[Art]ifact Exhibition Opening Reception ... Wow.

On February 26th, three years of hard work and collaboration became a reality as the much anticipated [Art]ifact Exhibition opened with fanfare at the Pump House Regional Arts Center. LCHS, UW-La Crosse and the Pump House partnered to create [Art]ifact, a unique project which involved selecting 15 locally connected historical artifacts, a tremendous amount of research, and a call to artists which culminated in the selection by jury of fifteen. Each artist was then assigned an artifact and had to create a new piece of artwork based on that artifact. The result was a body of diverse works that is simply amazing. Finally, the jury had the difficult task of choosing the winners of a variety of awards.

By every description, the opening reception of [Art]ifact was a staggering success. And we mean, WOW. The Kader Gallery, and in fact, the entire Pump House, was filled with art-loving, history-loving onlookers as speeches were made, credits were acknowledged, thanks were offered and awards were presented. The exhibition will run through April 17th.

The La Crosse County Historical Society would like to thank its partners and all the hard-working individuals who made [Art]ifact the stunning, unique, amazing exhibition that it is.

[Art]ifact Award Winners

Best Connection: $250, strong incorporation of the artifact’s history in the new piece
Lisa Lenarz, “Tiab Dawb: Cloth of Everlasting Friendship” (acrylic on canvas)
Artifact: Pleated Skirt, Creator Unknown, 1985-1995

Best Transformation: $100, artifact represented as something very different
Brad Nichols, “Trapped” (mixed media: sterling silver, steel, brass, mink fur, ceramic)
Artifact: Fur Muff, Lutz Fur Store, 1920

Best Renewal: $75, artifact represented as same item in modern times
Jonathan Eimer, “”La Crosse Stick” (wood, metal)
Artifact: La Crosse Stick, Creator Unknown, 1930-1950

Honorable Mention: $50
Preston Lawing, “Vulcan (Tong Khai) at the Forge” (wood-cut, hand-applied color)
Artifact: Knife, Tong Khai Vang

Honorable Mention: $50
Marcia Thompson, “Gussie’s Dress” (mixed media: monotype printing, fabric collage, hand stitching)
Artifact: Wedding Dress, Augusta Dobe, 1909