The Richeson Art School and Gallery: A Hidden Gem

Written By: Alison Hutchinson, Convention Sales and Marketing Representative

Tucked away in a business park in Kimberly, sits the Richeson Art School and Gallery. Even though it can be seen as you pass on Hwy 441, the building, with it’s warehouse shape, tends to blend into it’s surroundings, but once you step inside you are taken to another place. When I visited I felt as though I was in a fine art gallery in a large city, and the best part; it’s free to visit!

Upon entering I headed to my left to view the exhibit titled, “A Century of Painting with Phil Sealy & R.E. Jelinski, Two Men x 50 years = A Century of Painting”. The exhibit celebrates the creative talent of two local artists, Phil Sealy and R.E. Jelinski, whom have spent the past 50 years developing their styles of work. Both artists work in water based media to create their spectacular works of art. Their work was beautifully displayed, and I enjoyed their interpretations of nature’s beauty.

Richeson Art photo 2Richeson Art Photo

In addition to  this exhibit, I strolled through the gallery to view additional pieces from new and unknown artists, and where they also have over 200 pieces from the Richeson family on display. Near the center of the gallery is the classroom for the art school where they offer several classes and workshops throughout the year, and if you’re visit to the gallery happens to inspire you to paint or if you are already a skilled artist, they sell supplies as well. Located near the main entrance for you to shop, they have everything from paints and brushes; to easels and instructional books on how to paint. 

Take some time to visit and enjoy this hidden gem located right here in the Fox Cities, I’m glad I did! Visit their website to find out more details and information about what they have to offer!

2015 Destination Guide..The One Publication You’ll Need for Fox Cities Info!

Written By: Mary Rhode, Marketing and Communications Manager 2015GuideCover (1)

Beyond the colorful exterior, lies an abundance of information for a first-time visitor or the long-time local. I wanted to make sure to highlight some of the new sections, let you know where you can pick one up for yourself and of course share my favorite article in our guide this year. One new addition to our guide is the ABOUT page. Located in the front of the guide on page 2, this page lets you know which cities make up the Fox Cities as well as give you a few of the facts and figures about our area. Another new addition is the shopping series article; this three-part series highlights the many great options for shopping in the Fox Cities. The first part in the series focuses on Fox River Mall, with the other two parts focused on Downtown Appleton and Downtown Neenah, and will appear in the 2016 and 2017 guides respectively. Another new addition is the consignment and resale store listing. This special listing in the SHOP section of our guide was a request from visitors and locals alike. Lastly, our 2015 guide has a new and improved Visitor Services section. This section has new content headers including; kayak rental, boat rentals, sledding hills, outdoor/public pools and cross country ski trails. It seemed only logical to put this information in our guide to make it available for all visitors to discover. The Destination Guide is a labor of love for me to work on every year. When it comes to writing the articles for it, I love the challenge of coming up with interesting content for our visitors and locals alike to read. If I had to pick a favorite in the 2015 guide, it would be the ‘My Fox Cities’ article. This year’s guide highlights Cory Chisel and his journey from Appleton to Nashville and back to Appleton to create Mile of Music. This Q&A article was fun to do and as you read it, you can truly feel the passion Cory has not only for the festival but for his hometown of Appleton. A close second place for my favorite article would have to be the Local Brewers article. Although this article appeared in our 2014 Destination Guide, the 2015 article has the addition of Appleton Beer Factory. With it opening late in 2013, I was unable to include it before the final proof of the 2014 guide. I am thrilled to have them included in the 2015 article and I hope you find that article informative! The Fox Cities Destination Guide is available at a number of locations throughout our 20 communities. We have 15 Visitor Information Kiosks located at various attractions. The guide is also available at area hotels, Chambers of Commerce and the airport. Live outside of the area? Not a problem, as you can request one to be mailed to you by following this link: http://www.foxcities.org/explore/visitor_guide. You can also view a digital version of the guide through our website by following this link: http://www.foxcities.org/explore/d_visitor_guide

Getting Creative at The Fire

Written By: Jeni Strom, Group Visitor Services Coordinator

We headed downtown Appleton last night to take part in the Teen Night; Make One, Take One event at The Fire pottery studio. The event was held in conjunction with the Appleton Public Library and free for teens 11 and up (pre-registration was required as space and materials were limited). The idea of the event was for the girls to make one glass pendant for themselves and their second pieces would be given as holiday gifts to a elderly ladies in assisted living homes.  A pretty neat idea and a great way to get them involved in the spirit of giving! The girls got to pick their glass pieces and colors they wanted to use, and draw out their designs. The final products will be finished in about a week.photo 1

While the girls had their fun, my son and I decided to do a little project of our own, and each painted our own mugs to be fired. They have lots of pre-made pottery to choose from, all you have to do is paint on your designs! They’re pottery projects range in price from as little as $5 up to around $30. They set you up and walk you through the process and then let you do your thing!

photo 2

The Fire also offers mosaics and clay projects as well! Check online for more events through the Appleton Public Library at http://www.apl.org/, and for more information and events going on at The Fire visit http://thefireartstudio.com/. A fun indoor activity and great for all ages!!

