Monday, January 8, 2018

January 2018 News

News from Shake Rag Alley Center for the Arts
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January 2018 News

We welcome 2018 with excitement for the year to come. Our workshops have come to a halt until spring, but we are still keeping busy!

If you haven't yet, be sure to check out all we have in store the New Year here at Shake Rag Alley Center for the Arts. Our 2018 offerings
boast workshops in a vast array of media. We are happy to work with you on planning your visit to Shake Rag Alley. Please call the office with any questions regarding workshop registrations or lodging.

And of course we continue to host, throughout the winter, the Winter Writers Series!

Winter Writers Series

Since 2011 Shake Rag Alley has partnered with the Council for Wisconsin Writers, Wisconsin People & Ideas, and the Wisconsin Poet Laureate Commission through the Wisconsin Academy of Sciences, Arts & Letters to offer week-long residencies to their annual writing contest winners. Between the months of January through April artists stay at inspiring lodging facilities in the nurturing environment of historic Mineral Point’s artist community while participating in workshops, readings and community outreach events. (Incidentally, the 2016 writer pictured above - Chloe Benjamin - is releasing her second novel, The Immortalists, tomorrow, December 9, to much pre-publication acclaim!)

Join us on the following Wednesdays at 7 p.m. at the Shake Rag Alley Lind Pavilion, for an evening to meet award winning Wisconsin authors as they talk about their craft and share their work. (For more information on each author, see the Events postings on the Shake Rag Alley Center for the Arts website.)

January 10: Nicholas Gulig
2017 Wisconsin Academy of Sciences, Arts & Letters Poetry Contest Winner

January 17: David Southward
2016 Council for Wisconsin Writers Lorine Niedecker Poetry Award

January 24: Bob Wake
2017 Wisconsin Academy of Sciences, Arts & Letters Fiction Contest Winner

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

March 7: Karla Huston
2017-2018 Wisconsin Poet Laureate

March 14: Liz Wyckoff
2016 Council for Wisconsin Writers Zona Gale Short Fiction Award

March 28: Patricia Skalka
2016 Council for Wisconsin Writers Edna Ferber Fiction Book Award

April 11: Carolyn Kott Washburne
2016 Council for Wisconsin Writers Kay W. Levin Short Nonfiction Award

Garden Expo: February 9-11

Last but not least, Save the Date for Wisconsin Public Television’s Garden Expo on February 9, 10 and 11 at the Alliant Energy Center in Madison, WI. We will be there at our usual booth with the 2018 Catalog and more information on Shake Rag Alley and Mineral Point. We hope to see you there, because scenes like this will not last forever!

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Monday, October 2, 2017

October News 2017

October News

The year may be winding soon down soon, but you wouldn’t know it by looking at the line-up of activity we have planned for this fall! October is full of workshops, our family favorite trick-or-treating event, and a show of new original paintings by Jennifer Sharp.

There are several openings in our October workshops, including Blacksmithing Historic Courting Candles, Outdoor Photography, Abstract Mixed Media, Cloud Painting, and more! For the full line-up and additional details, visit us online at

Join Jennifer Sharp on Sunday, October 15th from 3-5 p.m., for the opening reception of her exhibit Speak Up: The America I Want For Our Children’s Future. The exhibit will run October 16th to the 28th in the Cabinet Shop on the Shake Rag Alley campus and is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily.

October means trick-or-treating at Shake Rag Alley! Put on your wildest costume and stop by after the Mineral Point Halloween Parade. From 5-7 p.m., children of all ages will meet friendly (not scary) costumed characters who will be passing out Halloween treats at each of the Shake Rag historic buildings. This Mineral Point tradition is enjoyable for the entire family and a great way to meet many other free spirits and check out their wacky get-ups!

Be sure to save the date for Ragtime at Shake Rag Alley! Join us on Saturday, November 18th from 7-10 p.m. at the Lind Pavilion. This fall fundraiser will feature music by the Larry Busch Band so be prepared to tap your feet, hum along and swing your partner. There will be light refreshments, a cash bar, and a 50-50 raffle. Dance skills a little rusty? No problem! Mary Kay Engelke will offer a 45-minute dance lesson at 6 p.m. for $5/per couple. Tickets are available online now, or by calling the Shake Rag Alley office.

And lastly, don’t miss the Fall Art Tour, returning to our region on October 20-23. This tour allows visitors to access artists’ studios tucked away in the scenic hills in and around Wisconsin’s art communities of Baraboo, Spring Green, Dodgeville, and Mineral Point.  For more information, visit

Monday, August 14, 2017

August News 2017

What better way to end your summer than a visit to Shake Rag Alley? Whether you come for a workshop, to stroll the grounds, or a stay in one of our lodging facilities, time spent on our charming campus is a great way to wrap up your summer!

