Artisan Holiday Market 2017 at VIVA Gallery

VIVA Gallery’s sixth annual Artisan Market will include twelve guest artists, and will debut at the monthly First Thursday opening on November 2. New work from VIVA’s nineteen member artists will also be on display. The market is a perfect place to find one-of-kind, locally-created gifts for the holidays, and there are many art forms from which to choose.

Pottery is always popular, and VIVA’s potters offer a range of items and styles. Charna Schwartz uses the colors and forms of the Driftless area in her beautiful blue-green glazes, while Maureen Karlstad may offer a hint of Asia in her tea sets and bowls. Mark Herrling’s decorative tiles are noted for their bold mix of pattern and color. Guest artist Scott Keith has been making functional stoneware pottery for decades, including 17 years at Red Wing Pottery in Minnesota.

Fiber artists create wearables and objects for the home. Eco-printed scarves and hand-warmers by Sharlene Bohr echo the colors and shapes of fall leaves. The looms of Kathleen Aaker and Angela Feltes yield extraordinarily beautiful vests and scarves in fascinating patterns, colors and textures. They also weave lovely wall hangings and table runners. Speaking of the table, one of Lori Hungerholt’s intricately woven baskets would be a perfect adornment. And if you would like your fiber art to speak to you, the clever sayings and bright colors of Crystal Curley’s hot pads are guaranteed to make kitchen chores much more fun.

Also for perfect for preparing or serving are the carefully constructed and beautifully finished cutting/serving boards by Jerry Quebe, and the hand-carved figured wooden spoons by Terry Beck. Ken and Michelle Workowski’s poplar bark baskets, birch bark mirrors and paper lampshades, all made from natural materials, are unusual and popular gift items. Looking for something really unusual? The mesmerizing patterns found in the stained glass kaleidoscopes of Steve and Peggy Kittelson are just the ticket.

A bare wall begs for decoration, and VIVA painters and photographers can provide beautiful solutions. Paul Bergquist, Deb Conlon and Lisbeth Quebe work in oil, while Bill Mapp, Diane Splinter and Anne Tedeschi work in watercolor. Each brings their special vision and style to landscapes, still lifes, and portraiture, whether a particularly fascinating person or a beguiling barnyard critter. For something completely different, look to the bold contemporary acrylics of Pita Daniels. Photographers, too, have differently styles. Tom Rhorer captures the details of the land and sky in stunning color and clarity, while Jamie Heiden softens the scene with layered textures and a little bit of fairy tale. Diane Dahl’s photography is augmented by her mixed media work in acrylics, clay and bits and pieces from nature.

Mark Herrling’s woodcut prints, equally inspired by dreams and nature, are also perfect for your walls, and M’Lou Wilkie’s stained glass pieces will definitely brighten a window. And you just might want to frame one of Mike Lind’s prints or cards, intriguing images of Wisconsin’s river patterns or his clever “You are What You Eat” series.

And last, but certainly not least, you will find a stunning array of jewelry at the Artisan Market. M’Lou Wilkie is widely recognized for her intricate woven beadwork, and Angela Feltes makes use of her hand- made glass beads in her jewelry. Raelene Roberts, a metalsmith for 25 years, casts, fabricates, etches and enamels her one-of-a-kind pieces. Four guest artists add to the selection. Connie Minowa’s jewelry uses the imagery of her paintings as signature elements. Alena Mack melds copper and silver with semi- precious stones, while Christine Larson uses stones, beads and sterling silver in her creations. Nick Smolen brings his forge into the mix and creates mokume-gane metal work jewelry and key rings.

VIVA Gallery is also a great place to find holiday cards and ornaments. 

A sample of the fine artful gifts you'll see at VIVA through the months of November and December.