Head Downtown for the Holidays

Written by: Jeni Strom, Group Visitor Services Coordinator

My kids and I headed downtown Appleton on Saturday, November 25th for holiday family day. Our first stop was the Appleton Winter Farm Market at City Center Plaza, it’s definitely on a smaller scale than that of the summer farm market, but still offers a good selection of vendors and with the holiday season, they’ve added a few extra free family friendly events and activities. My kidcookies with Mrs Clauss were most excited to make a visit to Mrs. Claus and decorate cookies! This included coloring for the kids and a Christmas storybook time. We also got to see a small performance of some classic Christmas carols from the Lawrence Academy of Music Girl Choir . Be sure to check out the Appleton Winter Farm Market every Saturday at City Center, and watch for more holiday activities!

 

We also took some time to walk around window displaydowntown to look at some of the holiday window displays. Many of the downtown stores take extra time to come up with fun and creative ways to spruce up their displays for the holidays. So if you’re out and about downtown, be sure to stop and take a look!

 

 

We ended our day with a walk through the Festival of Trees at The Trout Museum of Art. Festival of Trees is an exhibit for local businesses and artists to create and decorate festival of trees 2themed Christmas trees or wreaths for silent auction. Bidding is open now through Dec 4, but the exhibit will be available for viewing through Dec 7. Throughout this time they will also have some special events and performances to see. You can get more information and details on their website. It’s free and open to the public, so stop in and enjoy these beautifully festival of treesdecorated pieces!wreath

Light up your Fox Cities visit with NEON!

Written by: Mary Rhode, Marketing & Communications Manager

I had the opportunity to get a sneak peak at the new exhibit opening up at the History Museum at the Castle. The exhibit is called NEON: Darkness Electrified and opened Nov. 12 and runs until Fall 2015. Being so passionate about marketing and advertising, I knew this exhibit would be right up my alley. Most of these signs were once on the sides of businesses in Wisconsin and other states. For those businesses that had more money to spend on their sign, they had flashing lights to attract more attention to their business. From large to small, these signs illuminate the past including some signs from the 1930’s. Even though these signs are quite beautiful to look at, there is also an educational component to this exhibit. For instance, I learned what makes neon glow and that the famous Northern Lights are created by the same phenomenon!

photo 1 (1)Today, when most people think of neon signs, they think of the beer signs that illuminate the windows of their favorite bar or restaurant. As this exhibit shows you, the beer signs of yesteryear were much simpler, yet still remain an iconic look at the past.

One of the more interesting displays, in my opinion, was the Florida Power Corporation photo 2 (2) (2)sign. This sign, circa 1950’s boasts blue, red and white glowing neon as well as the face of a character known as Reddy Kilowatt. This character was used nationwide to promote the use of electricity in the 1950’s. There even was a large sign with Reddy displayed along the Fox River in Appleton during that time.

A Night at Pinot’s Palette

Posted by: Amy Karas, Conventions Sales & Marketing Manager

Pinot's Palette3Paint. Drink. Have Fun. That is the idea behind Pinot’s Palette, the new local studio in downtown Appleton, but it does not even begin to describe the wonderful experience I had at the soft opening last night.

They take care of all the materials and stock the bar with your favorite drinks. All you need to do is show up with a group of your friends, family or coworkers and have a great time.

Classes run in the regular studio space where participants get step by step directions to create a unique version of the featured painting. During the instruction, staff walks around the room to help with ideas, mistakes and drink refills.

Pinot's Palette7The progression from start to finish is an enjoyable bonding experienced. Whether you are a beginner or an experienced painter, Studio Owner, Mari Kessenich, and her staff will help you create a masterpiece that is all your own.

Pinot’s Palette also has a separate room for private parties. Groups can choose their favorite painting from the library or request a custom painting and bring in their own snacks. From corporate events to girls’ night out, Pinot’s Palette is the perfect atmosphere for fun and creativity.

Visit www.PinotsPalette.com/Appleton  to register for a class or to book your private Pinot's Palette1party and like Pinot’s Palette Appleton on Facebook to be a part of special promotions. Their grand opening is on Thursday, October 2, 2014.

Last Minute ‘Back to School’ fun in the Fox Cities!

Posted by: Mary Ann Minten, Group Visitor Services Coordinator

Looking to have some last minute family fun, before the kids head back to school?  The Fox Cities is your one-stop shop for fun ideas.

Here are 20 suggestions:

Enjoy the last days of summer Fox Cities style!  For more ideas on fun in the Fox Cities, click here.