“Mettle & Mirth,” Plus Virtual Folk Arts Fest Planned for 2021

Posted: December 16, 2020


Merriam Webster defines mettle as, “vigor and strength of spirit…” and mirth as, “gladness…” which aptly describe the innovative endeavors undertaken by so many area organizations, groups, and individuals since the on-set of COVID-19. Creativity and cultural pursuits have continued to endure in the Chippewa Valley despite the difficulties. Starting January 19 through March 2, 2021 the Chippewa Valley Museum and Artisan Forge Studios will bring the Mettle & Mirth Art Show to regional audiences.

The goals of this new partnership--and its related events--are to expand opportunities for local artists, offer access to a novel gallery space, and provide dynamic exhibit content for visitors coming to the museum during a traditionally quiet time of the year. Well-known, visual artist Christy Skuban will be guest curator of this unique show. Skuban says, “the exhibit will have fiber work, paintings, photography, digital media, sculpture, and jewelry” and she is currently working on involving many of her fellow AFS colleagues to take part. All participants will be contributing from one to three pieces to the exhibit.

Additionally, the Mettle & Mirth Art Show will feature mini virtual programs showcasing talents of some of the artists. Schaefer/Miles Fine Art and MingXin Chinese Cultural Exchange are planning events thus far. According to Skuban, “…(the) Schaefers will be doing live painting” with other highlights yet to be announced.

The Chippewa Valley Museum will also be having its annual Folk Arts Festival in tandem with this years “Mettle & Mirth” theme. Instead of an in-person, single-day occasion, however, the Folk Arts Festival will now shift to a fully virtual experience in the new year. Spread across 11 dates from Saturday, February 20 and lasting until Tuesday, March 2, 2021, there will be a range of daily presentations available for festival goers.

“We are excited to announce a ‘buffet’ of options for people to enjoy over the course of the festival,” explains Chippewa Valley Museum Educator and Folk Arts Festival Organizer Karen Jacobson. “There will be both live or recorded demonstrations with each day’s line-up devoted to a different motif…all to explore or rediscover vintage skills, heritage arts and their modern legacies.” Jacobson notes that audiences can expect presentations to span from culinary traditions and textile arts to folk music, artisan agriculture, and more.

Local support for the art show exhibit, festival and accompanying programs is provided in part by sponsors Volume One and Chippewa Valley Family.

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