Northwoods Art Tour – Fall ’22

About a week into October, fall color typically peaks in the Northwoods of Wisconsin. The hope of experiencing spectacular fall colors called my partner and me to northern Wisconsin to visit several sites on the Northwoods Art Tour, which took place on October 7–8–9, 2022.

On their website, the Northwoods Art Tour promotes this semi-annual event as follows:

Awaken Your Sense of Wonder and explore some of the Northwood’s most beautiful backroads. Travel through charming, friendly, small communities of Iron, Vilas, Oneida, and Lincoln counties. Visit artists’ private studios seldom open to the public.

Enjoy a behind-the-scenes view of where and how artists create work in all media. Delight in paintings and drawings, and works created in clay, fiber, wood, gourds, glass, photography, and designer jewelry in precious metals, and unique combinations of many media.

Elude The Ordinary and Embrace the Original. The tour is an unusual opportunity to experience first-hand how, where, and why artists create. Each artist will be demonstrating aspects of their working process, what materials they use and how they approach the creative process. You may find yourself inspired to forgo the mass-produced and collect the one-of-a-kind to enrich your home or as special gifts.

This year we visited the following studios and galleries. As you view the photos I’ve taken at each location, you’ll note that I not only photograph the locations and work of the artists, but also the glory of fall colors on the grounds at each location. Autumn leaves, especially with fresh raindrops on them, are one of my favorite photo subjects.

To me, art is the expression of creativity through human minds and hands. On the other hand, the exquisite beauty of fallen leaves and fading flowers as the seasons change is the work of the Supreme Creator.

How beautiful the leaves grow old. How full of light and color are their last days
— John Burroughs

I share many examples of this natural beauty in the photo collections I’ve included below. 

Woodsholm Gallery

The Woodsholm Gallery in Manitowish Waters, WI features the work of Barbara McFarland. On her website, she introduces herself as follows:

Barbara is an artist from Northern Wisconsin whose work reflects a lifetime of being influenced by world cultures and the natural surroundings of the Northwoods. Her art portrays experiences from both subjects.

She has been passionate about being an artist since childhood, and has continued to study multiple art mediums throughout her career. Barbara has won awards in national juried competitions while also participating in international one-woman shows as well as many group exhibitions. Her work may be found in numerous corporate and private collections.

Bob Kovar Photography

Photographer Bob Kovar operates BK Photography and specializes in Northwoods nature, wildlife, and landscape photography.  His website states:

BK Photography is located in Manitowish Waters, a small town in the heart of the Northwoods in Vilas County, Wisconsin. Vilas County is home to one of the largest collections of freshwater lakes in the world, with more than 1,300 beautiful lakes and 73 rivers and streams.

Sand Lake Trading Company

Sand Lake Trading Company, LLC, operates from a residence-based studio in Lac du Flambeau, WI. The artists/proprietors are Jack Stayer (Stained & Fused Glass) and Christine Stayer (Fiber Arts). On the North Woods Art Tour website, the artists describe their work as follows:

The Northwoods Art Tour is the only “art fair” we participate in, so please don’t miss this opportunity to visit our private studio/gallery overlooking beautiful White Sand Lake and discover how we have combined a number of unique glass fusing, copper foil, and soldering techniques to create heirloom quality, Northwoods-inspired art glass for the 2022 tours. From our breath-taking copper-foiled stained and fused glass candle votives and treasure boxes to our exquisite fused glass jewelry and decorative plate ware, you will learn why so many people treasure owning Sand Lake Trading Co. art glass.

Moondeer & Friends Gallery

Moondeer & Friends Gallery in Boulder Junction, WI describes itself as The Northwoods’ Most Eclectic Mix of Contemporary Fine Art & Craft. The artist/proprietor, Sara Muender, describes her unique establishment on her website:

In the summer of 2001, after years of exhibiting her work in a variety of local galleries and co-ops, Sara opened her own commercial gallery in the resort community of Boulder Junction, Wisconsin. After seven years of renting space, she was able to build a beautiful new gallery building just down the block at 10354 Main Street. This spacious new building was completed in the Spring of 2008, and has been the happy home of the gallery ever since.

Moondeer & Friends Gallery is a combination of contemporary fine art and craft, global antiques and artifacts, and professional custom framing. Here Sara is able to represent not only her own work but the work of over 150 other local and regional artists and associates in a unique and eclectic fashion. Sara was joined in this venture by her good friend and partner, Jennifer Arnett Musson, who owned and operated “Frame It!”, a professional custom frame service, within the gallery. In 2009 they were joined by artist and framer Susan Miller-Crane, who has proven herself to be indispensable. 

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