Arts & Entertainment Archives for 2017-07

Birch Creek's Hany Set To Join United States Air Force Band

By Tim Kowols

Birch Creek Music Performance Center's Ally Hany will be taking her trumpet career to new heights later this year when she joins the United States Air Force Band. An eight-year veteran of the Egg Harbor-based music academy, Hany decided to take her chances to join the highly-competitive band after graduating with a Master's degree from the Manhattan School of Music in New York. Hany says she will lean on Birch Creek faculty member and former Army band member Joey Tartell for help on what she is most worried about joining the Air Force.



Slated to be stationed in San Francisco, Hany says she is committed to the Air Force Band for at least four years while she primarily tours the West Coast.


Musician Ruby James Finds True Home In Door County

By Tim Kowols

Often musicians, actors, and other artists head to either coast to find their fame, but not singer Ruby James. A Los Angeles native, James discovered Door County as a creative hub in 2007 during the Steel Bridge Songfest held annually in Sturgeon Bay. As a solo artist and the lead singer of Wifee and the Huzz Band, James says she has found a lot to love about Door County.



Now married and living in Door County, James attributes a lot of her love for the area to songwriter pat mAcdonald, who she calls one of the greatest of all of time.



James and many of her other friends from the Steel Bridge Songfest will host a tribute concert to mAcdonald this Saturday beginning outside the Door Community Auditorium at 6 p.m. with a courtyard show and potluck dinner before heading inside at 8 p.m.

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Plein Air Festival Featuring Top National Artists At Work This Week

By Marissa Hatlen

The Plein Air Festival this week offers locals and visitors the opportunity to watch top artists from all around the country at their craft. The festival has events throughout the week, including Art and All That Jazz, where attendees can meet this year's artists while enjoying hors d'oeuvres and live jazz music. On Saturday, the artists will complete the Quick Paint challenge, finishing artwork in less than three hours to be auctioned immediately after. Kay McKinley, Director of Public Programs at the Peninsula School of Art, says this event is a treat for the artists as well as for art fans.



Kids can join in on another Quick Paint Saturday afternoon and create art alongside the artists for $5. Saturday evening, the festival will end on the free Open-Door Celebration where visitors can view and purchase art from the festival's featured artists. For more information on the festival, you can view schedule information below.


Community Mosaic Debuts In Ephraim

By Mark Kanz

The tenth annual Community Mosaic Wall opens this weekend at The Hardy Gallery in Ephraim.  Gallery Project Coordinator Ann Soderlund says the project is a partnership between the gallery and the Sturgeon Bay Artists Guild.  She says artists from age 4 and up have been working on their six-inch square tiles for the past several months.



Soderlund says well-known Door County artists like Rob Williams and Rick Brawner have made contributions along with artists you may never hear of.  Visitors to the gallery can purchase tiles, but it is a blind mailing so you don't know what you bought until it comes in the mail after the exhibit is taken apart.  The mosaic wall will be on display until August 27.  The Hardy Gallery is on Highway 42 in Ephraim at Anderson Dock.


Birch Creek Students Develop Life Skills

By Mark Kanz

Nearly 100 of the top musical instructors from around the United States spend part of their summer vacation in Door County as staff members at the Birch Creek Music Performance Center.  Birch Creek Executive Director Mona Christensen says the synergy between staff and the nearly 200 students is what makes the Birch Creek experience unique.



Birch Creek students hail from 15 different states, Canada and Trinidad.  Christensen says music may become just a hobby later in life for the students planning to be engineers, doctors and more.  She believes music has helped them develop skills that will benefit them later in life. Big Band Jazz performances continue weekly Wednesday through Saturday through August 12 at Birch Creek in Egg Harbor.


Young Composer Makes Debut This Weekend

By Mark Kanz

18-year old composer Jacob Beranek from Hartland, WI is debuting his composition called Dangerous Waters this weekend as part of the Midsummer's Music Series.  Beranek's piece is inspired by the story of Death's Door....the area of water between Washington and Gills Rock which has claimed many boats, but no lives over the years.  His nearly 17-minute piece is written for clarinet, cello, violin, French horn, and piano.  Beranek researched Death's Door and wrote a poem to get started. His composition includes three sections.



Beranek says you'll hear the violin sound like seagulls and many other sounds familiar to Door County.  He has 400 hours invested in writing the music and another 100 hours fine tuning it, writing various parts and publishing it.  Saturday's performance is at Unitarian Universalist Fellowship in Ephraim at 7 p.m.  Sunday's performance is on Washington Island at the Trueblood Performing Arts Center at 6 p.m.


Rogue Theater Presents Children's Camp Performance Saturday In Sturgeon Bay

By Tim Kowols

Rogue Theater will turn its stage in Sturgeon Bay over to children this weekend for a special performance. The performing arts company is wrapping up its four-week children's theater camp where kids ages 9-15 get to do a little bit of everything from set design and costuming to performing in a play. Director Lola DeVillers says it is great to see the children develop their skills over the course of the camp and gives her an artistic boost as well.


The Rogue Theater's Children's Theater Camp will perform "The Ungrateful Dwarf" at the Jaycee Hall beginning at 2 p.m. The show is free but donations will be accepted to help support Rogue Theater's future children's programming.


