We aspire to make Wisconsin Regional Arts Blog the 'go-to' page for Wisconsin's non-professional artists (defined as artists who makes wonderful art but for whom art is not the major source of their income or economic support.) We will share WRAP and WRAA art exhibition and educational opportunities from across Wisconsin, as well events, exhibitions, and other programming sponsored by Wisconsin's visual arts institutions and organizations. We will particularly feature the programing of those art institutions and organizations that sponsor WRAP exhibitions and workshops.
Originally the Wisconsin Rural Art Program, the Wisconsin Regional Art Program exhibitions and workshops started in 1940 to encourage the creative growth of Wisconsin non-professional artists from rural areas. Under the guidance of the well known American artist John Steuart Curry, the exhibit grew rapidly, expanding from 30 nonprofessional artists in 1940 to over 100 by 1947. The energy and enthusiasm of Curry's successor, Aaron Bohrod, the past WRAP directors, James Schwalbach, Ken Kuemmerlein, and Leslee Nelson continued the development of opportunities for the creative growth of Wisconsin artists with the help of the Wisconsin Regional Artists Association. WRAP and WRAA continued to make the WRAP exhibition and workshops cornerstones of activity for nonprofessional artists throughout the state.
WRAP is now administered by the UW-Madison Division of Continuing Studies and is directed by artist Helen Klebesadel. WRAP has since expanded to include urban areas. WRAP exhibit/workshops are held throughout the year in over twenty locations all around the state. Regional exhibits include a workshop day for participating artists and the public in which a guest artist gives a lecture or demonstration followed by an educational critique of the exhibited artwork lead by the exhibit judge. Participants may exhibit up to three pieces of art in any or all WRAP exhibit/workshops, but only one piece can be exhibited in the State Exhibition. State Award works are eligible to exhibit at the Annual State Art Exhibition and Conference held in September each year. You can view the state WRAP award winning art since 2009 on the WRAP website here.
In 2014 the State Conference and Exhibition will be held at the Center for Visual Arts in Wausau. In 2015 the State Conference and Exhibition will be back at the Pyle Center in Madison.
WRAA is the Wisconsin Regional Artists Association, a non-profit organization, started in 1954 with just 36 members. WRAA’s mission then and now is to support Wisconsin Regional Art Program (WRAP). In 2014 the WRAA's celebrates its 60th Anniversary promoting creative growth for Wisconsin's artists. Today with over 600 members, WRAA members continue to participate in and promote WRAP exhibits and the annual WRAP State Exhibit and Conference. WRAA publications include Contour Notes, WRAP State Exhibit color catalog, WRAP Timely Treasures calendar, brochures and www.wraawrap.com. In addition, WRAA also kicks off the WRAP State Exhibit and Conference weekend by hosting Evening with the Arts artists’ reception which showcases WRAP State Award art, WRAA sponsored Statewide Teen Art Mentor Program and WRAA Tiny Treasures Exhibit, Competition and Sale. WRAA also solicits and distributes over $5000 in awards given out at the annual award ceremony which follows the annual WRAP State Exhibit Conference
Watch here for events and opportunities in the arts in Wisconsin. Also join us on the Wisconsin Regional Arts Facebook page and share your art events and opportunities.