Register now for Art Adventure, our newest annual retreat weekend, on August 24th-27th. Four days of workshops in collage, assemblage, mixed media jewelry and fiber arts, altered books, cement mosaic and more. Immerse yourself in art making, connect with other art adventurers, and explore the charming art community here in Mineral Point. Check out the workshops with remaining spaces online!

Be sure to save the date for our Summer Garage Sale, August 18th and 19th at the Shake Rag Alley Lind Pavilion, 411 Commerce St, Mineral Point. Items for sale include:
  • Antique and vintage furniture: burled walnut commode; late 1960s bedroom set (dark wood headboard, dresser, night stand); relatively new two-shelf 30" square side table; bookcase
  • Vintage rugs, throws, quilts, and household items
  • Children's Desk/Drafting Table
  • Senior Care items including a rolling walker with seat
  • Tools, pet furnishings, various walking and hiking sticks, art/craft supplies, salvaged lumber - many items priced under $1

And finally, be sure to check out the line-up of workshops coming up at the brand new Printmaking Retreat, happening on September 28th-October 1st.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Sculpt with Polymer Clay
Sculptor and Storyteller Maureen Carlson is coming to Shake Rag Alley for two classes, Thursday - Friday, August 10 - 11 and Saturday - Sunday, August 12 - 13.

First, on Thursday and Friday, comes a Mixed-Media Figurative Sculpture, then, on the weekend, a Sculpted-Character Walking Stick. Maureen's expertise is in polymer clay sculpture but her passion is all about providing people with techniques and resources for telling their stories through their art. Whether you are an experienced sculptor or a novice, there is something in one of these two classes for you. 
Are you intrigued about learning to sculpt faces, create texture or add interesting surface design? Do you enjoy the process of combining techniques and materials to create one-of-a-kind works of art? Maureen's classes include easy-to-follow step-by-step instruction, tips and tricks for working with both polymer clay and Apoxie Sculpt, methods for safely attaching elements together as well as encouragement to explore personal expression.
Maureen has more than 25 years of experience in simplifying the sculpting process so that even beginners can understand the steps for creating sculptural works.  Imagine the satisfaction of rolling a supple ball of clay round and round in your hand. Then feel the magic of transforming that lump of clay into a character face or an almost real leaf to create either a character walking stick or an interactive sculpture. Treat yourself to this interactive experience.
Sign up now. Registration closes on July 31.

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

July News

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July News

Woodlander's Gathering

There is just a bit of time to register for our annual
Woodlanders Gathering
(July 13 – 16). 
Don’t miss out on this
nature-filled fun event!

Point Five Concert

In the middle of the Woodlanders Gathering, local band Point Five will be playing their annual concert on Alley Stage on Saturday, July 15.  Concert begins at 7:30. Come and enjoy some great acoustic music. 

Art Adventure

There is plenty of time to register for Art Adventure, our newest annual workshop retreat weekend, happening on August 24th-27th. Four full days of mixed media workshops!  Whether an art veteran, or a complete novice, you will find lots of opportunities to stretch your wings and try something new and exciting. Art Adventure is packed with a wide range of arts and crafts mediums. Come for as many days as you like, take as many or as few workshops as you wish. Immerse yourself in art making, connect with other art adventurers, explore the charming art community of Mineral Point, and experience the magic of Shake Rag Alley, "the place that inspires creativity."

Printmaking Retreat

Save the date for our Printmaking Retreat,
September 28th - October 1st. 

Stop By and Visit!

Don’t forget, our grounds are always open to walk through, so bring the family down and enjoy a picnic on the beautiful Shake Rag Alley campus!

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

June News

June presents plenty of opportunities to pay us a visit here at Shake Rag Alley. The grounds (which are always open to the public to walk through) are bursting with greenery and color - and of course, the usual hum of fairy energy we normally hear this time of year!

Tour of Fairy Homes
The annual Tour of Fairy Homes returns on Saturday, June 17th from 9am-5pm. This year’s tour promises lovely fairy dwellings of all shapes and sizes; fairy abodes will once again be scattered around the magical grounds of Shake Rag Alley for you to find! The self-guided tour is free for children 11 and under. The price of admission is $5 for everyone else. You can bid on the homes in a silent auction or build your own for $20. Also returning this year is decorating your own Fairy Wand! $3 will grant you a magical wand and access to the Shake Rag vault of sparkly thingamabobs. For more information, visit the website.

Summer Youth Program
As you are making summer plans, don’t forget to check out the line-up of Summer Youth classes. There are many new classes to choose from this year, in addition to old favorites! Visit the website for more information and to view descriptions of all youth classes.

Woodlanders Rustic Arts
Last but certainly not least, save the date for our annual Woodlanders Gathering, returning on July 13th-16th! Choose from over 40 nature-based workshops at this event known by many as ‘summer camp for adults.’

Don’t forget to visit the whole line-up of Summer classes at! We hope to see you on our magical campus!

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