Sturgeon Bay Students Experience Elite Art Camp In Georgia

By Connor Sannito

Eric Frank, Connor Sannito, Ellie Johnson, and Grace Hubbard return from attending art camp at the prestigious Savannah College of Art and Design. (SCAD)


The four Sturgeon Bay High School students came home July second at two in the morning from Savannah, Georgia. They experienced the historic city and the courses at the college. Each day they had two three hour long classes taught by accomplished professors from their specific industry. From 3D animation to interior design, the camp offered varying courses. They were taught hands on and everyone learned a great amount.


One of the students, Eric Frank, had this to say about his experience:



The eighteen-hour-long drive was well worth it: the kids stayed in the actual dorms of SCAD students, they met with other art kids from across the country, and they were able to meet with alumni. The food at the college was even by the same company that caters for Apple and Google.


Overall, it was simply a fantastic experience for the Sturgeon Bay High School students.


Miller Art Museum's "42nd Juried Annual" Taking Entries Until July 22

By Paul Schmitt

The Miller Art Museum is looking for some local talent to display work at their 42nd Juried Annual Exhibition.  Local artists are encouraged to submit entries by July 22.  Curator at the Miller Art Museum Deborah Rosenthal describes what type of original works are being sought and the awards to be given out besides three special merit awards.



Last year over 100 entries were submitted with 53 being chosen.  The 42nd Juried Annual exhibit will be open and September 9 and remain displayed through October 30.  Applications to submit artwork can be done online for the first time or by contacting the Miller Art Museum directly, according to Rosenthal.





(Sturgeon Bay, WI) – July 6, 2017 — The Miller Art Museum is pleased to announce a call for entries for the 42nd Juried Annual exhibition. Submissions will be accepted online through the Miller website at through Saturday, July 22, 2017. The Miller's Juried Annual is an open juried competition for regional emerging and established artists living and working in Northeast Wisconsin. Original 2-dimensional work will be accepted for review. Last year, over 100 applicants from across Northeast Wisconsin submitted work and 53 were selected. The competitive exhibit, which is open to visual artists specifically residing in Brown, Door, Kewaunee, Manitowoc, Oconto and Sheboygan counties, includes a total of $1,175 in awards and a top cash award of $175.00. A total of 8 awards will be presented at the opening reception scheduled for Saturday, September 9. The region has been expanded for 2017 to include Sheboygan county. 


The exhibition will be on display at the museum, located in the Door County Library in downtown Sturgeon Bay, September 9 to October 30, 2017The entry deadline isSaturday, July 22. Artists may submit up to two pieces; the entry fee is $25.
Works must be original, completed within the last two years (not created under the direction of a teacher in a class or workshop) and not previously exhibited in Door County. It is entirely the artists' discretion as to whether or not works be listed for sale. Work may not be removed until the close of the exhibition.


A three-member jury panel will select three special merit awards and three honorable mention awards. The Gerhard CF Miller Award of Excellence and the Bonnie Hartmann Award for Outstanding Creativity, chosen by museum staff, are given in memory of Gerhard Miller, the museum's founder, and in honor of Bonnie Hartmann, director from 1991–2014 for her many outstanding achievements during her 23-year career with the museum.
The opening reception is scheduled for Saturday, September 95 – 6:30 pm with the announcement of awards at 5:30 pm.


For full submission guidelines and to apply, please visit Contact Deborah Rosenthal, curator, at or 920-746-0707 with questions.


About the Miller Art Museum

The Miller Art Museum is a year-round public art museum featuring changing thematic, invitational and juried exhibits as well as a stunning collection of 20th c. Wisconsin art, including the work of nationally lauded artist Gerhard CF Miller. The museum's rich legacy of serving the community was launched in 1975 and continues through its mission to foster and inspire the creative life of the community and to be a catalyst for enrichment through cultural, art appreciation, and educational programming for people of all ages.


Location and Hours

The museum is located in the Door County Library in Sturgeon Bay at 107 S. 4th Avenue. Admission is free and the museum is fully accessible; an elevator is available to access galleries on the Ruth Morton Miller Mezzanine. Free parking.


Hours are 10 am to 8 pm on Mon. and 10 am to 5 pm Tues. through Sat. Closed Sundays.


56th Annual Belgian Days And Parade Draws Big Crowds

By Paul Schmitt

The 56th Annual Belgian Days hosted by the Brussels Lions Club saw hundreds of people line the roadsides to enjoy sunny skies Sunday morning for the annual parade.  The two-day event brought people from near and far to partake in the traditional foods, live music, baseball tournament, and other activities.  Brussels Lions Club secretary Penny Wautier says Saturday was a big day leading up to the parade on Sunday.



Proceeds from Belgian Days go towards the Brussels Lions Club's projects including playground equipment at the town park, the lending of medical equipment to those in need and local charity/scholarship programs, according to Wautier.  You can watch video from the Belgian Days Parade online at

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Door County Shines For The Fourth Of July

By Tim Kowols

Thousands of residents and visitors from as far as New York and California visited Door County communities Tuesday to celebrate at Independence Day events. Festivities kicked off at 10 a.m. in Baileys Harbor with their annual Independence Day parade. Nick Georgiopoulos of Park Ridge, Ill. has attended the parade for at least the last 10 years with his family to visit his in-laws living part-time in Baileys Harbor. Georgiopoulos says the parade keeps him coming back year after year.



His mother-in-law, Ginny Siegel says her home away from home does a great job of putting on the parade.



Following the Egg Harbor parade in the afternoon featuring the University of Wisconsin Marching Band, other communities hosted their own Independence Day activities capped off with fireworks in Baileys Harbor, Sturgeon Bay, Gills Rock and Washington Island.

Click for a video of the parade below:

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