Category Archives: Events

Cultural, Community, Artistic and other events and the stories behind them

Herman Miller At the Woodson

Exceptional exhibit at the Woodson Art Museum relating to the Herman Miller company.  Now, whenever I hear the name, “Herman Miller,” which I do all the time on NPR, I can’t help but think there is a guy by the name of “Herman Miller” who does nothing but design furniture all day, especially since this company is well known for their wonderful designs.

But turns out that Herman Miller (the man) never really designed anything, he was a fellow with deep pockets whose money kept a struggling furniture  company from going under in the Great Depression.  The company was renamed in his honor, and what an honor it has turned out to be.  You can read all about this on the Hazel Home blog.

In the mean time, save me a spot on the Marshmallow Sofa and I’ll see you at the Woodson!

ETS and the FOA

Unfortunately, “Edward T. Schoenberger” is not a well known name around town, or at least not as well known as it should be.   There are no streets named in his honor, no schools or really anything as far as I can see.  His two largest works, if not entirely forgotten are no longer in their original locations, other works by Mr. Schoenberger are gone forever, like the man himself.

Ed Schoenberger was first and foremost an artist, working in a wide range of mediums.  One common thread to his work is that he had a knack for creating larger than life works of public art.

He started on that path in his native New Orleans during the Great Depression, painting a mural on the history of printing for the New Orleans Public Library as part of the Works Project Administration.  When World War II came along, Ed  found himself in the Army Air  Corps, but even in a time of war, Ed’s talent could not be denied and he again created larger than life murals, this time for US military bases.

After the war he headed for the East Coast where he worked as a designer for several companies.  With his cosmopolitian background: art schools, New York, Philadelphia, New Orleans, it might seem strange that he would up spending most of his life in Wausau.  But he did.

Succumbing to the pleadings of an old army buddy, John Stoutenburgh, Ed took a position as assistant director of the Marathon County Historical Society in 1957.  I wish that Ed were still alive so I could find out what exactly Stoutenburgh might have said to entice Ed to drop his East Coast life and come to Wausau.  Must have been powerful stuff.  Schoenberger spent 50 years in Wausau, until his passing in October of last year at the age of 92.

Schoenberger might have had a job title that indicated he was some kind of historian, but no matter what the title, he was first and foremost an artist.

His art projects and murals filled the Yawkey House with educational backdrops for the exhibits.  A totem pole he carved for the museum was later moved to Camp Phillips.   After filling the Historical Museum with his work, he branched out all over town, painting murals and creating sculptures in banks and schools all over town.  And he also created two of this town’s most famous unknown pieces of public art.

In 1976 Schoenberger created “Wenebojo” for the plaza of what is now the First American Center.  This towering copper sculpture is no longer there, but it can still easily be seen.  It was moved (I don’t know when or why) to NorthCentral Technical College, where it sits in their inner courtyard.  Unfortunately, there is no marker or plaque on the sculpture, so it is likely that most, if not all of the students at the Tech have no idea who made the piece or where it came from.  I hope to be able to answer some of those questions and post the answers here.

Schoenberger’s next creation of public art, in 1979 for the City of Wausau is also no longer in place.  Rumor has it that the pieces of the sculpture are still in storage in a large garage somewhere, but it has been years since it was removed.  “The Pinery” featured a number of  utilitiy poles  at odd angles at Stewart  Park on the banks of the river.  Apparently it was quite controversial at the time, which is a good thing in art, but is now mostly forgotten, which is a bad thing.

For all the large works of public art that Schoenberger worked on in this area, his most lasting legacy is actually a chimera,  a seemingly insubstantial work that arises suddenly and just as suddenly is gone for another year.

Ed Schoenberger conceived of and helped organize the first Wausau Festival of Arts.

Wanting to bring together the artists of the community like he had seen in larger cities, Schoenberger brought together the first Festival of the Arts on the grounds of the Yawkey house in 1965.  In many ways, his vision continues to shape the festival to this day.

That first festival not only featured artists displaying and selling their work, but also entertainment, children’s art actvities and food sales for charities.  It may have been small (42 artists who sold $600 in art, according to Schoenberger’s notes) but the elements were all in place.  By the 5th annual show in 1969, the Festival had grown to the proportions it continues to enjoy today with 120 artists displaying their work and 10,000 people attending.

So, when you come downtown in a few weeks, remember to thank Ed for awakening the artistic soul of our town.

Senator Clinton Comes to Wausau

I will have much more to say later, but I thought that at least I should get the pictures up that I took today. I pulled rank and identified myself as belonging to the press at the rally today, but only got the good pictures when I went up to the seats where I probably would have been sitting anyway.

I’ll put one picture here and the rest on the Flickr site. Tomorrow, hopefully after a good night’s sleep I will post some commentary on the visit.

