Monday, March 19, 2018

April Workshops

April Workshop News

Have you seen your first robin yet? Here's another sure sign of spring: workshops at Shake Rag Alley Center for the Arts are now in full swing! April offers something for everyone. Painting. Pottery. Jewelry Design. Fabric Arts. Wood Carving. Rug Making. And Kites ---  you know you want an excuse to fly a kite! Please note that workshops are filling fast (see notices below).
If you haven't yet received our 2018 catalog, you can view the whole thing online as a flipbook here or request one be mailed to your home.

We'll also have a table of catalogs and event postcards at the Art Glass & Bead Show in Madison (Alliant Energy Center) March 24 & 25. In addition to vendors, enjoy classes, a round-robin make-and-take and a bead challenge you might enter and win!

Through the end of March Amazon is tripling donation amounts to 1.5% when customers make their first eligible AmaonSmile purchase.
This is a great opportunity to support Shake Rag Alley by placing your normal Amazon purchases through and designating Shake Rag Alley as your preferred charity. Thanks for your consideration!

Is Mineral Point America's Top Town for Craft Lovers?
Maybe. We are  currently running neck-and-neck against St. Petersburg, Florida, to receive this online poll honor. Let's show those sunbelt softies how Wisconsin rolls (like a lumberjack crossing a stream while knitting wool socks on her way to sack a junkyard for mixed media assemblage!). It's free. Let's win. Vote daily right here!

Encaustic Effects with Acrylics

March 23 - 25

deadline extended to March 21
Bonnie Cutts
The Fabric Vessel

April 14 - 15

register by April 2

Ellen Donaldson Allen
Open Studio/Lab

April 21 - 22

register by April 16

Bruce Howdle
Pottery Wheel Throwing Boot Camp

April 4 - 8

register by March 26
only 2 spots remain
Bruce Howdle
Fabulous Fused Chains

April 14

register by April 2

Leslie Perrino
Go Make a Kite and Fly It!

April 21

register by April 9
only 1 spot remains
Alfred Stark
Writers Retreat:
Mining the Story

April 27 - 29

register by April 16

Patricia McNair
Short Story:
Christine Rice
Shawn Shiflett
Abstract Landscape & Nature-Based Painting with Oil & Cold Wax

April 19 - 22

register by April 9
only 3 spots remain
Mark Russell

Workshop News Extra

Industrial Felt
Bags, containers, cases, personal as well as household accessories, jewelry, and even furniture … there seems to be no end to what fiber artists are making with this interesting material.  It comes in a variety of thicknesses, densities, and fiber content. If you check out our Pinterest Board you’ll see what I mean. 
I also came across a blog called with a great description of this felt and how to work with it.  I purchased the least expensive felt and I decided to start with a bowl. I love how the material can be cut, punched, and sliced with no fraying, and has the body to make sculptural pieces. Click here for information about resources and my discoveries working with this felt .

Next month Ellen Donaldson Allen will guide students in ways to build and embellish a felt box with even more fiber art techniques. Hope you can join us.
Submitted by: Cheryl Smeja

Monday, March 5, 2018

March Newsletter 2018

March News

Cure Your Craving for Color

As winter dawdles, slushy and gray, our eyes crave signs of vivid spring. March marks the launch of the 2018 workshop season, here at Shake Rag Alley Center for the Arts, and our first offerings simply explode with color!
A quick screen-grab from the online gallery of Bonnie Cutts (left) gives you a peek at the innovative ways she works with acrylics, using layers of paint and gels to mimic the effects of wax encaustic techniques -- register today for her March 23-25 workshop.

Youth Scholarships Now Available Online

Oh, they'll be up to something exciting this summer -- plays, parades, plenty of ART! -- and time travel, from the 1870s with Laura Ingalls Wilder to a groovy 1970s disco dance party. School-aged youth may select from dozens of available workshops. Those in need of financial assistance may apply for scholarships (now available online) supported in part by grants from the Mineral Point Community Chest and United Fund of Iowa County. We look forward to being inspired by all this next generation of artists create!