Jewelry by Christine Larson

"You Are What You Eat"  Mike Lind

Cloth Baskets by Lori Hungerholt

Raku by Charna

Measuring Bowls by Maureen Karlstad

Jewelry by Alena Mack

Miniature Watercolors by Diane Splinter

All sizes of Wooden Spoons by Terry Beck

Photographic Encastics by Jamie Heiden

Scott Keith and Jack Honeywell in October at VIVA

Scott Keith Sculpture

Jack Honeywell Stained Glass

VIVA Gallery Welcomes Two Guest Artists in October

Two Driftless Area artists will share the spotlight at VIVA Gallery’s First Thursday reception on October 5. Jack Honeywell, a stained-glass artist, and Scott Keith, a potter, have been honing their respective crafts for over 40 years. That depth of experience and artistry adds up to an exceptional experience for gallery goers.
Jack maintains his own workplace, Cedar Tree Studio, near Winona, Minnesota. He finds inspiration in the Driftless landscapes, in the people around him, and most often, from the many colors, textures, and varieties of glass itself. Encouraged to pursue art as a child, he has followed an artistic path his entire life. He studied drawing and painting in high school and college, and in the mid-1970s, a friend introduced him to the copper foil technique of stained glass. This was a turning point in his creative life, and he has shaped stain glass works ever since. He studied advanced techniques at the Pilchuck Glass School near Seattle, Washington, and has worked for Hauser Art Glass in Winona.

Scott has been spinning mudfor four decades, many of those years with Red Wing Pottery, where he was part of a small crew that kept alive the tradition of making salt-glazed stoneware. The iconic stoneware was the first style of pottery that Red Wing created on a large basis. Lately, Scott’s interest has shifted to more sculptural forms, influenced by Mexican surrealism, American folklore, and Pagan whimsy. He has traveled to many different areas of the world, and sees his memories realized in his finished pieces. He loves the malleable qualities of clay and the infinite possibilities it affords. Scotts Newton Valley Pottery studio is just outside of Viroqua, Wisconsin.

Jack’s stained glass and Scott’s clay sculpture and pottery, along with the diverse works of VIVA’s 18 member artists, will be featured at VIVA’s First Thursday reception on October 5 from 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm and will be on display throughout the month. The gallery is located at 217 South Main Street in Viroqua. For more information about this and future First Thursday events, contact the gallery at 608- 637-6918 or 

Diane Brown Pottery

                                                              VIVA Gallery Welcomes Diane Brown

VIVA Gallery’s First Thursday reception will be held on September 7, and will showcase the pottery of Diane Marks Brown. Diane, who spends her summers in Viola, is influenced by her surroundings in the Kickapoo Valley. Her pottery blends organic forms, earthen colors and whimsical functionality in objects that can be used every day.

Diane received her Bachelor of Fine Arts and Teaching Certificate from the University of Illinois and continued her art education at the Art Institute of Chicago, studying ceramics and art history. She has taught at the high school and university levels in the Chicago area, and kept up with current trends in ceramics through workshops in Illinois, where she spends spring and fall, and in Colorado, where she spends the winter. Her work has been exhibited at venues in Illinois, Indiana and California. 

Jacqueline Reeves Watercolor

                                                          Watercolors by Jacqueline Reeves at VIVA Gallery

VIVA Gallery’s First Thursday reception on August 3 will feature the watercolor paintings of Jacqueline Reeves. Jackie loves to paint the scenes that surround her, from life on the Lancaster, Wisconsin farm where she lives with her husband Byron, or favorite places from their travels together.

Jackie expresses herself best in watercolor, preferring the freshness and transparency of the medium. She likes the way that colors can mingle on the paper and yield unique and varying results. Through her work, Jackie feels that she is preserving a way of life that is fast disappearing, recording the chores and inhabitants of a small family farm. But she doesnt limit her painting to farm life. An avid traveler, Jackie captures engaging scenes with her camera, and returns to the farm to paint them. Her paintings often strike a chord with viewers, recalling places and points in time that make for happy memories. 

