Sugar River art exhibit opens at Monroe Arts Center Oct. 25

Staff Report

MONROE, Wis. — The artfulness of the Sugar River Valley will be on display at the Monroe Arts Center from 5 to 7 p.m., Friday, Oct. 25, during the opening reception of the juried art exhibit and fund-raiser for the Lower Sugar River Watershed Association.

The public is invited to the opening reception to enjoy refreshments and the best art of the region that depicts the beauty and culture of the watershed.

The Monroe Arts Center, 1315 11th St., Monroe, Wis., will maintain the exhibit from Oct. 25 through Dec. 6. The arts center is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Tuesdays through Saturdays.

More than two dozen artists submitted more than 50 pieces to the first-ever juried competition sponsored by the Lower Sugar River Watershed Association (LSRWA). Art on display ranges from paintings and drawings to fiber art, quilting, photography, ceramics, wood sculptures and jewelry.

The exhibit showcases art and artists celebrating the beauty of the Sugar River Valley by vividly capturing the “sense of place” that resonates with all who live or visit there.

This beautiful exhibit helps us all appreciate the natural and cultural treasures we have in the places we love — places of the heart,” said LSRWA volunteer Jill Sampson, who conceived of and is directing the exhibit and fund-raiser. “The reception is a gathering to share in our appreciation of our wonderful little place on Earth, and to see its beauty through the eyes of our artful neighbors.”

Art on display illustrates renewal in the watershed. Images of renewal include aerial photography of prairies on fire and “Spring Thaw,” an oil on linen painting of the Sugar River near Monticello.

Memories of a day fishing with Dad inspired the wearable jewelry “Dragonfly’s Dream.” A childhood spent rolling balls out of the clay on the bank of a spring-fed creek was the inspiration for “Zen Table Fountain,” a clay/wood piece.

Renewal of the watershed inspired by people of place is at the heart of our organization, and that often starts with sharing early life memories,” said Susan Lehnhardt, president of the organization. “We hope this reception and the ongoing exhibit will awaken pleasant memories of ‘playing in the creek.’ And, ultimately, we hope it will inspire and welcome all our watershed neighbors and visitors to cherish, protect and restore our land and water.”

A highlight of the opening event will be a poster and film exhibit in Wesley Hall showcasing the work of LSRWA Citizen Science volunteers. Meet volunteers who are mapping and measuring ecosystem health and water quality throughout the watershed. Learn how you can become a member and get involved.

The Lower Sugar River Watershed Association is a not-for-profit conservation organization based in Brodhead, Wis., dedicated to the care and enjoyment of water resources, and to empowering citizens with experience and knowledge to steward land and water resources in the lower Sugar River watershed. For more about the show, contact the Monroe Arts Center ( or 608-325-5700) or LSRWA (

From the Oct. 23-29, 2013, issue

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