Patrons of the arts in Merrill and the surrounding area will have the opportunity to view local artist’s works at the Fourth Annual Merrill Artisan’s Showcase. The show gives the community a look at original artwork by artists who invite those attending to purchase, question and observe artists at work. Set for Saturday, Feb. 4 in Assisi Hall of Bell Tower Residence, the showcase will run from 1-5 p.m. and is sponsored by the Board of Directors of Bell Tower Residence.
This year’s show features artists from Merrill, Tomahawk and Wausau, and includes some who have participated previously, but also spotlights many new artisans. One of the new artists is multi-talented artist, Ann Jaroski. Ann previously served as Executive Director of the Center for the Visual Arts in Wausau and continues to teach there after her retirement from that position in 2007. Her passion for the arts has involved study at U.W.-Stout, Wales, U.K., U.W.-Eau Claire, Alaska and finally a Masters in Sculptural Ceramics from U.W.-Madison. She also worked in the movie making business in Pasadena, CA before coming back to Wisconsin. Now, as a studio artist, Ann is making art sales in several cities and plans to expand her portfolio to include photography, drawing and painting.
Another artist who will participate in the show is Jamie Kalvestran, a product designer who is a Merrill native. As a student at Scott School, she was asked to paint the piano and all of the garbage cans. That encouragement set her on a career path in art with a Fine Arts degree from Minneapolis College of Art and Design. Jamie’s professional design career spans 25+ years and includes designs for Tonka and Manhattan Toy, a stint as Costume Designer for the Children’s Theatre Co. in Minneapolis and managing her own design company. One of her products is Scrap-bags handbags which she has marketed on the internet. Currently, she is back in Merrill and is selling original designs to the quilting market. She is an accomplished product designer, published illustrator and has three design patents to her name. She has recently teamed with another artisan, Louise Schotz, to form The Fiber Adventures Team. A former chemistry teacher, Louise is a quilter, jewelry maker, and teacher of fiber arts in her Irma studio. Louise and Jamie are inspired by each other’s creativity and will be showing some of their joint ventures at the show.
The varied show will include artisans displaying works in photography, ceramics, basket weaving, jewelry, quilting, artistic design, painting, metal sculpture, and furniture making as well as other talents. An addition this year is ongoing piano music provided by area musicians on the Steinway Grand located in the hall. Another addition is wine tasting by Brigadoon Winery of Tripoli. The public is invited to join the artists, whose special talents will be celebrated from 1-5 p.m. in Assisi Hall at Bell Tower Residence. A $5 admission fee will be charged and will include the show, wine and cheese and other refreshments. It is a relaxing and enjoyable show, and offers a chance to pick up one-of-a-kind original art work. All profits go to Bell Tower Residence for debt reduction.