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Northern National Art Show Offers Diverse Subjects, Media

Natalie Jablonski

The National Northern Art Show is opening next week at Nicolet College in Rhinelander. 

When I headed over to talk to the gallery director at Nicolet College, I found Katy Ralph busy organizing the nearly 90 works of art in this year’s show.

“This is the biggest event of my year, and I look forward to it always. With the help of a team of volunteers we unpack all the work that comes in, but then it’s up to me to take it around and around and around in the gallery, until I find the best solution to this puzzle that I can come up with.”

The competition invites submissions from around the country. The only rule is that the artwork be able to hang on the wall.  Ralph explains that each year she invites a different judge to select the works in the show.  She says judge James R. Pace from the University of Texas brought a unique aesthetic in choosing from about 400 entries.

“I chose him because his work is not the usual work, it’s kind of a departure. And so some of the things that have come in to this show are more unusual as well, more assemblages. And I feel like this judge did a very good job of making sure his selections somehow related to each other and made a cohesive whole.”

The works hanging in the three rooms are eclectic; they include paintings, textiles, and mixed media.  The judge will fly in from Texas this weekend to choose the show’s winners, who will receive $8500 between them.  The winning works will be announced at an opening reception on Tuesday night.  Tickets must be purchased in advance.  

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