Shoppers looking for that totally unique gift may be able to find it right in downtown Waunakee this year.
Starting this weekend, local artists’ work will be on display and up for sale at Murphy’s Mill, just off of Main Street.
The Gallery at Murphy’s Mill will showcase works of 13 local artists on weekends through December. Waunakee-area residents will be invited to tour the gallery where paintings, wood carvings, inlaid wood art, wood intarsia, photography, and even musky lures will be showcased.
JoAnn Hellenbrand has helped organize the gallery, and Jeff Murphy, owner of Murphy’s Mill, is providing the space.
The gallery evolved from last summer’s Imagination Celebration, where anyone involved in creative endeavors such as music, dance, fine art and crafts were invited to showcase their work at Waunakee High School
“It’s a product of the Imagination Celebration event, which is pretty cool,” said Todd Schmidt, Waunakee’s village administrator and economic development director. “A number of artists met. They didn’t know folks were doing the same thing.”
The Imagination Celebration was part of the village’s overall effort to establish a creative economy in Waunakee. The goals were to discover Waunakee’s creative side and for local creative types to connect.
Schmidt said the idea for the gallery picked up steam when Murphy indicated to him that vacant spaces at the Mill could accommodate local artists.
“Jeff kicked it in motion,” Schmidt said. “I helped connect people.”
The following Waunakee artists’ work will be on display:
•Elizabeth Ann Teeter, paintings;
•Roberta Ward, mittens;
•Joe Severa, carved Santa Clauses;
•Dick and JoAnn Hellenbrand, wood intarsia and trolls;
•Jeff Murphy, Inlay Wood Art;
•Gary Barber, paintings;
•Don Spencer, art glass;
•Mark Weller, pictures;
•Mitzi Kust, paintings;
•Ann Alessi and Don Esser, variety of works;
•Keith Krinke, muskie lures.
Hellenbrand said if the gallery generates enough customers, it could become a permanent fixture at the Mill.
“It’s a real tangible demonstration of what we believe creative economy can mean in Waunakee, both as an opportunity for local artists and as an opportunity for consumers,” Schmidt said.