The Wolf River Art League hosted a Fall Art Tour Sept. 25 to celebrate their 40th anniversary as a club devoted to enhancing the appreciation of art in the area. Seven sites were filled with both vintage and newer works of art.
Local artists Michael O’Connell, Tony Bosquez and Lyn Michiels welcomed the public into their homes for the tour. Joe Kafer, Ruth Rex, Gene Kostrzak, Robin Zuege, Yolanda Pietrarczyk and other artists shared space at Antiques with Inn and the Fuller home on Hwy 54 to create rooms bursting with original art.
A special Henry Miles City of New London Collection was on display at the Wochinski building, 224 W. North Water Street. It was well received, and host Richard Yerkey was happy to be mistaken for Miles by out of town visitors. “It was an honor to help out with Henry’s work,” said Yerkey, who was Miles neighbor for some years. He recalled Miles chiseling on the giant sculpture that is now relocated at Parkview Elementary.
The Henry Miles City of New London Collection was commissioned by former Clerk Treasurer and Finance Director Jim Villiesse and City Clerk Sue Tenney, who for close to ten years gently nudged and sometimes firmly suggested that Henry paint another of the many landmark buildings in the city. “He would bring in a painting of, say, Hatten Park Shelter and I would say, ‘Great. Now how ’bout the stadium?'”
Sometimes he’d bring us two or three at a time and surprise us,” said Villiesse. “Then we’d leave him alone for a while.” The collection has 21 watercolors by Miles and is housed in the offices at City Hall.
The Buyers’ Guide/County Post news office at 224 W. North Water St. is the site of an Art League history lesson of sorts. League scrapbooks filled with newspaper articles and photographs of art shows held since 1970 are available to flip through. Artwork from charter members is presented, along with a 1977 quilt that was raffled off and returned to League member Joanne Hart.
This display will remain up until Dec. 1 in the lobby of the news office for the public to view during office hours, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.
Art League members met after the Fall Art Tour at the Michiel’s home on Hwy. D to celebrate the day, the club, and discuss a second Fall Art Tour, possibly taking place in 2012.