by Mary Albrecht, UW-Madison
Do you enjoy painting, carving, pottery or other kinds of art, but don't live in a big city? It may be hard to find friends or professionals who share your interest or can provide feedback. That's exactly why the Wisconsin Regional Art Program (WRAP) was created over 50 years ago.
No matter where you live in Wisconsin, you can meet with fellow artists, learn techniques, exhibit your work and get expert feedback, when you enroll in one of the WRAP workshops held throughout the year around the state.
"WRAP is for people who make art purely for the love of it, rather than for fame or fortune," says director Leslee Nelson, a professor in the University of Wisconsin-Madison outreach program. "The program consists of many artist workshops and exhibits that meet in different localities around the state. Each workshop offers a different artist demonstration or slide-illustrated lecture along with a different judge to lead the afternoon critique. Some artists participate in more than one workshop so they can learn several different aspects of art," she explained, "and they can exhibit different work in the various exhibits."
Each year some fortunate artists have their work selected for the state exhibit held in Madison during August and September by WRAP and the Wisconsin Regional Artists Association (WRAA). Two-thirds of the awards given at the state exhibit are reserved for WRAA members. Sixty-five awards are given each year, Nelson said.
In 2005, workshops/exhibits were held in locations around Wisconsin including Eagle River, Madison, Monroe and Rhinelander. Fall programs are taking place in Fond du Lac, Platteville and Woodruff. (View WRAP schedule information.) The enrollment fee is $20 and includes the entry of three works. Entries represent many different mediums: photography, ceramics, watercolor, oil, charcoal and more.
C. K. Chang of Madison has attended WRAP workshops for many years. Chang, a pathologist, paints in his spare time. He loves nature, especially sunsets and sunrises. "I like to paint landscapes that I've seen on our family trips. I've painted scenes from places like Bryce Canyon, the Smoky Mountains and the Badlands. I take photographs and make sketches when we travel and then I paint the scenes from the photos and drawings. Over the years, my painting has developed a lot because of the WRAP workshops and exhibits. I've also met many, many very nice people," he says.
Chang, an avid supporter of the program, has been WRAA state coordinator of the WRAP workshops for the last five years. His paintings can be viewed at on his personal Web site or within PortalWisconsin.org's juried online gallery. Join the more than 400 artists who are members of the Wisconsin Regional Art Association and gain information and confidence about your art!