The Center for the Visual Arts is home to three professional gallery spaces exhibiting 14 shows each year. We work diligently to bring a variety of exhibits and opportunities to appreciate the beautiful art created by local and regional artists.



Click the button above to complete the prospectus and submit images for the upcoming competitive exhibit, 27th Annual Midwest Seasons Exhibit.

For a pdf of the prospectus click HERE .




Ancestral Women: elders from Wisconsin's 12 Tribes
by Mary Burns, award winning jacquard weaver

September 23 - November 12, 2016
*Gala: Friday, September 30th, 5-7pm

In the Ancestral Women Exhibit, award-winning jacquard weaver Mary Burns honors women’s journeys by creating their portraits in jacquard weavings. The Ancestral Women project was conceived to portray the strength of ancestral women around the world, both elders and their contemporaries, and to honor their journeys. The first phase of this larger project features women elders from each of Wisconsin’s 12 Native American tribes, 11 of which
are federally recognized, and one, the Brothertown Nation, which is seeking federal status. Mary is also weaving six clan pieces for the exhibit (bear, loon, eagle, marten, crane, turtle) and four landscape pieces that illustrate essential cultural practices (maple sugaring, harvesting wild rice,
building a birch bark canoe, and a piece showing a rising sun over a lake that symbolizes a new day).

CLICK HERE for more information on Mary Burns and the Manitowish River Studio.

Support for this exhibit was given from the Nancy Frawley Fund within the Community Foundation of North Central Wisconsin.

Guests will be able to view the exhibit at the CVA and listen to oral histories about each woman recorded by relatives of the women or tribal members on individual I-pods. Support for this project was provided through the Community Arts Grant Program of the Community Foundation of North Central Wisconsin, with funds provided by the Wisconsin Arts Board, a state agency, the Community Foundation, and the B.A. & Esther Greenheck Foundation.



CONFIGURATIONS - The Arrangement of Elements
Featuring Mary Robinson, Jenna Graham, and Lois Freeberg-Hagen

July 22 - Sept 17, 2016
*Gala: Friday, July 29th, 5-7pm

The Garden of eatin'
Featuring Jesse Mangerson, Mary Robinson, and Jan Stommes

May 20 - July 16
*Gala: Friday, May 20th, 5-7pm

                                                                                                  *Opening gallery gala:                                                                                              Friday, May 20th from 5-7pm

                                                                                                  *Opening gallery gala:
                                                                                             Friday, May 20th from 5-7pm


The Flowers are Burning: Incandescent Watercolors
by Mary Kay Neumann and Helen Klebesadel

March 18 - May 14
Gala: Friday, March 25th, 5-7pm    

The Flowers Are Burning Gallery Card Front.jpg

Exhibiting watercolor artist Helen Klebesadel, will give a hour long demonstration open to the public on Saturday, March 26th beginning at 10am. Please call the CVA at 715-842-4545 with questions or if you are interested in attending.


26th Annual Midwest Seasons

Award Winners

Juror: Diane Canfield Bywaters

Best of Show

Pat Bishop

Globe Thistle

Awards of Excellence

Susan Klabak                               John Davenport                            Patrick Doughman

December Morning                             Point Lobos                          Coming in from the Cold


Jen Triolo                                     Dave Miess                            Diane Shabino

After the Thaw                        Skillet Creek Swirls                       Circuit-Man      


The Flowers are Burning: Incandescent Watercolors
by Mary Kay Neumann and Helen Klebesadel

March 18 - May 14, 2016
Opening Gallery Gala: Friday, March 25th from 5-7pm





The world of art and art making was discovered by three central Wisconsin Residents: Mary Robinson, Jenna Graham, and Lois Freeberg-Hagen
at early stages in their lives. They found the process of making art enriched their daily existence by giving a voice to creativity and a direction to their life path.

The artists manipulate their chosen media to continually explore thoughts, emotions, and experiences. Each uses a remarkably
similar pallet, but the expression is varied in physical and emotional terms. The individual unique arrangement of the elements
incorporated makes for personal configurations that blend to tell the personal stories, at this point, in each artist's life.

Exhibit Sponsor:
Ministry Health Care


"Gardening is the art that uses flowers and plants as paint, and the soil and sky as canvas."

- Elizabeth Murray

Summertime is the season of growth and rejuvenation. Seeds are sown throughout fields and backyard gardens, yielding edible produce and colorful blossoms. The Garden of Eatin' exhibit celebrates the fruits and labor of Summertime. View oil and pastel paintings of garden vegetables, fruit, and seasonal pairings.



“The Flowers are Burning” seeks to both evoke a sense of alarm at our immediate need to address urgent environmental concerns and to hold up the vision of the possibility of rising from the ashes of restorative prairie burn.  

Artists Mary Kay Neumann and Helen Klebesadel embrace the potential of flower as metaphor. Their watercolor paintings explore the poetic, symbolic and political representations flowers offer in exploring both human nature and the natural world. Recognizing and celebrating cultural association of flowers with the feminine, they pointedly render their paintings with strong color palettes, rich implied emotional content, and complex compositions. Their large expressive flower paintings create environments of saturated color and texture that belies the fragility of flowers.

