Category Archives: Wausau Related Blogs

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!


A Grand Opening!

Eds Note: In the interest of full disclosure, I will warn you right up front that I am touting a project that I am involved in and stand to benefit from in the long run.

Regular readers of the Wausaublog may remember that I mentioned an artist, Catherine Reinke. I was wandering the Artworks Gallery downtown one day, and the window display was just full of wonderfully whimsical creations, and Catherine happened to be standing out front talking to a friend.

I had actually crossed paths with Catherine many times. Her daughter and my daughter were in the same ballet class for while and she taught the summer arts program that my son attended. So when I saw her in front of the gallery, I asked whose wonderful work it was on display, and she told me it was, in fact hers. We talked for quite a while, I snapped a few quick pictures, and I mulled over the experience.

As all good art should, Catherine’s work touched something in me. Maybe it is the whimsy and the sense of humor that is evident. Or maybe it was Catherine’s explanation that she revels in taking literal junk — things people have thrown away — and reworking those things into desirable objects. Sometimes it is hard to imagine that gluing pictures onto a suitcase could make for a profound philosophical statement that reverberates on so many levels, but it did for me.

I left the gallery quiet impressed, and went home and tried to put together an idea for a blog post. I kicked some ideas around in my head, and within an hour, was back at the gallery. When I walked in, I blurted out, “Catherine, you look like the kind of person that believes in kismet.” She assured me that she does. So I told her that what she needed for her work was a webstite to reach a world-wide audience — and that I was just the person to do it. She agreed with both premises, and her newest and riskiest recycling project began.

But there was more than just the kismet of making a website. It turned out that when I suggested the idea, Catherine and a few friends were in the process of opening their own store and gallery. That store and gallery has now become a reality.

The outside of the storeAt 2803 Rib Mountain Drive, almost but not quite next door to J&P Liquidators, you will find the funkiest, most riotous, whimsical and fun places in Wausau. And I don’t just say this because I take a few pictures there and post them on the web. Everytime I walk in the place, I find myself laughing out loud.

I laugh because of the sensory overload. I laugh because I am so hopelessly unfunky that I completely don’t fit in. I laugh because there is always some new detail or item that just strikes as — well — funny. Catherine, Shelia and the other Groovy Girlz (as they have taken to calling themselves) have taken retro or vintage or whatever you want to call it and blasted it to Venus — and beyond.

Groovy Girl Nancy checks out the merchandiseIt is truly a place that might belong in a larger city — or perhaps on another planet in another galaxy. I think all the hoopy froods will enjoy shopping there.

So, if you get a chance, and need a bit of relief from the drab late fall weather that has settled in, stop by and say “Hello” to the Groovy Girlz and get totally funked up.

If you can’t make it out to the physical store, you can by their website. Or you could get the lastest news by linking directly to their blog.

Store InteriorEither way, I hope you will get a chance to check them out. Tell them that the boring guy in the brown pullover sent you.

Inner Sleeve Benefit

Editor’s Note: This morning I found a comment about the upcoming benefit for Mike Capista and Inner Sleeve Records from Charles Hughes, a PhD candidate and musician from Wausau who is now in Madison. I asked him if he would like to say a bit more about it and he graciously responded with the following piece. Thanks Charles and welcome aboard!

As readers of WausauBlog are certainly aware, the aftermath of the Inner Sleeve Fire on Labor Day has produced a community response that surpassed the expectations even of those of us who understand the love and support created by Mike Capista in his three decades of business. As many on this blog, my own blog, and other forums have so eloquently described, Inner Sleeve is much more than a great local record store; it’s a cornerstone of our social and cultural lives. For me, and for many I grew up with, it’s one of the fondest parts of my childhood and adolescence. And it was an absolute shame to see it driven so close to destruction.

In that spirit, Saturday night (October 15th) will see a benefit for Mike Capista and Inner Sleeve at the University of Wisconsin-Marathon County auditorium, at 7 PM. The event – “Sing A Song For Mike” – was organized and planned by Greg Venne, a UWMC faculty member, retired Wausau School District English teacher, and longtime musician and music fan. Venne’s efforts produced an unsurprising response from his musician friends – including me – and we gathered from literally around the country to produce a packed bill of 20 artists, each of whom will offer their own contributions to an evening of warm, energetic music that will celebrate the spirit behind what makes Inner Sleeve worth saving in the first place. This mainly acoustic-based event will include folk from local favorite Jim Carlson, ragtime piano from UWMC/Wausau Conservatory faculty member Ann Applegate, jazz from New York-based guitarist Dan Venne, bluegrass from The Biscuit Brothers, Finnish folk from Arnie Salli, a reading from D.C. Everest English teacher and writer Matthew Cepress, and folk/country/rock sets from (among others) Glen Moberg, Jon Shea, Jim Rubino, Bryan O’Connor, Rachael Anderson, and yours truly. My portion of the evening will be accompanied by Chris Jarvis and Kevin McCool, former rhythm section for Aurora Borealis and The Shakin’ 78s.

There might even be a couple surprises along the way, (surprises we’re still working on…) The musicians on the bill are talented and enthusiastic bunch, and most of us are friends, which should give the whole event a community/homecoming vibe. Since I’ve been getting a PhD (and playing music) in Madison for the past few years, I’m looking forward to revisiting some of the people I grew up with, in the service of supporting one of the places (and people) who made growing up in Wausau worthwhile.

Y’all come. Suggested donation is $10 for adults, $5 for students. Be ready to have a good time…

Early Dog Days

You may have noticed a slight slackening of the pace here on the blog. It is tough to keep up with all the activities of Camp Wausau both as a participant and documentor, so I hope you will bear with me. Things are bubbling below the surface though.

Andy LaubAnd the community is growing. No, not Wausau itself, but people talking about and sharing the goodness of our home. A gentleman by the name of Andy Laub (or at least I assume he is a gentleman and that is his name) has informed there there is “Wausau” group on Flickr.

Andy has posted some really nice photos there. His are a bit more “arty” than mine and Toms. Ours tend to be more “snapshotty” or maybe on a good day, “journalistic.” Andy’s pix are very nice and will give you a new view of our hometown.

And hey! You could join in too! Get yourself a free Flickr account, join the Wausau group and show us all your photos! I know lots of you have digicams, so share your best or even your worst shots with us. The more the merrier!