(Sturgeon Bay, WI)—February 23, 2021 – The Miller Art Museum is excited to announce Hand to HeART: A Virtual Fundraiser Pairing Creativity + Comfort, scheduled for the evening of Monday, March 29, 2021. In lieu of an in-person event, the museum is inviting the public to support its efforts online this year to ensure the museum and the visual arts remain a vital piece of the downtown Sturgeon Bay and the cultural tapestry of the broader Door County community; patrons are invited to join from the safety of their home for a fun-filled evening pairing creativity and comfort. The funds raised in this event are critical to the continued planning and execution of the museum’s programming and operations.
Keynote speaker Sarah Chance will emcee the event and guide attendees through an evening of tributes by those who serve and are served by the organization, a silent auction and highlight of the event: A behind-the-scenes view into the fascinating glass casting process with featured artist Stephanie Trenchard of Popelka Trenchard Glass—a working studio and fine art gallery in the heart of Sturgeon Bay’s Steel Bridge Creative District showcasing her cast glass sculpture and her husband, Jeremy Popelka’s, murrini blown glass. The evening will culminate with the auction of a cast glass sculpture commissioned specifically for the event that features Jessie Kalmbach Chase, a pioneering female artist working on the Peninsula in the early-to-mid 1900s. The piece honors the connection to museum namesake Gerhard CF Miller and Women’s History Month, celebrated annually in March. Chase was born in Sturgeon Bay in 1879 and is best known for her Door County landscape paintings in oil, watercolor, and fresco as well as oil murals and serigraphy.
In addition to the Trenchard original, the silent auction will feature an additional 20+ lots with fantastic variety including art-related gifts and dining, lodging and gift certificates. The Bidding Owl auction is set to debut on Friday, March 19 at 6pm and will close Monday, March 29 at 8pm CST. Local businesses and individuals who have contributed include: Dancing Bear, Door County Coffee and Tea, Dreamland Properties, Kick Coffee, Novel Bay Books, Saguaro Day Spa and Wellness Center of Door County, Sonny’s Pizzeria/Bridge Up Brewing Co., White Gull Inn, Madison Avenue Market, Invidia Salon, Avenue Art & Company, Crate Sushi, Seafood & Steak, Third Avenue Playhouse, Tom Jordan, Emmett Johns, Linda Meyers, Renee McAllister, Julie Brogan and Elizabeth Meissner-Gigstead. To make a donation to the silent auction, contact Executive Director Elizabeth Meissner-Gigstead at or call 920.746.0707.
(Sturgeon Bay, WI) – February 25, 2021—The Miller Art Museum in downtown Sturgeon Bay is excited to unveil two new exhibitions starting Saturday, March 6: Primary Characters: Contemporary American Realism by Ariana Vaeth and Women Telling Stories in honor of International Women’s Day on March 8. Both exhibitions will be on display through Monday, April 19, 2021.
Milwaukee-based artist Ariana Vaeth’s realist paintings focus on a personal narrative that honors interactions with those who instruct her character. The autobiographical self-portraits are staged cinematically, with a primary cast of characters who re-enact the cherished and confidential moments of Vaeth’s private life. “Like the American Realist painter Edward Hopper, Ariana locates her subjects in dramatic interior spaces, which isolate the figures from the outside world and holds the viewer’s eye on a captivating, unfolding scene,” says Curator Helen del Guidice. The artist adds, “My spaces invest in the patterns and textures that occupy these homes. Bodily extremities express communication within settings that are invitation only. Textiles resonate within memories. Tending to these surfaces prioritize the visual characterizations of the relics of our habitat.” Akin to the subjects of Mary Cassatt, Vaeth’s subjects interact with a sense of joy, physical connection and deep familial bond. By utilizing baroque methods of performative gestures, Vaeth animates her subjects, congealing them in full motion and mid-sentence, suspending them in a state of vulnerability where they are fully reciprocal and indulging the moment.