Both artists create large-scale watercolor paintings with rich color saturation.  They exhibit individual artworks with shared themes and, for the first time, paintings that are co-painted.  Helen and Mary Kay collaboratively painted several works through back and forth exchange.  An amazing synergy emerged from their shared feminist values allowing effective co-operation and creative collaboration with wonderful results, modeling a process we will all need to make real and productive change for our shared future.



















The CVA hosts its signature exhibit "Midwest Seasons" for the 26th year! Artists from around the country submit artwork in all mediums and style describing the seasons of the Midwest. The juror this year is Diane Canfield Bywaters, artist and Professor of Art (drawing & painting) at the University of Wisconsin - Stevens Point.

A highly anticipated exhibit each year!


* The Exhibit Sponsor is UMR

* The Awards Sponsor is Peoples State Bank


Featured Visual Artists:  

Christine Alfery, Gary Barone, Jim Beck, Valerie Berkely, Pat Bishop, Kate Bradley, Bridget Bruneau, Daniel Christianson, Cathy Jean Clark, Martha Coaty, Rita Crooks, John Davenport, Patricia Derozier, Patrick Doughman, Sharon Dowis, Sharon Feathers, Tim Feathers, James Finnerty, Colleen Gunderson, Sharon Hause, Olivia Heitz, Theda Neubauer-Hewuse, Bruce Hustad, David Kapszukiewicz, Letha Kelsey, Susan Klabak, Nancy Laliberte, Susan Lansdown, Vicky Lilla, James McKnight, Donna Meyer, Dave Miess, Leonard Nagler, Kathryn Negaard, Bill Neyens,
Joan North, Susan Phelps Pearson, Nathan Porath,
Erin Prais-Hintz, Vicki Resech, Carolyn Rosenberger, Diane Shabino, Anders Shafer, Barbara Shafer, Terry Gunderson Shulta, Julie Sittler, Jeff Stern, Jennifer Tessmer, Jen Triolo, Ann Waisbrot,
Michael Walker, Georgia Weithe, Audrey Wilde,
Susie Williams, Ann Herzog- Wright, Richard Wunsch,       and John Young


Award Sponsor




























This exhibit featured work by contemporary artists using basic textile materials - fibers & thread - as a foundation for creation. The fiber and textile artists used a variety of colored and textured fabric and threads as paint pallets. Along with two and three dimensional works, wearable art, in the form of sculptural neckwear and textile/fiber pieces inspired by the environment and nature, were on display.

Featured Artists not pictured:
Peter Ciesla & Skye and Joh Ricci


MWS 2015 Gallery Card front.JPG

The Artist's Muse 2015: Wisconsin Artists - Wisconsin Poets

September 25 - October 31
Opening Gallery Gala: Friday, October 2 from 5-7pm

An exhibit featuring numerous Wisconsin Artists and Wisconsin Poets. Visual artists creating works inspired by poems submitted by poetry artists. The viewer will be impacted by the individual and
artistic interpretations of the poems. The poetry will be installed alongside the visual pieces in the exhibit.



Creating Connections- the Artist's Perspective

July 24- September 19
Gallery Gala: Friday, July 31 from 5-7

The exhibit features original works drawing inspiration from the artistic (realistic or imaginative) portrayal of the thread of connections between man and his or her non-human counterparts.

*Exhibited during Wausau’s Artrageous Weekend September 12-13

MANimal's Opening Gallery Gala and Awards featured live music by the Zopel Jazz Ensemble!

The Gala was sponsored by The Mint.

Read our BLOG to find out about the winning piece and see photos from the Gala!




Lake Effect
Valerie Berkely

May 22 - July 18
Gallery Gala: Friday, May 22 from 5-7pm

An exhibit featuring a series of stunning rural and lake paintings by local artist Valerie Berkely. The gallery will be transformed with 30 paintings of various sizes. Valerie is known for her contemporary landscape paintings. She plans to enhance the exhibit by demoing throughout the time line to create the 31st painting of the exhibit.



John Swartwout

March 20 - May 16
allery Gala: Friday, March 27 from 5-7pm

Artist John Swartwout incorporates a variety of mass produced items in his work that defines his interpretation of the word “kitsch”. His pieces are meant to spark social dialogue and cause viewers to examine consumer indulgence and how it impacts society on a much greater scale than one might care to realize. The exhibit will showcase both live and edited film. Viewers will become an active part of the kitsch!

Gallery Sponsor: 


25th Annual Midwest Seasons

January 9 - March 14, 2015
Gallery Gala and Awards Reception: Friday, January 16th, 5-7pm; Awards Announced
at 6pm

The CVA hosts its signature exhibit Midwest Seasons for the 25th year!

Artists from across the country submit artwork in all mediums and styles describing the seasons of the Midwest. Prize money for Best in Show, Awards of Excellence, and Honors. A highly anticipated exhibit each year!

Juror: Helen Klebesadel (MFA UW-Madision)

Gallery Sponsor: