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VIVA Gallery opens Holiday Artisan Market
VIVA Gallery Holiday Artisan Market 2019
VIVA GALLERY will once again offer their Holiday Artisan Market to holiday shoppers in Viroqua. These felted textile art-works by Jill Johnson are just one example of the beautiful works of art that shoppers can enjoy.

VIROQUA - VIVA Gallery’s Eighth Annual Holiday Artisan Market will include the creations of 11 guest artists, and new work from the gallery’s 25 member artists. The market, a perfect place to find one-of-kind, locally created gifts for the holidays, will debut on First Thursday, November 7. 

The works of VIVA’s three accomplished potters come in a wide variety of objects and styles, from the beautiful and functional mugs, bowls and tea sets by Maureen Karlstad to decorative tiles by Mark Herrling. Charna Schwartz’s works are characterized by stunning Majolica glazing and elegant porcelain forms. Joining them for the holiday is Winona potter Will Brzezinski. 

The creations of VIVA’s fiber artists include a range of distinctive clothing and objects for home décor. The intricate designs of weavers Kathleen Aaker and Angela Feltes are evident in their hand-woven vests, scarves, table runners and wall hangings. Sharlene Bohr’s eco-printed scarves are made with leaves and flowers using natural dyes. Kindred WazeeGale creates hats, side bags and accessories from deer hide, often with intricate beading. 

Guest artists add more fiber creations. You may choose a colorful and clever potholder from Crystel Curley; felted vessels and textile artworks by Jill Johnson, papier mache figures by Gaby Marvan, plus quilted fabric wall hangings and cards by Rebecca Kobos. 

Jewelry is one of the gallery’s most popular offerings, and there is an exceptional variety from which to choose. There are M’Lou Wilkie’s intricate woven beadwork, Angela Feltes’ handcrafted dichroic glass beads, and Christine Larson’s silver, wire and gemstone works, metal smiths Raelene Roberts’ and Nan Marshall’s cuffs, necklaces and earrings, and Alena Mack’s nature-inspired creations. VIVA artists Diane Dahl and Natalie Hinahara will add their jewelry items to the market, and guest artist Nick Smolen will offer his forged metalwork necklaces. 

Photographs, prints and mixed-media constructions make perfect gifts. Tom Rhorer’s photographs capture the beauty of the Driftless Region, and are printed not only on paper, but also sometimes on copper, aluminum or glass. Diane Dahl’s photography is augmented by her mixed media work in acrylics, clay and bits and pieces from nature. Prints include the bold graphic images of Mark Herring and Natalie Hinahara. 

You will find oil, watercolor and acrylic paintings with every manner of subject matter. Deb Conlon and Paul Berquist are known for their beautiful plein air works in oil. Liz Quebe’s oil paintings capture small family farms and farm animals, while watercolor artists Anne Tedeschi and Bill Mapp create scenes of the area, flora and fauna, and still lifes in two distinctive styles. Pita Daniels applies acrylics to make big, bold contemporary paintings, and Christine Larson uses dominant color schemes to create otherworldly dream landscapes. Added to the mix in this year’s market are the abstract acrylic paintings of guest artist Colin Crockett. 

VIVA woodworkers create items to grace your kitchen and home. Jerry Quebe makes intricately constructed and beautifully finished cutting and serving boards. Ken and Michelle Workowski team to make birch bark mirrors, poplar bark baskets, lamps and delicate lamp shades, all from elements native to our area. Nicholas WazeeGale makes delicate boxes and bowls of birch bark, along with hand-carved spoons and bowls. Again this year, guest artist Terry Beck is offering kalimbas, a musical instrument originating in Africa. 

Rounding out the gallery’s art offerings are the beautiful stained glass works of M’Lou Wilkie, the whimsical metal lamps of Chris Cox, and the forged metal candlesticks and knives of Nick Smolen. New to the market are the nature-composed assemblages of Colleen Carroll, and the beautiful sculptural candles of Ethan Schandelmeier. VIVA Gallery is also a great place to find holiday cards, stocking stuffers and ornaments. 

The diverse works of these 36 member and guest artists will be featured at VIVA’s First Thursday reception on November 7 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. and will be on display through the months of November and December. The gallery is located at 217 South Main Street in Viroqua. For more information about this and future First Thursday events, contact the gallery at 608-637-6918 or 

The gallery’s First Thursday reception will be followed by a 7 p.m. dinner next door at Rooted Spoon Kitchen Table. Email or call 608-632-2120 to make reservations. The Rooted Spoon cash bar will be open during the reception.