Helping the Next Generation of Artists and Women to Thrive

“When she thrives, we all prosper.”

This motto of the Women’s Fund of Door County will be put into action at the ARTrageous Benefit on Sept. 21, when Door County’s community of women artists will join together to offer their work for an “artrageous” price of $99 per piece to benefit the women and girls of Door County.

This is the 10th year of the benefit, and to celebrate, there are some new features in store: plein air demonstrations by local artists, cider tasting and live music from Lori Wier and Mary Beth Williams. In addition, three student artists – Claire Tellstrom, Mackenzie Ellefson and Katie Frank – will have their work featured. 

Seeing the work of students alongside the work of well-known Door County artists promotes the idea that when we grow and succeed, we can do it because of our community.

Kristi Roenning, ARTrageous chair and one of the participating artists, said, “One of the components of the Women’s Fund’s mission is to nurture the arts for women and girls of Door County. ARTrageous was created for just that purpose. In past years, we have focused solely on established women artists to showcase and celebrate. Looking for a way to include and support emerging artists, we decided to invite three seniors from this year’s Miller Art Museum’s Salon of Door County High School Art to display their award-winning work and share their hopes for a future in the arts.”

The featured students are seniors at area high schools who plan to pursue art during their post-high school education. Ellefson, a student at Sevastopol High School, plans to pursue a career in art education. Tellstrom and Frank are seniors at Sturgeon Bay High School. Tellstrom attended the Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design’s pre-college program on a scholarship this summer and had the opportunity to speak with professors in the program. It was an opportunity to “create art all day, every day,” which was a dream come true for her. Frank plans to pursue a career in product design. Her furniture designs are reminiscent of the mid-century modern furniture of the 1950s. 

Claire Tellstrom stands by some of her artwork. Submitted.

The students’ work will not be for sale, but the work of 50 local artists will all be for sale for $99 per piece. There will also be a raffle for Jeanne Kuhns’ painting “Memories on the Wind.”

 Of the painting, Kuhns said, “I painted this after a moody evening, a sunset happening just after a storm. I was feeling nostalgic and missing gatherings of friends and family – some gone now, others have moved on. The ginkgo leaves floating out over the water represent my memories flying off into the wind – a feeling of loss and freedom all at once.”

“Memories on the Wind” by Jeanne Kuhns.

Raffle tickets are available for $5 each or five for $20. They can be purchased in advance at the Miller Art Museum in Sturgeon Bay, where “Memories on the Wind” is available for viewing through Sept. 17.

The money raised at the benefit will help the Women’s Fund of Door County contribute to local nonprofits and individuals who will further their mission. 

Reviewing the list of artists and others who are involved in the benefit is inspiring because a large, growing community of women is coming together for a cause everyone can believe in: the betterment of the lives of women and girls in Door County.

“After spending months working with a great and creative committee, it is heartening to see people arrive with an avid interest for art and supportive of the Women’s Fund,” Roenning said. “I look forward to it all and a day of blue skies and a hint of autumn in the air.”

The ARTrageous Benefit will be held Sept. 21 at Rehberger’s Hidden Acres Farm, 11128 Beach Road in Sister Bay. The art preview will begin at 3 pm; the sale will begin at 4:15 pm. Admission is free. 

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