecture firm Tres Birds and fabricated primarily out of concrete and wood, honoring materials that artists from the collection employed in their work. The structure itself was intentionally built into the side of a hill, utilizing the surrounding landscape as a design feature. Dual purpose timbers that span the entire facade have a jaw-dropping architectural impact, inviting visitors in as they simultaneously protect the housed artwork from sunlight overexposure.

The Art Preserve was a labor of love nurtured into being by Ruth DeYoung Kohler, previous director of the John Michael Kohler Arts Center, along with many others. The space opened in June 2021 after overcoming pandemic-related delays although initial conversations first began in 2007. While similar in many ways to a museum, the Art Preserve distinguishes its purpose to be curated, visual storage of the John Michael Kohler Arts Centers permanent collection of artist-built environments, artworks, and objects. At the Art Preserve, one will find two-dimensional works displayed on museum storage racks, sculptures housed in climate-controlled vitrines as well as immersive, intricate installations, and much more.

Visit for information.

Very Nice Free Museum In Wausau

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I recently spent a couple of hours at the Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum in Wausau on a Saturday afternoon. I was in the Wausau area for a day en route to Michigan’s U.P. on my summer vacation. I decided to check out this free art museum, and it was a great way to spend some time! There are many interesting pieces of art to look at both inside and outside this beautiful facility. This is a very well maintained building, and everything was in very good condition here. There are a variety of rooms and sections to peruse, and I enjoyed the exhibits on artwork featuring birds on this visit. There are even multiple levels with exhibits, so be sure to check out all the floors. In particular, I enjoyed the room with the ABC’s where an artist depicted each letter of the alphabet with some kind of living thing to represent the letter. I found that I completely missed a section of this museum during my last visit here 5 years ago or so, so definitely make sure to see everything! It was not overly busy when I was here either, so I had an enjoyable time looking at all the art in peace! I would recommend this art museum, and it is a great way to spend part of your day in Wausau!

Thank you for your lovely, enthusiastic message and for continuing to encouraging others to thoroughly explore all that’s available to see and do at the Museum. We hope you’ll return with friends and family again soon and throughout the year!

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Wausau By The Sea Shore

“Wausau by the Sea Shore,” more commonly known as “Werser by da SeaSher” , was one of the more popular unique cultural events that come out of Wausau. Celebrated during spawning season of the fish each year as a coming of Spring, residents of the town go to the shallow shores scoop up a fish with their bare hands and slap their neighbor across the face with it. The event is said to bring good luck and prosperity for the people of the town and a large celebration of dancing, food, and fun followed every year. More interesting is the supersticions surrounding not attending Werser by da Seasher. Belief of the time said if a neighbor decided not to attend, they would be visited by the Velcom Guden, and bestowed with the Buton Plugon of shame, which they would then be cursed with until the following year’s Werser by da Seasher.This event ended in the mid-1900’s. Due to laws surrounding catching fish during spawning season and the rights of Native Americans to spear hunt put a stop to the holiday.

Your Town Greater Wausau Area: Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum Opens New Exhibition

WAUSAU, Wis. – A new exhibition opened Saturday at the Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum. The art features one illustrators take on childrens books, which address social issues.

The exhibition is called What Might You Do? The Art of Christian Robinson. My name is Christian Robinson and this is my brief but spectacular take on telling stories through pictures, Robinson said in a video playing right at the entrance of the exhibit.

It breaks down his background, his art and why hes doing what hes doing.

I actually struggled to read, and so I was definitely drawn to books with pictures, he said in the video.

The museums marketing and communications manager, Amy Beck, said The magical way he storyboards and creates magical worlds from these materials that many children have at their fingertips.

I was raised by my grandmother, we didnt have a lot growing up, but I at least always had pencil, paper, Robinson explained. Illustrating an entire book can be really overwhelming and scary, so what I like to do is start small, tiny doodles, which are storyboards, and I do them on really tiny post-it notes.

Beck explained that his art gives people the opportunity to think for themselves and spark creativity. But also to spark conversation within the galleries, she said.

Its important for me to tell stories that reflect the diverse world we live in. Thats because of the way Robinson addresses social issues.

To learn more about the museum,

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What We Do

  • Art of the natural world is the guiding spirit behind the paintings, works on paper, and sculpture in the Museums collection. Visitors can experience natures beauty year round in the galleries featuring exhibitions drawn from the Museums collection and throughout the sculpture garden and grounds the Woodson Art Museums historic and contemporary collection sets a world standard for avian- and nature-themed art.
  • Diverse exhibitions feature artwork from around the world and change more often than the seasons.
  • Enriching programs and events for all ages enliven exhibition themes.
  • Committed to always-free admission, the Museum is a valued community resource and north central Wisconsin cultural attraction.
  • The Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum is a 2017 National Medal winner, the nations highest museum honor for service to the community.

VolunteerBy sharing your time and talents, support the Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum, the only full-service art museum in northern Wisconsin and a 2017 National Medal winner for museum service to the community. Woodson Art Museum volunteers assist staff and visitors in a variety of roles and levels of commitment that vary with need and season. Connect to the Museum by emailing or calling 715-845-7010 for additional specific information about how to get involved.

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