“Old With New: Found Treasures” Exhibition at Gallery 242

Painting by Renee Diedrick.

Wisconsin artist Renee Diedrick’s exhibition titled “Old with New: Found Treasures” in Gallery 242, located on the lower level of the Fairfield Art Center in historic downtown Sturgeon Bay, will run until August 30. The exhibition features works of mixed media, acrylic paints and “found objects” comprising a unique display that evokes America’s finest folk-art traditions.

“Folk art reflects the crafts, traditions and values of the people who create it, incorporating the styles and techniques of particular regions,” explains Shan Bryan-Hanson, the Fairfield’s artistic director. “Renee has clearly found inspiration in American folk art. She incorporates materials found in her immediate surroundings, and viewers will identify with her art on many levels.”

Diedrick says simply, “My goal as an artist is to create original pieces of artwork that anyone can afford to own (and) to inspire others, especially children, to create from their heart.”

Diedrick recalls taking every class offered at her high school before pursuing a degree in art education at Silver Lake College in Manitowoc, Wisconsin. After graduation, she moved to South Carolina; there, she managed a folk-art gallery and ran children’s art programs.

“In the Southern states, recycling is not mandatory,” says Diedrick. “I started painting on anything I could find lying around waiting to go to the landfill. I loved the bright colors and loose, quick brush strokes common in Southern folk art. I found that little things inspired me, the color of the cottons fields, magnolia trees in full bloom and the soft sand at the beach.”

Two and a half years later, Diedrick returned to Wisconsin, where she says she found new things for inspiration: the color of the wheat fields, sunsets on hot summer nights and fields of sunflowers.

Diedrick will be hosting a special children’s art activity in Gallery 242 on Saturday, August 23 at 10:30 am – noon. During the hour-and-a-half event, she will teach children to create personalized picture frames with paint, beads, buttons, soda caps and other recycled materials. The activity is free and open to the public.

The Fairfield Art center is open free to the public from 10 am – 5 pm on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday; 10 am – 8 pm on Thursday; and 10 am – 4 pm on Saturday.

For more information call 920.746.0001, email [email protected] or visit

In Other News…

At 6:30 pm on Thursday, August 21, the art center will unveil “Michael Doerr: Contemporary Woodworks” in the first-floor Main Gallery. The exhibition, which will run through October 10, will feature Doerr’s finest handmade furniture. The artist describes his work as “the place where the soul of the tree meets the spirit of the craftsman.”

August also marks the final month of the 2008 “Find it at the Fairfield!” scavenger hunt, sponsored by the Artists Guild. During this free educational program, visitors of all ages may explore the Fairfield’s galleries with clipboards in hand as they search for 20 images and special items in the art on display. Participants write their names and phone numbers on their scavenger lists; the staff will draw one name per month, with the winner receiving a $10 gift certificate for art supplies at the Artists Guild in Sturgeon Bay.