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September 24, 2019

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The four-day ArtStart art retreat will feature a variety of classes as well as the Northern National Art Competition (NNAC) opening reception.
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The four-day ArtStart art retreat will feature a variety of classes as well as the Northern National Art Competition (NNAC) opening reception.
8/10/2019 7:30:00 AM
ArtStart art retreat to return for third year

In collaboration with the Rhinelander District Library, ArtStart art galley in Rhinelander will hold its third School of the Arts Legacy Program from Sept. 26-29. The four-day art retreat will feature art classes and the Northern National Art Competition (NNAC) opening reception. New this year is School of the Arts' inclusion in a larger music, arts, and sustainability festival called Project North, which will make its debut Sept. 26-28, organizers said in a press release.

"The retreat will kick off with the 32nd annual Northern National Art Competition opening reception at Nicolet College on Sept. 26 at 5 p.m.," the release states. "The NNAC is a cooperative venture of the Northern Arts Council and Nicolet College.

A presentation on curating the show will be given by the show's judge, Scott Stulen who is the director and president of Philbrook Museum of Art in Tulsa, Okla. Stulen is also an artist, writer, curator, programmer, and deejay, the release states.

Six art classes will be held daily from 9 a.m. until noon at the UWSP-Treehaven Campus in Tomahawk on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday; on-site meals and lodging are available. Classes are $60 each, however scholarships are available. Class registration is available at

The final component of the retreat will take place as part of Project North in downtown Rhinelander and feature artist demonstrations, interactive art installations, and an Art Walk. Project North Festival will also feature live music and sustainability education and is a production of the Rhinelander Area Chamber of Commerce, WXPR Public Radio, ArtStart, and Nicolet College. Festival tickets are available at https://www.

In 1964, Robert E. Gard founded the nationally known School of the Arts at Rhinelander (SOA) by hosting 50 students and six writing instructors in the Northwoods for the first SOA writing class. Gard was an innovative and influential founder, an author and a University of Wisconsin Madison and Extension Professor. In 1967, he wrote and received the first large grant made available by the National Endowment for the Arts in rural communities. SOA was one of the grant projects and was structured on Gard's core beliefs: helping people grow as artists in a supportive environment, exploring the power of individual expression through the arts, and bringing the resources of the University of Wisconsin to the citizens of the state. With the help of key Rhinelander locals, including Rhinelander school superintendent Cedric A. Vig, SOA grew into a one-week program attended by hundreds of students. Curriculum then grew from its original focus on writing to encompass many other art forms. In 2015 the University of Wisconsin Continuing Studies Department held the last SOA, ending a 50-year tradition; but with the help of statewide partners and sponsors, ArtStart rekindled the program in 2017 and launched the ArtStart School of the Arts Legacy Program.

All program, reception and festival information can be found at For more information, contact ArtStart at 715-362-4328 or by email at

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