The invitational exhibition “Expressions of Place” at the Miller Art Museum in downtown Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin features the work of Hector Acuna (Grafton), Marc Anderson (Sturgeon Bay), Shelby Keefe (Milwaukee), Stephanie Lord (Sturgeon Bay), and Brian Sindler (Chicago), along with 38 member artists of the Wisconsin Visual Artists (WVA). The show is complimented by a selection of plein air works curated from the permanent collection and will be on view through July 6, 2024.

“There was a time in Door County before art galleries, but, there was never a time that people couldn’t appreciate the beauty of the Peninsula. When the snow melted from the fields and the pink and white blossoms popped on the trees, the temptation was there to record it on paper or canvas,” said Lorraine Mengert (Door County’s Art History, 1996).

Evelyn McNamara, "Trout Stream," oil on canvas, 1990. (Plein Air from Miller Art Museum Permanent Collection)
Evelyn McNamara, “Trout Stream,” oil on canvas, 1990. (Plein Air from Miller Art Museum Permanent Collection)

Plein air painting has long been a tradition in Door County, beginning with the artist communities that professors from the School of the Art Institute in Chicago established on the peninsula during the early 1920s. Little evidence of those initial artist communities remains, but what has endured is the desire to experience landscape painting and drawing outdoors in Door County. The practice is celebrated annually by the Peninsula School of Art in Fish Creek with their Plein Air Festival, which attracts artists and visitors from across the country each summer. “Expressions of Place” highlights the practices of the five participating artists and includes imagery from Door County and beyond.

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