In the early 1900s, every rural valley in Wisconsin had a cheese factory, and every town or village along the railroad had a cheese warehouse. As transportation modes changed, the old warehouses fell into disuse, awaiting a new life and a new appreciation for their well-built features.
This warehouse in Spring Green was acquired by papermaker/printmaker Jura Silverman in 1986 from a family which had direct ties to the building's past as a Borden Company warehouse. Features identifying its past have been retained in adapting the space for a studio and gallery.
Entering the gallery, one can still see the large working area where cheeses were cut, dipped in paraffin, and crated. Marks on the hardwood floors show gouges from nails as the wooden crates were filled and shoved across the room. Bulk storage barrels left round floor marks. Wainscoting in the gallery was created out of rough hewn raised oak flooring in the basement which allowed air to circulate under the stored cheese. The freight elevator has been restored.
The studio, currently used for printmaking and papermaking, was the original icehouse for the warehouse. Ice was cut on the Wisconsin River in the winter and brought for storage in sawdust, to last through the summer. Walls and ceiling are lined with cork for insulation.
Though the cheese is gone, the past lingers and lends a mellow aura to the gallery space and studio. In addition to displaying her own prints and handmade paper, Jura Silverman shares this large display space with artists and craftspersons from throughout Wisconsin in order to introduce the many travelers who come to Spring Green to the talents to be found in this state. Located on Washington Street across from the Post Office in SG.
The Wisconsin Artists Showcase at the Jura Silverman Gallery in Spring Green, Wisconsin announces an exhibition of New Work:
Kim Russell Ink and Acrylic
Rumi O'Brien Watercolor (plus a few quilts)
Date: June 6 - July 16, 2014
Artist Reception: June 8 from 2:00 - 5:00 p.m.
Kim Russell is known for her depictions of wild birds in ink and acrylic. Her images capture the birds of Wisconsin in their behavioral patterns, leading to a greater appreciation of their characteristics and beauty. For this exhibition, Russell has created new images of sandhill cranes, loons, humming birds, herons, owls, hawks, and eagles in flight and at rest. (Photos of several pieces are attached and more are available.
Rumi O'Brien is a watercolor painter and a quilter. Her distinctive figures, inspired by Japanese origami, populate her watercolors of landscapes, paintings of elements of nature, as well as her quilts. For this exhibition, she presents the beauty from her garden, portraying squash leaves and blossoms, lilies, flowers that she grows, as well as views from her environmental activities.
Three quilts, for which she has achieved much acclaim, will be included in the exhibition, including her illustrative Quilting Bees which displays the technical elements of quilting through humorous figures -- the lady quilting bees.
Gallery hours: Wednesday through Sunday from 11-5 and by chance or advance appointment.
(The gallery is located in a restored early 1900's rural cheese warehouse across the street from the Spring Green Post Office.
143 South Washington Street Spring Green, WI 53588