The Vault Gallery

The Vault Gallery is a new exhibit venue for the Center for the Visual Arts. During the historic building
renovation, the CVA relocated the Gift Shop to the Third Street Lifestyle Center in Washington Square.
The main floor of the building had been transformed into a NEW Gallery.

The CVA would like to thank and recognize the B.A. & Esther Greenheck Foundation for their support of the Vault Gallery. The CVA received grant and community support to enhance the gallery with moveable exhibit walls, walker system, lighting, reception desk, data, storage units & shelves, kitchen appliances, and more!

The renovation has revealed long since forgotten historical aspects of the original bank building, including the original vault door! Plan to visit the CVA and view the new Vault Gallery, Pottery Studio, and Education Studio Room.

The CVA runs on Volunteer support. If you are interested in being a Vault Gallery Greeter,
please sign up by clicking the button below!

Current Exhibit

Anders Shafer gallery card Front (2).jpg

January 11 - March 23, 2019

Opening Gallery Gala: Friday, February 22nd from 5-7pm

In “Visual Narratives & Histories” Shafer combines his interest in History and Art History, and uses personal memories to create his paintings.
Art is an adventure in ideas and Shafer enjoys the opportunity
to work in the studio every day.

Shafer recently retired Professor Emeritus from UW-EC where he was
“Max Schonefeld Distinguished Professor” teaching drawing, illustration, and painting. Shafer’s work has been exhibited in over 250 national and regional competitions of note. He has been represented in galleries and museums across the country including the Smithsonian. Among his awards is one of the first given by the National Endowment for the Arts.

Attend the Opening Gallery Gala on Friday, February 22nd to hear Shafer speak about his artwork and artistic process.



Two men from Puerto Rico, who misunderstood President Truman’s
position on their country, attempted to assassinate  him in 1950. Truman was staying in Blair House while the White House was being repaired. One man was killed while the other lived on to be pardoned by President Carter. Truman went back to taking his daily walk the day after the attempt.


The History of Futurism

The Italian Futurist artists (early twentieth century) appear to have
believed in a philosophy that embraced movement and violence in a machine driven modern age. Ironic that Boccioni, their genius, died from falling off a horse during World War I. My theme, in most of this series (about 10), is that Italy (a favorite destination), represented by the backdrop of “the stage of history” doesn’t change as the Futurists charge through it. Mussolini called Italy a “nation of artists,” regretting that
he had taken them into war.


Gorky-Two Works

     I often pick artists to study whose work interests me but I don’t understand. When I started looking into the life and work of the Armenian-American artist A. Gorky I ran into the Armenian holocaust which, in childhood, he escaped. His mother died in his lap. The work reflects holocaust experiences and is incredible.

    Arshile Gorky (1904-1948) escaped, as a child, the Armenian holocaust and went on to become one of the greatest American painters. He is one of the artists whose difficult work I have hoped to come to understand in my lifetime. This series is about his childhood and has a few quotes but is,
for the most part, just influenced by his ideas. I came to realize that his Islamic design “culture” is different than mine. My design “culture”
is Modernism but I tend to go off on other paths. My sense of design
(Yin-Yang, total page design) comes from continuously drawing
from the figure and painting outside.

    If you want to see a really good painting, for any Age, check out Gorky’s Water of the Flowery Mill” at the Metropolitan in New York.

View more artworks at the CVA!

Artful Gifting

~ Featuring ~
CVA Gift Shop Artists

December 4 - 29, 2018

Opening Gallery Gala: Friday, December 7th from 5-7pm

Begin your Holiday Gift Giving at the CVA!
Visit the Gift Shop in the Third Street Lifestyle Center
and the Vault Gallery to find truly unique and
handmade works of art! Featured artists are
also represented in the CVA Gift Shop!

~ All sales can be taken the same day for Holiday Gifts! ~

Featuring: Christmas cards, paintings, photography, mixed media, wood, handmade jewelry including earrings, necklaces, & bracelets, metal sculptures, pottery, lotions & bath bombs, and more!

All sales can be taken the same day!

All sales can be taken the same day!

Modern Line Gallery Card - front copy.jpg

September 21 - November 30, 2018

Opening Gallery Gala: Friday, October 26th from 5-7pm

Artists Terry Gunderson Shulta and Graham Coulson focus their
artwork on modern views of design incorporating shape and lines throughout. View each artist’s interpretation of modern lines through
their perspective mediums of paper and wood.

Terry Gunderson Shulta ‘paints with paper’ creating non-representational abstract work featuring an assortment ofmulberry papers
integrated with found objects.

Graham Coulson designs and builds high quality modernfurniture
made from solid wood using native species that canbe locally sourced.
He is inspired by modernistand mid century designers.

2018 Ginseng Poster Exhibit card - final front (2).jpg

July 13 - September 16, 2018

Opening Gallery Gala: Friday, August 24th from 5-7pm

Ginseng cultivation began in the late 1800s in Marathon County
by the Fromm Brothers, but has been used in eastern cultures for its healing properties for over 5,000 years. Today, the capital of the US ginseng industry is in Marathon County, WI. There are over 185 ginseng producers in the county and 95% of the ginseng root exported comes from Central WI.

The "International WI Ginseng Festival Poster Contest Exhibit" celebrates the renown reputation Central WI has for growing Ginseng. One of the Ginseng Festival posters on display in the exhibit will become the
festival poster! Also on display from Hsu's Ginseng Enterprises
are rare Wild WI Ginseng roots.

Featured artists:
Marie App, Jim Beck, Gary Carle, Erin Heider, Duachaka Her, Jessie Hlad, Elizabeth Sawyer Kelly, Carri Kartes, Jeanne Houle Peters, Diane Shabino, Terry Gunderson Shulta, Jade Watring, and Audrey Wilde

2018 Award Winners

Congratulations to the 2018 International Wisconsin Ginseng Festival Poster Contest Winners! Grand Prize and the International Festival Poster Winner is Duachaka Her for "Growth", Second Place was awarded to Jade Watring for "Wisconsin Ginseng", Third Pace went to Marie App for
"Two Happy Roots Celebrating the WI Ginseng Festival"!

People's Choice was awarded to Carri Kartes for "Savor"!

The International Wisconsin Ginseng Festival is September 14-16, 2018

Duachaka Her.jpg

Duachaka Her

Duachaka Her is a Hmong-American cartoonist and illustrator. Raised in Weston, Wisconsin, her love for drawing and storytelling started at a young age from watching animated cartoon shows to reading comic books at the library and bookstore. As a child of Hmong immigrants, she struggled with the balance between being Hmong and American. These difficulties lead her to becoming fond of her culture and creating works about her experiences growing up.

In 2015, she graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Stout with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Entertainment Design and concentration in Comics and Sequential Art. Around that time she launched a Kickstarter campaign and was able to successfully fund the first print run of her graphic novel, The Collection, a story about a 5th grader’s struggle learning to accept her Hmong-American identity. Later that year, she self-published her second graphic novel Then and Now.

Since then she has illustrated several self-published children’s picture books while working on more books and personal projects.

Duachaka draws inspiration from her everyday life and Hmong-American experiences. Some of her artistic influences are Hayao Miyazaki, Jillian Tamaki, and Yuko Shimizu. Duachaka creates work that focuses on the small and subtle moments in time. Themes of family and identity are
prominent in her work. Most of her work is created using ink and brush and digital coloring.

Today, she resides in Wausau, Wisconsin and enjoys reading, watching movies, and playing with her kids in her spare time. One of her life-long goals is to be a traditionally published author and illustrator.


Erin Heider

You can have a lot of fun with the form of the ginseng root since the multiple extensions of it can appear almost human in shape. I liked the idea of wrapping the upper extensions like arms around the state of Wisconsin as though the ginseng plant were giving it a great big hug. With how well ginseng grows here, it is obvious that "Ginseng Loves Wisconsin."

Erin Heider is a Wausau native and a regular at the city's annual Chalkfest event. She has also participated in Chalk a Lot, another chalk festival held in Two Harbors, MN. This is her second year entering the International Wisconsin Ginseng Festival Poster Contest Exhibit.

jeanne photo.jpg

Jeanne Houle Peters

Jeanne’s studio is in a refurbished granary on a c. 1865 farm on the Upper Peninsula of Michigan near Calumet, Michigan. It is here that she paints, and also farms for Pollinators.

Her first 5 acres of native Prairie were planted on June 1, 2002. Since 2005, 15 acres of flowers and grasses have been planted, which bloom continually from May through October to allow the bees, butterflies, and other pollinators to have access to nectar and pollen throughout
the summer into Fall.

Recently, Jeanne’s paintings have included the native plants of the Prairie, as well as the old log buildings, field stone foundations, and forests of her 320 acre farm.

Her grandma Koski was a carpet weaver, and her mother, June, was a seamstress, who also knitted and crocheted. Her father, Robert, was a collector of antiques, a carpenter, and Ships Tailor during World War II. He also taught Jeanne to garden in the family “Victory Garden” after the War. Her uncle, Phil Houle, was a working artist in Hancock, Michigan.

The Granary, reflects her past and present by including collectibles and native grasses and flowers in front of her studio. The afternoon sun creates vivid shafts of warm light inside, and dramatic shadows outside. All objects - their color, form, value, texture, and placement contribute to the composition of the oil painting.

Pictured: Gary Carle, Diane Shabino, and Audrey Wilde

Drath Family Farm LLC-01.jpg

Exhibit Sponsor


Media Sponsor


Sponsored in part by
the City of Wausau
Room tax Commission

CVB Logo - Green.jpg

Awards Sponsor


From the Collectors Vault card - front (2).jpg

From The Collectors' Vault
Fundraising Exhibit for the
Center for the Visual Arts

April - July 7, 2018

2018-04-17 3.jpg
CVA - Artfully Adjusted Front.jpg

*Artfully Adjusted Spring Fundraiser Event: Saturday, April 28th from 5-7pm
Event Tickets: $30
Available online, CVA Galleries, or Gift Shop

Artfully Adjusted Winner's Choice Raffle!
Take a chance! Recreate your space!
~ 3 Artists - 3 Mediums - 3 Styles ~

The winner chooses one!

Artfully Adjusted Raffle Artwork by  Mary Kay Neumann

Artfully Adjusted Raffle Artwork by Mary Kay Neumann

Artfully adjusted raffle artwork by Mary robinson

Artfully adjusted raffle artwork by Mary robinson

artfully adjusted raffle artwork by Christine Alfery

artfully adjusted raffle artwork by Christine Alfery

Artfully Adjusted Winner's Choice Raffle!
Take a chance! Recreate your space!
~ 3 Artists - 3 Mediums - 3 Styles ~

The winner chooses one!

Raffle Artwork pictured above:
Mary Robinson (recycled mixed media)
Christine Alfery (acrylic)
Mary Kay Neumann (watercolor)

Raffle Tickets: $25 each or 5/$100
Artfully Adjusted Raffle tickets can be purchased in advance at the Galleries or Gift Shop located in the Third Street Lifestyle Center.

All artwork exhibited in the "From The Collectors' Vault" has been donated to the CVA and offers a 'purchase now, take now' opportunity (beginning April 28th) with all proceeds benefiting the CVA!

Hours: Tues - Friday from 10-5pm
Saturday: 12-4pm - *Please check back or call ahead
(715-842-4545) for list of private event date closures

Underneath, Below, Within - front.jpg

January 12 - March 31, 2018

Opening Gallery Gala: Friday, January 12th from 5-7pm
*Exhibiting artist will speak about her artwork around 6pm.

In her paintings and monotypes, Bonnie Ploger creates metaphors for inward exploration of the psyche through imagery suggestive of caves and other deep spaces in the earth. This artwork began with her exploration of lava tube caves during a scientific expedition in Hawaii. Her art represents the arc of feelings experienced during journeys through caves and through metaphorical depths from grief through joy.

Seductive, mysterious and frightening, caves nourish both life and decay. Similarly, these artworks may produce primal feelings of shelter or threat, mirroring the depths of the soul. On closer inspection, some artworks may suggest the typically overlooked patterns in surfaces of stone, where imagined animal and human forms flow one to another.

Ploger does not depict specific places from memory or photographs. Instead, her work begins abstractly, allowing the paint to mimic natural forces. She then refines each piece to create coherent images containing illusionistic depth and subconscious imagery. The resulting artwork expresses the feelings evoked by imagined landscapes of the earth's
interior as filtered through the deepest self.