Hilary takes a question

Podcast Part 2

Here is the second half of the interview with Wendell Minor, which I did last weekend at the MCPL. If you haven’t already, go one post down and listen to the first part.

For much more about Wendell Minor you can go to his website.

[odeo=http://odeo.com/audio/17712583/view]

Hunted Like Animals at UWMC

It is not often that a re-run is an important event, but this is one of those occaisions.

UWMC is showing again the film, “Hunted Like Animals” which is a documentary by Rebecca Sommers about the genocide of the Hmong people in Laos.  The film will be shown on October 10 at 7 pm in the college theater, and as usual, you can’t beat the price, it free.

Click for Larger ImageCheng Lee, Director at the Multicultural Resource Center at the college has arranged for Rebecca Sommers to be available by phone after the screening to discuss the film and answer any questions.  Lee said that last year when the film was show there was a panel discussion with a number of local Hmong Elders discussing the film.  That must have been fascinating, and I am very sorry to have missed that.

Most of us in Wausau are aware of the sad recent history of the Hmong people.  To make a long story short, the Hmong people sided with the US during the Vietnam War, and after US troops left Southeast Asia, the Hmong were persecuted by the governments of Laos and Vietnam.  Many Hmong people became refugees settling in Thailand, the US and other places.  But Hmong people still remain in Southeast Asia.  Their plight is still horrific according to Sommers.  Here is a quote from the press release for the film:

Over thirty years and a generation later the Hmong-in-hiding are attacked, chased, raped and killed by Laotian soldiers.  Those who surrender face an uncertain fate. “Hunted like Animals”demonstrates that the Hmong-in-hiding in the Laotian military training areas are going through.   They endure genocide, the reason why many escape to Thailand, and become refugees.  This story of human rights violations on the Hmong-in-hiding must be told. 

And for a story to be fully told, it must be listened to.  I hope that folks will make an effort to come out and see this film so that we can better understand the situation in Laos, and by extension our Hmong neighbors here.  The shared experience and the discussion period are an important part of building our community.

If you would like some previews of the film, Sommer’s site has a number of clips, which you can find here.

See you at UWMC at 7 pm in the theater.

Nice Events Coming Up

After all of the excitement this past week, you might think there is nothing left to do in Wausau, but that would not be true at all, of course. There is a Concert in the Garden at the Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum tonight at 6 pm. Johnny and the Mo-Tones play the square tomorrow night. And the Frisbee Dogs strut their stuff at the Riverfront Marketplace on the 400 Block on Thursday at 11 am and 1 pm. But wait! That’s not all!

It is not a big fun event like a concert, but the Good News Project is recycling computers once again this Friday. In case you don’t know, you don’t want to just pitch out your old electronic stuff for two good reasons. First, when that kind of stuff gets in the landfill, all kinds of metals and other toxins leech out and we don’t need that in our water and ground. Second we don’t want have to mine more of those metals — that is toxic to the environment too.

So you know it is a good thing to do for the good of good people, or something like that.  Here is some more detailed information, courtesy of Tom Fladland over at Good News.

Area residents and businesses can have their computers and other electronic gear recycled at the Good News Project warehouse at 1106 Fifth St., Wausau, for 25 cents a pound. Cost for a typical computer outfit of 40 to 60 pounds will be $10 to $15. Hours are Fridays, July 13, and August 17 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Community support for the computer recycling program has been so extensive that Good News is able to share some of the proceeds with other nonprofit groups in the community, according to Tom Fladland, the humanitarian organization’s operations director. Nearly two semi trailers were filled at the April recycling event. All of the proceeds from the Good News computer recycling events go to assist nonprofit organizations in the community.

All material goes to professional computer recycling specialists and is processed with the environment in mind. Information on Good News is at www.goodnewswi.com. Information on the recycling event is available at 843-5985.
Anyone bringing more than 20 pieces of equipment is asked to call in advance.

If you don’t have any computer equipment that you don’t need, perhaps you have some time and money on your hands.  If so, perhaps you would like to have some fun for charity.  That’s right, fun for charity.

The North Central Wisconsin Donate Life group is having a “scavenger hunt” on Saturday, July 14.  This group’s purpose is to increase awareness of organ donation, which sounds like a worthy cause to me.

Apparently this is scavenger hunt with a twist.  You don’t actually have to drag back the things that you find, but rather document your find with a digital camera.  So not only will the hunting teams be looking for objects, but perhaps also places and evidence of having completed some task.  Umm, “Truth or Dare” anyone?

Sounds like it could be a riotously good time to me.  You can check out their website for more information and to register for the event.

Have fun!

 

Chalkfest Now History


Sun_chalkfest_IMG_3925

Originally uploaded by wausaublog

This year’s Chalkfest had a colorful, but short run this year. The rains came Sunday night and smudged out most of the work. But before the rains came I had the handy Canon there to capture a few images, which are over on the Flickr page. Enjoy.