(Sturgeon Bay, WI) – January 22, 2020 — The Miller Art Museum is excited to announce the opening of a pop-up exhibition in conjunction with the Door County Library’s 2021 NEA Big Read activities, which invited artists to interpret through visual art the novel Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel. The installation, which offers a selection of personal interpretations of the futuristic novel and a local rendition of the Museum of Civilization featured in the book, is scheduled to open on the Ruth Morton Miller Mezzanine on Saturday, Jan. 30 and run through Monday, Feb. 15, 2021.
St. John Mandel’s novel places its emphasis on the imaginary and utopian possibilities that could accompany disaster. In the novel, a Museum of Civilization serves as a fun collection of items for the young and nostalgic reminders of the past for the old. It is unofficially founded at the Severn City Airport when stranded airline passengers collect passports, electronics (cellphones, laptops), credit cards, newspapers, and other items rendered obsolete by civilization’s collapse after the Georgia flu outbreak. Survivors travel to the airport to trade or add items to the museum, reflect on the past, and educate children who were born after the pandemic. At one point the curator observes, “There seemed to be a limitless number of objects in the world that had no practical use but that people wanted to preserve.” (258) Thus, the museum serves its purpose by paying tribute to the pre-pandemic world, teaching children about humankind’s achievements and history, and offering survivors a haven for their nostalgia. What remains, not surprisingly in the wake of the flu devastating the world’s population, is art. It will endure as long as humanity does, and humanity will endure so long as art does. Because “survival is insufficient.” A desire for art and culture endures even among the direst of circumstances.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE (Sturgeon Bay, WI) - January 13, 2021—The Miller Art Museum in downtown Sturgeon Bay is set to unveil a new exhibition on January 16 that provides a platform for the exploration and discussion of abstract art. From Deep Within: Meditations of Wisconsin Abstractions features the work of regional artists Marjorie Mau of Green Bay, Cristian Andersson of Appleton, and Alyssa Krause of Milwaukee. The exhibition is featured on the Ruth Morton Miller Mezzanine alongside Winter’s Spring: An Ältere Garten by Leslie Iwai in the main galleries which, due to coronavirus circumstances,
has been extended; both will continue through February 26, 2021. “From Deep Within: Meditations of Wisconsin Abstractions” examines the meditations behind the work of the three artists, who present distinctly different painting styles. The goal is to expand the understanding of abstract art, according to Helen del Guidice, curator of the exhibit. The struggle to break free from what Kazimir Malevich, one of the pioneers of abstract art, once described as the “dead weight of reality,” has been going on since 1911 with the debut of Cossacks by Wassily Kandinsky, a painting which is widely viewed as the first official abstract work of art. With this in mind, del Guidice posed the question “What is it?”—perhaps the most frequently asked question about abstract art—to each artist.
CLICK TO DOWNLOAD REGISTRATION FORM! (Sturgeon Bay, WI) – November 20, 2020 — The Miller Art Museum is pleased to partner with the Door County Library to offer a visual arts component for the 2021 NEA Big Read program, which will focus on the novel titled Station 11 by Emily St. John Mandel. The museum is seeking participation from the community to create works of art in response to the book that contemplates art in a post-pandemic America. Free copies of the books will be available starting on November 27 at all Door County Library branches (while supplies last), and also on Infosoup.org in regular print, large print, and audiobook, along with Overdrive/Libby (e-book). The Libraries are currently operating with restricted access so patrons are asked to call their local branch to schedule a pickup appointment. The free copies are made possible with support from the Door County Library Foundation and The Friends of Door County Libraries.
Station Eleven examines humanity’s struggle to survive in a post-apocalyptic world. A desire for art and culture endures even among the direst of circumstances. In the novel, a Museum of Civilization serves as a fun collection of items for the young and nostalgic reminders of the past for the old. It is unofficially founded at the Severn City Airport when stranded airline passengers collect passports, electronics (cellphones, laptops), credit cards, newspapers, and other items rendered obsolete by civilization’s collapse after the Georgia flu outbreak. Survivors travel to the airport to trade or add items to the museum, reflect on the past, and educate children who were born after the pandemic. At one point the curator observes, “There seemed to be a limitless number of objects in the world that had no practical use but that people wanted to preserve.” (258) Thus, the museum serves its purpose by paying tribute to the pre-pandemic world, teaching children about humankind’s achievements and history, and offering survivors a haven for their nostalgia.