The Miller Art Museum in downtown Sturgeon Bay is set to unveil two new exhibitions on Saturday, November 5, 2022: Hanseatic: The Life and Work of Karsten and Ellen Topelmann in the first-floor main galleries and New Acquisitions from James J. Ingwersen on the Ruth Morton Miller Mezzanine. Door County’s landscape has long piqued the interest of visual artists, especially so for the late Karsten Topelmann (1929-2021) and his late wife, Ellen Sprogø Topelmann (1926-2016). The exhibition, featuring 34 works, collectively depict the story of a village, their beloved Ephraim, a family, and two extraordinary artists each with distinct accomplishments and talents. In tandem, a collection of 12 paintings—new acquisitions to the permanent collection—and two bronze sculptures will be featured with existing collection works by James J. Ingwersen. Both exhibitions will be on display through December 30, 2022.

In celebration of these legacy artists, an abundant lineup of public programming is scheduled for the coming weeks:

Exhibition Preview | Friday, November 4 from 4 - 5pm. Museum members and volunteers are invited to preview the exhibition prior to opening to the public with a tour guided by Curator Helen del Guidice.

The Studio Door | Saturday, November 5 from 2 - 3pm. A presentation of The Studio Door; free and open to the public. Curator Helen del Guidice sits down in conversation with Lars and Lisa Topelmann to discuss the life and work of their parents, Karsten and Ellen (Sprogø) Topelmann. A question-and-answer period will follow the conversation; the public is invited to share personal anecdotes about the artists.

Opening Reception | Saturday, November 5 from 3 - 4:30pm. An opening reception for both exhibitions will directly follow The Studio Door. Light refreshments will be served and music will be provided by Craig Schultz. The event is free and open to the public.

The Topelmann Legacy | Thursday, November 10 from 10:30 - 11:30am. Insightful research and historical artifacts on the Topelmann legacy will be presented by the Ephraim Historical Foundation. Executive Director Cody Schreck and Educator Kathleen Harris will speak to the regional impact of the late celebrated Door County legacy artists Karsten Topelmann and Ellen Sprogø Topelmann.

The Sturgeon Bay Branch of the Door County Library where the Miller Art Museum is housed will be CLOSED TO THE PUBLIC due to maintenance on Monday, November 7 and Tuesday, November 8. The museum will reopen to the public on Wednesday, November 9 at 10am.

2022 Hanseatic

Karsten Topelmann, Still Life with Self-portrait Reflectionl - Karsten Topelmann, Hanseatic Gallery - Ellen Topelmann, Our Village

47JA Awards1

Award Winners Pictured (L to R): Linda Marcus, Lynette Redner, Aaron Boyd, and Ida Whitney 

September 29, 2022—On September 17, the Miller Art Museum in downtown Sturgeon Bay unveiled its 47th Juried Annual—a survey and celebration of contemporary work by Wisconsin visual artists—to a reception of over 120 attendees. 8 regional visual artists were recognized by a three-panel jury for their works exuding excellence, originality and that were experimental in nature. This year’s award recipients are:

Aaron Boyd (Milwaukee), awarded the Bonnie Hartmann Award for Outstanding Creativity for his work titled Souls Train.

Sarah Dittmann (Ripon), awarded a Special Merit Award for her work titled Mrs. John Kokeš.

Claire Erickson (Sturgeon Bay), awarded a Special Merit Award for her work titled Planted.

Terri Fischer (Madison), awarded a Juror’s Choice Award for her work titled Hepatica.

Linda Marcus (Milwaukee), awarded a Juror’s Choice Award for her work titled Mending Walls.

Robert Osborne (Raine), awarded a Special Merit Award for his work titled Villa Street Garage.

Lynette Redner (Delavin), awarded a Juror’s Choice Award for her work titled Morning on the Wisconsin River.

Ida Whitney (Baileys Harbor), awarded the Gerhard CF Miller Award of Excellence for her work titled DD78.

The 47th Juried Annual showcases 70 contemporary two-dimensional works by 52 Wisconsin artists and marks the second year that artists from across the state were eligible to submit work. These distinctive works can be viewed throughout the entire museum in both the main galleries on the lower level as well as on the second floor Ruth Morton Miller Mezzanine.

