Pete Sandker at VIVA the Month of May

In May VIVA Gallery in Viroqua welcomes watercolor artist Pete Sandker as guest artist.  Pete’s beautiful paintings reflect his inspiration from his life in southwestern Wisconsin and also time spent in Maine.   The mix of Wisconsin woods and the nautical themes of Maine are evident in his works.  Pete says “…I have spent a lot of time trying not to be an artist, but I have found that I can’t escape it.”

Pete, who currently lives in Madison, grew up in southwest Wisconsin on a goat farm.  Growing up, he spent all of his time with family milking goats and living simply, only making a trip to town once every two weeks.  Almost all the time in his formative early years was spent outdoors and in the woods with his brothers.   This love of the wild and woods continues to this day and informs and inspires his paintings.  Pete is a self-taught artist whose work has been shown at several galleries in Portland, Maine.  His current work is also being shown at the Artist Annex in Mineral Point, WI and Flow Art Space in Minneapolis

Join Pete and members of VIVA Artists Cooperative May 3 for 1st Thursday, 5 - 7 pm.
The Rooted Spoon Table will be serving dinner, next door to the gallery, after the artists
 reception.  Call the Rooted Spoon at 608-637-2223 or email at and reserve your seat.

Jamie Heiden our April Guest

 The Weight of the World

The Brilliance of the Ordinary

In April, VIVA Gallery in Viroqua welcomes photographer Jamie Heiden as guest artist. Jamie describes her art as “finding a little fairytale every day,” and her photographs are perfect illustrations of that statement.

Jamie captures images that are familiar slices of time and then applies textures with watercolors or through digital manipulation, resulting in photographs that are characterized by soft lines, muted colors and undefined depths. Testimony of the universal appeal of her work are her awards— Jamie received the 2010 and 2011 Best of Photography award from Madison’s Art Fair Off the Square, and won the 2010 and 2011 People’s Choice Award at both the Art Fair on the Green in LaCrosse and the Driftless Area Art Festival in Soldiers Grove.

The gallery’s First Thursday will again be followed by a dinner next door at Rooted Spoon Kitchen Table. A set menu of local, seasonal foods, inspired by the artist’s work, will be offered for $21.00. Please make reservations by calling (608) 627-2223 or emailing
Meet Jamie and view her work at VIVA’s First Thursday reception on April 5 from 5:00pm to 7:00pm. 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 You may see Jamie’s work at the gallery throughout the month of April, as well as the work of 17 member artists.