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Northwoods Summer Art Tour is July 26-28

July 26, 2019

The Northwoods Summer Art Tour is celebrating 20 years of offering free annual adventures in art. A record number of northern Wisconsin’s finest artists will open the doors to their galleries and private studios Friday, July 26, through Sunday, July 28, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily.

Brochures with studio descriptions, driving directions and a map are available at area businesses, chambers of commerce and on line at northwoodsarttour.com.

The Summer Art Tour began in 2000 featuring 20 artists at 19 locations. This year’s tour offers guests a choice to visit any of 43 artists at 38 locations in Vilas, Oneida, Iron, Langlade and Lincoln counties. Six of the original-founding members are still an active part of the tour.

The concept for the art tour was originated by Carl Gromoll, a successful designer and crafter of wood whose studio Carl Gromoll woodworks in Eagle River has been a favorite of tour goers for years.

“The art tour allows me to be more experimental,” Gromoll said. “I have been working more with singular ideas and pieces rather than limited production work. I have been asking the wood to speak rather than telling it what to do. I have always been most interested in making a piece that I feel has value emotionally and physically and visually. The tour allows me to present a much more complete picture of the origin of the work. It starts with my land and workshop and the wood and my ideas and models of the piece.”

All tour artists will be demonstrating their process at their studios. This rare opportunity to see how art is made, to discuss ideas and the why as well as the how continues and is important to artists and visitors alike.

Other founding members include Mary Burns, weaver and fiber artist at Manitowish River Studio, Manitowish; Mitchell Myers photographer and potter and Laureen Myers, painter and potter, owners of Odonata Gallery Mercer; Sara Muender, multi media artist and owner of Moondeer and Friends Gallery, Boulder Junction; Val Bogdan, glass artist and Vlasta Polacek, painter and printmaker, owners of the Artists Palette, Manitowish Waters and John and Vicki Langer, Bear Paw Pottery, St. Germain. 

Like all the members, John Langer takes pride in the tour’s success and growth. 

“This casual venue has become a corridor of artists and a destination event for many,” he said.

In addition to returning artists, seven new members join this year. There is always something new to discover. All the artists focus on having new work to share with visitors each year. Artists are always changing, adding new techniques, subject matter, and challenging themselves to refine and develop their ideas, skills and expressions.

While the tour has doubled in size providing guests with more choices, the fun of exploring the beautiful back roads, choosing which studios or areas to visit and the intimate feel of entering what are normally private spaces to meet the makers of paintings, sculpture, furniture, carvings, jewelry, fiber works, stained and hot glass, pottery, photographers, printmakers, and more remains. Most artwork is available for purchase. Guests will find unique items for gifts, for inspiration or something to elevate their spirit and their personal space.

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