(Sturgeon Bay, WI)—February 19, 2020—On February 29, the Miller Art Museum in downtown Sturgeon Bay will open Wade in Water, Into the Field: Paintings by Judi Ekholm. Wade in Water surveys the work of beloved Door County painter Judi Ekholm, spanning from the early 1990s to present and features a collection of more than 35 paintings. An opening reception, free and open to the public, is scheduled for Saturday, February 29 from 3 – 4:30pm. Remarks will take place at 3:30pm and light refreshments will be served. This inaugural solo museum exhibition will be on view through Monday, April 6, 2020.

Judi Ekholm is a Fish Creek, WI, based painter celebrated for her poetic, bold interpretations of the flora and fauna of the natural landscape. Color and pattern are signature elements of her contemporary impressionistic works, which are focused specifically on the adoration of ponds, fields of flowers, waterways and vistas. Wade in Water, Into the Field highlights a range of new paintings alongside works on loan that, in total, presents the growth and stylistic changes of the artist over a 30-year period.

“The abundant, rich and romantic nature of the scenes Judi chooses to portray lend a poetic quality to her work,” says Helen del Guidice, Miller Art Museum curator. “Inspired by this visual language, the paintings will be accompanied by select passages from poems by Walt Whitman, Elizabeth Barret Browning, John Keats and others.”

Visitors to the exhibition will experience this striking and poignant marriage of visual and literary arts.

Ekholm’s work is inspired by Impressionist masters Claude Monet, Gustav Klimt and the German-born Wolf Kahn who’s work combines that of the Realism and Color Field movements and has been described as a combination of “pictorial landscapes and painterly abstraction.” The artist’s distinctive, contemporary impressionistic style embodies different elements and characteristics of these movements and is further informed by travels to France, Italy, Spain and surrounding landscapes of residences in Florida and Door County, Wisconsin.

“Technically speaking, Ekholm achieves a depth of color through a process of multiple layers and applications, allowing drying time between painting sessions. Her emotional response to the world around her is one of joy, which is reflected in her bold, signature style,” del Guidice continued.

Judi Ekholm, also an avid gardener, grew up near Louisville, Kentucky, and received her M.A.T. (Masters of Arts in Teaching) degree from Indiana University. She maintains dual working studios in her Door County, Wisconsin and Miromar Lakes, Florida, homes.

“I find inspiration in the land, the sky, and the water of our wonderful world. My paintings are about the happiness I find in color, pattern, and the moods of the land. These are the elements I can run through my head, my heart and my soul and then use for my own personal painting language,” shares Ekholm.

Judi Ekholm is represented by Edgewood Orchard Galleries in Fish Creek, WI, where her work is exhibited regularly. Her paintings reside in more than 1,400 private collections worldwide.

Wade in Water, Into the Field is supported, in part, by the Wisconsin Arts Board with funds from the State of Wisconsin and the National Endowment for the Arts and has been generously sponsored by Jack and Sue Anderson, the MMG Foundation, Inc. and Third Avenue Playhouse. Works of art have been generously loaned by Bill and Heather Anderson, Dwight and Linda Davis, Marianne Diekman, William and Mardi Glenn, Carolyn Hitzeman, Gretchen Klug, Jerry Lecy, Greg and Marsha Meissner, Doug and Penny Schultz, Tom and Barbara Thurman, Edgewood Orchard Galleries and the private collection of the artist.

The museum is located within the Door County Library, 107 South 4th Avenue, Sturgeon Bay. Hours are Monday 10am - 8pm, Tuesday through Saturday 10am – 5pm. Closed Sundays. Admission is free; an elevator is available to access galleries on the Ruth Morton Miller Mezzanine. For more information about the exhibit or the museum, call (920) 746-0707.


Related Programs during Wade in Water, Into the Field

ART/SPEAKS: Writing in Response to Art | Thursday, March 12, 2020, 10:30AM

Part of the Miller Art Museum's Second Thursday Program Series, this event connects writing with the visual arts through inviting participants to write about the emotions evoked by a piece of art. The bold, romantic Impressionist paintings by Judi Ekholm will serve as inspiration. Write On, Door County representative Francha Barnard will lead the 60-minute activity, guiding participants into writing a poem or prose piece in response to chosen works. Following the writing, participants will share their work aloud with other participants, should they choose to do so. The program is FREE and open to all, but registration is requested. No previous writing or art experience is necessary.

Also on Display

Featured in the second floor Gerhard CF Miller Gallery on the Museum’s Ruth Morton Miller Mezzanine (upper level) is a long-term installation recreating Miller’s Bay Shore Drive painting studio, which was housed on the second level of the Norwegian-inspired waterfront home that the artist built almost entirely by himself. Best known for his imaginative realism paintings, the display features Miller’s studio furniture, personal library of art books, painting equipment, unfinished works and additional personal effects on loan from Miller’s grandson, David G. Utzinger. Framing the diorama is the stunning oil painting, “Portrait of Gerhard CF Miller” (1974) by close friend and fellow artist James J. Ingwersen.

Featured alongside the Miller diorama are a selection of new works from the permanent collection as well as new acquisitions from 2019. Work by Curt Frankenstein, Austin Frasier, Doris White, William Pribble and a special spotlight on the life of well-known and celebrated Wisconsin artist Ruth Grotenrath is currently on view.

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