September 23, 2022—The Miller Art Museum in downtown Sturgeon Bay has announced that tickets are on sale now for a not-to-be-missed fall fundraising event, Swingin’ Soirée at the Dome: A Mid-Century Modern-Inspired Evening, on Saturday evening, October 15, 2022. The unforgettable evening, commencing at 5pm, will include special recognition for the evening’s honoree William C. “Bill” Parsons, fabulous cocktails, mid-century-inspired fare by Culinaria, and live music by the Milwaukee Hot Club punctuated with opportunities throughout the evening to learn about the museum’s work, its impact, and future vision to ensure the organization remains a vital piece of the cultural fabric of the Door County community. All proceeds generated will support the Museum’s evolving operational needs.

September 2, 2022—The Miller Art Museum in downtown Sturgeon Bay is set to unveil its 47th Juried Annual, an exhibition featuring 70 artworks from 52 artists across the State of Wisconsin on September 17, 2022. An opening reception celebrating the participating Wisconsin artists is scheduled for Saturday, September 17 from 5 - 6:30pm. Awards are scheduled to be announced at 5:30pm and include three Special Merit Awards ($250 each), three Juror’s Choice Awards ($200 each), the Gerhard Miller Award of Excellence ($500 and Miller Medal), and the Bonnie Hartmann Award for Outstanding Creativity ($100). Light refreshments will be served and music will be provided by Craig Schultz and Mike Miller. The event is free and open to the public.


Image credit: Aaron Boyd, Souls Train, watercolor. Katie Ries, What They Had-Appleton, WI, printmaking. Claire Erickson, Planted, acrylic.

In continuation of this celebrated museum tradition, now in its 47th year, this year’s exhibition is broader and more diverse than ever with submissions representing every corner of the state. Each submitted entry was carefully evaluated and the final selections were made by a panel of three artists and art industry professionals. This year’s jurors were Frank Juarez, artist, award-winning art educator, and founder and publisher of Artdose Magazine, Sheboygan, WI; Brandon Bauer, associate professor of art at St. Norbert College, De Pere, WI; and Meg Lionel Murphy, artist, and owner of The Hours Gallery, Sturgeon Bay, WI.

August 25, 2022—The Miller Art Museum is pleased to offer an opportunity for the Door County community to meet 2022 Al & Mickey Quinlan Artist in Residence Nicole Shaver on Saturday, September 3, 2022. Attendees will have the opportunity to meet the artist, and learn about her artistic process and what she aims to accomplish during her 8-week residency at the Dome House in a short presentation scheduled for 4:00 – 5:30pm. Due to limited on-site parking at the Dome House, attendees are asked to park at 3752 Whitefish Bay Road, Sturgeon Bay, and walk to the Dome House located 0.7 miles north on left.

Nicole ShaverThe residency, now in its second year, is administered by the Miller Art Museum jointly with the Quinlan/Wagner family and carries on the original intent of the Dome House, as visioned by Al Quinlan, to serve as a creative haven. The program advances the museum’s mission to expand its role in education and to shape and influence the artistic development and growth of artists in the area. Milwaukee-based artist Nicole Shaver was selected from a pool of 24 applicants by the program’s Artist Selection Committee. In addition to being awarded an unrestricted $500 stipend, she will receive access to time, space and resources to advance her work at the iconic Door County structure.

“My research as an artist involves collecting and meditating on new places by exploring through walking, running, sketching, making, and photographing. A place is like a person, if one fails to have genuine interaction with it, it too fades from our memory. I’d be honored to get to know the unique forested shoreline of Whitefish Bay through my time at the Dome House.,” states Shaver in her Statement of Intent.

“While my concerns lie within concrete science and the threats of Climate Change, I investigate and create within an innately curious, observational, and playful scientific method. This involves collaboration with local scientists, visitors, and found materials: man-made detritus and geology. I rely on collected specimens, historical research, and spatial interaction as semiotic compasses to help navigate the undiscovered identity of the Dome House,” she continued. “During my residency, I will create visual landscapes that combine reality with impression, providing a framework that empathizes with the transitioning landscape. Through my artist body and influenced by immersive surroundings, my output is a record employed through interdisciplinary media: installation, performance, printmaking, photography, and sculpture.”

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