Primary Focus card - front.jpg

September 22 - January 6, 2018

Opening Gallery Gala: Friday, October 20th from 5-7pm

Local contemporary artist Valerie Berkely is a painter who challenges herself in new media and techniques. For this fresh body of work in oil and cold wax medium, Val only works with the primary colors plus white, pushing
the textural paint into more abstract images based on a sense of light
and space. It is the feeling of the landscape, perhaps with
a hint of actuality, that is her primary focus.

"The health of the eye seems to demand a horizon.
We are never tired, so long as we can see far enough."
- Ralph Waldo Emerson

International Wisconsin Ginseng
Festival Poster Contest Exhibit

July 21 - September 17, 2017

The "International Wisconsin Ginseng Festival Poster Contest Exhibit" takes place in
advance of the upcoming festival organized by the CVB celebrating Wisconsin's Ginseng Capital!
The exhibit features artist's designs for the FIRST festival poster design for the upcoming event.

Exhibiting artists are working in: acrylic, pastel, colored pencil, photography, digital media, mixed media, and paper

Featured Artists:
Pouneh Asli, Jeremy Berkely, Valerie Berkely,
Abigail Bostwick, Gary Carle, Norman Eiden,
Erin Heider, Jessie Hlad, Benjamin Hying,
Jeana Jaeger McGivern, Robert Kanyusik,
Stephanie Kohli, James Richter,
Mary Robinson, Kimberly Rouse,
Diane Shabino, Leslie Snyder,
and Audrey Wilde

Abigail Bostwick, Gary Carle, Erin Heider, Benjamin Hying, Kimberly Rouse, Diane Shabino, and Audrey Wilde

The International Wisconsin Ginseng Festival will take place over three days, September 15, 16, and 17, 2017.
Events will take place downtown Wausau on the 400 Block city square park and along adjoining streets.
Additionally, a variety of tours, demonstrations and other activities will be offered at several locations
throughout the area, with shuttle buses transporting attendees to the many off-site attractions.
Festival attendees will receive maps and programs outlining the schedule of activities



Voting takes place from July 21 - September 16, 2017


Exhibit Sponsor

History of Ginseng in Marathon County

Ginseng cultivation began in the late 1800s at the turn of the 20th century in Marathon County by the Fromm Brothers, but has been used in eastern cultures for its healing properties for over 5,000 years. Today, the capital of the United States ginseng industry is in Marathon County, Wisconsin. There are over 185 ginseng producers in the county and 95% of the ginseng root exported from the United States comes from Central Wisconsin. The rolling hills, virgin soil and cool summers grow unique roots very high in ginsenosides (the active compound in ginseng). These properties make Wisconsin ginseng known as the premier cultivation in the world. As you drive around Marathon County in the warm weather seasons, you’ll see tarp-covered fields protecting ginseng plants from direct sunlight. The berries turn red in August and are harvested in September. The roots are harvested in October and are used in a variety of products including health and beauty products, teas, beverages, candies and much more. The recent resurgence in the interest of ginseng has created great demand in this ever-evolving market of the crop. 

For more information on the events taking place during the International Wisconsin Ginseng Festival

The Reveal - card front.jpg

The Vault Gallery

"The Reveal" exhibit featuring Christine Alfery is the first exhibit to be shown at the CVA within the NEW Vault Gallery. The gallery emerged out of the renovation as the previous gift shop and business office walls came down one by one. The gallery features an open floor concept, high beams, marble walls, wood floor, original windows & wood moldings (now fully exposed on the interior due to the removal of the numerous drop ceilings), and the recently discovered original vault door! The CVA is pleased to exhibit Christine's artwork and looks forward to featuring other local, regional, and national artists as the year progresses.

Reveal Alfrey DSC_1077.jpg

Artist Christine Alfery

Christine is a signature member of six national watercolor societies - International Society of Acrylic Painters, Philadelphia Watercolor Society, Pennsylvania Watercolor Society, Illinois Watercolor Society, Missouri Watercolor Society and the Western Watercolor Society. To become a member of these societies you have to be juried into their national exhibition for 3 times or more. These national exhibitions are very competitive and artists from all over the world compete in them.

Reveal art DSC_1050.jpg

"The Reveal"

Colors, motion, emotion, and flight are represented in Christine's artwork in "The Reveal" exhibit. Each work of art depicts a piece of Christine's creativity and method. The exhibit leaves both a dramatic and whimsical impression. Christine's powerful color choices and spontaneous actions emerge off the canvas and reveal new sensory sensations.