Paul Hatlem July's Artist

VIVA Gallery Welcomes Landscape Photographer Paul Hatlem

VIVA Gallery’s First Thursday reception on July 6 will feature photographer Paul Hatlem as guest artist. Paul is a landscape, nature and adventure photographer based in La Crescent, Minnesota.
Paul’s photography captures the seasons and beauty of the Midwest as well as scenes from his travels around the world. An avid hiker and kayaker, Paul also has the necessary patience that allows nature to reveal itself, and all of this culminates beautifully in his panoramic photography. His images captivate the viewer, affording a genuine sense of place. Paul uses high-resolution digital photography, capturing the subtle details of the natural world and transferring them to large print format with stunning clarity and color. Printing the images on canvas lends a painterly quality to his photographs.

Paul has a degree in Fine Art from the University of Wisconsin--La Crosse, and has been involved
in photography, graphic arts, and printmaking for more than 25 years. He does his own printing on fine art paper or canvas with archival quality pigmented inks. His images grace the walls of homes and corporate offices around the Midwest.

Christine Myhr Our Guest in June

VIVA Gallery will feature Christine Myhr as guest artist during the month of June, opening her exhibit with a First Thursday reception on June 1. Christine, a long-time resident of Gays Mills, Wisconsin, paints directly from life, always seeking to capture the play of light and color in her landscape and still life paintings.

Christine graduated in 1987 with a B.A. in Art from Gustavus Adolphus College in St.
Peter, Minnesota. In 1986, she had the unique opportunity to study abroad at The Marchutz School of Drawing and Painting in Aix-en-Provence, France. There she learned to paint in both oil and watercolor, spending a year immersed in the light, color and beauty of Provence. She also studied art history through visits to museums in Paris and painting trips to Venice, Italy. After graduating from Gustavus, Christine went back to France in 1989 and spent another year studying at the Marchutz School. She continues to learn and grow as an artist by taking workshops, showing work at galleries and art fairs, and sharing knowledge with a wonderfully supportive community of local painters.

Christines oil paintings, along with the diverse works of VIVA’s other 18 member artists, will be featured at VIVA’s First Thursday reception on June 1 from 5:00pm to 7:00pm and will be on display throughout the month. The gallery is located at 217 South Main Street in Viroqua. For more information about this and future First Thursday events, contact the gallery at 608-637-6918 or

Ken & Michelle Workowski and the Nature of Things

Winners of the Driftless Area Art Festival Peoples Choice 2016 Award, Ken and Michelle Workowski.  Ken and Michelle are members of VIVA Gallery and we are honored to feature their work the month of May.

Ken and Michelle reflected in their work.

April 20, 2017VIVA Gallery’s monthly First Thursday artist reception will be held on May 4 and will feature the beautifully crafted natural furnishings of Ken and Michelle Workowski. The gallery sponsors the People’s Choice Award at the Driftless Area Art Festival, and the Workowskis were the winners of the award at last year’s festival. VIVA is doubly pleased as Ken and Michelle are member artists.

Ken and Michelle have always had a fascination with the raw beauty in naturethe absence of straight lines and the patterns and curves traced and formed by the elements. As their business, aptly called The Nature of Things, has evolved over the years, they have taken that raw beauty and transformed it into practical furnishings, including willow and wood furniture, birchbark frames, poplar bark baskets, lamps and lamp shades. Many of the materials they use come from their 50 acres of land near Viola.

In a world increasingly full of concrete, steel and electronics, the Workowskis understand that we all have a need to connect with the natural world. Their work is not only satisfying because of its strong design, but also because pieces often evoke an emotional response. The tactile pleasure of touching rough bark or smooth wood, the visual treat of intricately woven willow or laced poplar, the appreciation of the clever uses of natures palette in creating truly unique pieces of furnitureall are sensations that stem from their varied pieces. You are guaranteed to feel a connection.

The engaging natural works of art created by Ken and Michelle, along with the diverse works of VIVA’s other 16 member artists, will be featured at VIVA’s First Thursday reception on May 4 from 5:00pm to 7:00pm and will be on display throughout the month. The gallery is located at 217 South Main Street in Viroqua. For more information about this and future First Thursday events, contact the gallery at 608- 637-6918 or