The Wisconsin Regional Art Program (WRAP) awarded top prizes to 50 nonprofessional visual artists from 23 locations in Wisconsin. Their work—along with more than 120 other winning pieces—is featured in the WRAP Annual Art Exhibition, running through Sept. 22 at the University of Wisconsin Pyle Center in Madison.
“After viewing the shows since 1982, this is the strongest one I’ve seen,” said former WRAP director and judge Leslee Nelson. “It represents an incredible range of media and techniques. I was really impressed.”
WRAP encourages amateur artists to create and share their work across Wisconsin at regional exhibitions. Participants receive feedback from experts and take part in educational workshops and presentations. Professional artists choose winners from each regional exhibition who can then show at the state exhibition and compete for prize money.
The state exhibit concludes with a public conference Sept. 21-22 featuring the state awards ceremony and a presentation by Nelson on “Making Memory Cloths.” Judges will also recognize teen artists and give awards for Tiny Treasures, works that measure 2.5 inches by 3.5 inches.
Unique model of community engagement
WRAP began at UW–Madison in 1940 to foster creativity in rural areas. Now part of Continuing Studies, WRAP partners with the nonprofit Wisconsin Regional Artists Association (WRAA) to showcase artists in rural and urban areas statewide.
“WRAP is a unique model of community engagement like none other in the nation,” said WRAP Director Liese Pfeifer. “It exemplifies the Wisconsin Idea that the university should benefit people across the state.”
See the gallery below for more images from the WRAP exhibition. (Featured art above: “Working Hands,” by Varla Bishop.) For more information, contact Liese Pfeifer, 608-262-4911, firstname.lastname@example.org or see the WRAP website.