Winter Writer Readings
Continue throughout March

The Winter Writers Reading Series will continue throughout March. Award-winning Wisconsin writers read from their work and take audience questions. Writers enjoy a week of creative solitude in Shake Rag Alley lodging as part of this program, conducted in partnership with the Council for Wisconsin Writers, Wisconsin People & Ideas, and the Wisconsin Poet Laureate Commission.
Hope to see you Wednesdays, at 7:00 pm, in the Lind Pavilion for this month's readings: 

March 7, Karla Huston : Wisconsin Poet Laureate

March 14, Liz Wyckoff : Zona Gale Short Fiction Award

March 28, Patricia Skalka : Edna Ferber Fiction Book Award

Roland Sardeson Loft Nearing Completion

Renovations continue at 223 Commerce St., the building Roland Sardeson left to Shake Rag Alley upon his death in November 2016. Studio space on the ground floor will host our upcoming pottery classes taught by Bruce Howdle (left) and the upstairs apartment will provide additional lodging featuring ceramic tiles created by Bruce and lovely views of Mineral Point's historic district. We look forward to sharing our progress at a public celebration in May.

Monday, February 5, 2018

February 2018 News

News from Shake Rag Alley Center for the Arts
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February News
Welcome to February at Shake Rag Alley Center for the Arts!

Winter Writers Series
The new year has gotten off to a creative start thanks to our first three Winter Writers Series readings by award-winning authors Nicholas Gulig, 2017 Wisconsin Academy of Sciences, Arts & Letters Poetry Contest winner; David Southward, 2016 Council for Wisconsin Writers Lorine Niedecker Poetry Award winner; and Bob Wake, 2017 Wisconsin Academy of Sciences, Arts & Letters Fiction Contest winner.

February Readings:
All readings begin at 7:00 pm.

February 21: Paula Dáil
2016 Council for Wisconsin Writers Norbert Blei/August Derleth Nonfiction Book Award

February 28: Catherine Jagoe
2016 Council for Wisconsin Writers Edna Meudt Poetry Book Award

Click here for upcoming dates in the series, which is hosted in our Lind Pavilion and is a partnership with the Council for Wisconsin Writers, Wisconsin People & Ideas, and the Wisconsin Poet Laureate Commission through the Wisconsin Academy of Sciences, Arts & Letters. Special thanks to Kris McCoy and Susan Socher for organizing these readings.

New Board Member

In January we welcomed Deb Donaghue to the Shake Rag Alley Board of Directors. No stranger to our mission, Deb is among our metal-working instructors and brings a wealth of lodging knowledge from her years owning and operating Brewery Creek Inn, Cottages and Brewpub Restaurant with her husband, Jeff, and serving on the Mineral Point Tourism Commission. Learn more about Deb’s background here.

See What We Have to Offer & Stay In Touch
It was an exciting day last month when Assistant Director Carole Spelic’ pulled up with her car packed full of boxes of 2018 Shake Rag Alley catalogs! Our workshop registrations have been coming in strong and steady since the catalog went live on our website December 1st and some classes have already sold out. You can download or view the catalog as a flip book here; request a catalog here; and always call the Shake Rag Alley office at (608) 987-3292 for assistance with workshop registrations or lodging reservations.

(Don’t forget: Our students enjoy a 20% discount off Shake Rag Alley lodging!)

In another news, we’ve added new content to our website in support of our Site Rentals and Annual Events. Did you know that virtually all of our buildings are available for private rentals when not in use for Shake Rag Alley workshops? And that all of our 2018 events are scheduled and posted on our website? We’re also now on Instagram in addition to Facebook and Twitter. Please give us a follow and like if you haven’t already!

If you’re at the WPT Garden Expo at the Alliant Energy Center in Madison this weekend, please stop by and see our staff and volunteers at booth #1500! We’ll have catalogs, samples of instructors’ artwork and crafts, information about upcoming events, and more!
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