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Exhibit Focuses on Rural Arts Educators

A Rhinelander art gallery is hanging a new show focusing on rural art educators in Wisconsin. 

The images in ArtStart’s spring show, Rural Roots: Art Pioneers in Wisconsin, show pastoral scenes and natural landscapes. 

As Programming Director Laura Ehmann describes, featured artist Ruth Stolle was a beloved teacher who left her mark on students in the area. 

“She believed that every child was creative and it just needed to be brought out. But she was very rigorous as well. Anybody that took an art class from her was required to create something for an exhibition outside of the school. So she was something that way.”

Stolle was a prolific artist herself, and the show features about thirty of her pieces that range widely in style. 

A second gallery contains student work from those who studied with John Steuart Curry, the first-ever artist in residence at the University of Wisconsin Madison in the 1930s.

Laura Ehmann explains, Curry was an important figure in the regionalist movement in the 1930s. 

“Which was a school that painted rural arts scenes and so forth. And John Stuart Curry was hired by the UW Madison in the 30s to become their artist in residence. And that is the first time in the nation that there was an artist in residence associated with the university.”

The exhibit opens Thursday, with an opening event Saturday starting at 5. 

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