“Beyond Words” Opens at Miller Art Museum in Sturgeon Bay

The Miller Art Museum announces the opening of Beyond Words: The Art of Regional Children’s Book Illustration – a multi-faceted exhibit designed to educate, arouse curiosity and engage the minds of visitors young and old. The exhibition opens Nov. 4 and will remain on extended view through Feb. 14, 2018. An opening celebration will be held Nov. 4 from 3 – 4:30 pm. Families and community members are invited to attend the free event; light refreshments will be served.

The exhibition features a dynamic selection of work by six Wisconsin children’s book illustrators, an intergenerational learning space where adults and children alike can engage in imaginative play and let all inhibitions behind, a cozy reading space where visitors will find the complete, published books of each artist’s work, and activity centers thoughtfully designed for exploration of art and illustration; the unique collage illustrations by Ellison Bay artist Jill Harding, author and illustrator of The Sign Fairy and Dragonfly Magic, provided inspiration.

The core of the exhibit is comprised of original works by six professional author/illustrators from Wisconsin. They include Malin Ekman of Baileys Harbor, Renée Graef of Cedarburg and Los Angeles, Mary Ellen Sisulak of Ellison Bay, Ingrid Kallick and Michael Kress-Russick both of Madison, and Bonnie Leick of Sister Bay. Collectively, their work has appeared in Cricket and Highlights magazines and children’s books from such publishers as HarperCollins and Random House.

The original illustration work of lifelong Baileys Harbor resident Malin “Tudy” Ekman from the 1988 edition of Alice in Wonderland & Through the Looking Glass, published as part of the World Book Treasury of Classics and included in the museum’s permanent collection, will guide visitors through the exhibit and activity stations. Enlarged for the installation, the familiar characters of Alice, the Mad Hatter and the White Rabbit, along with other Lewis Carroll creations, are brought to life from Ekman’s drawings and paintings. In the transformed west gallery, children of all ages will have the opportunity to become a part of Alice’s Wonderland. Families, grandparents and grandchildren can imagine themselves in an enchanted fairytale moving around the tea table, place a Mad Hatter’s hat or a pair of White Rabbit’s ears upon their heads, and enjoy a virtual tea party. The imaginative play space will feature a unique selection of sweet treats in the form of soft sculptures created by Cedarburg artist/sculptress Mindy Sue Wittock.

“This is an important exhibition as it offers opportunities for family learning as well for time to bond with family members,” said Curator Deborah Rosenthal.

“Winter is a downtime for us on the peninsula and we’ve seen visitors of all ages in previous interactive family exhibitions exploring our space and the artwork at their own pace,” Rosenthal continued. “Experiences like this are ones that families will remember fondly.”

Beyond Words will be on display through Feb. 14, 2018. Admission is free. For more information, call 920.746.0707 or visit

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