(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.

Hand to HeART Banner

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.

“We are beyond grateful to the community for their overwhelming support of our efforts in preparation for this new virtual event,” says Elizabeth Meissner-Gigstead, executive director. “While Covid-19 might have cancelled many events over the course of the past year, we rely heavily on community support for the largest portion of our budget and we’re pivoting, like everyone else, and finding new ways to present. We invite the community to patronize those business who have supported the Miller for this event and to consider purchasing tickets or simply making a donation.”

Tickets for “Hand to HeART” can be purchased through the museum’s website at Prices vary and, not including a base ticket for admittance to the event, includes a selection of three dinner boxes that offer an assortment of local cheese, dried fruit, pot pies—the ultimate in comfort—dessert, and a voucher for wine from Madison Avenue Market. The ‘Comfort Level Box 4’ option will feature an original 8” x 8” work by one of 20 Door County artists: Rick Brawner, Janine Buechner, Helen del Guidice, Ed Fenendael, Pam Flanders, David Franke, Kathy Franke, Lynn Gilchrist, Liz Heller, Karen Hertz-Sumnicht, Christy Kelly Bentgen, Jeanne Kuhns, Margaret Lockwood, Liz Maltman, Susan Reynolds Smith, Rick Risch, Kristi Roenning, Cheryl Stidwell Parker, Deb Stroh Larson, and Buttons Wolst.

Hand to HeART works collage
“Hand to HeART” is a virtual opportunity to celebrate the museum’s work and raise awareness for the continued support of the visual arts in Sturgeon Bay and the broader Door County and Northeast Wisconsin communities. For more information about the museum or “Hand to HeART,” contact the museum’s administrative offices at 920-746-0707 or via email at .

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