The Arts Mill 1 year Anniversary

The Arts Mill
The Arts Mill

April 6, 2012


Grafton Arts Mill to celebrate first anniversary

of artistic collaboration in historic site


The NSAA Arts Mill, situated in an 1884 woolen mill on Cedar Creek in the heart of Grafton, is celebrating its first anniversary with an evening of fine art display and live demonstrations on Friday, April 27th from 5 to 9 p.m.

All are welcome to tour the galleries, studios and boutique at the free community event, which also will feature food and beverages available for purchase by Cedarburg’s Grapes & Tastes.

The Arts Mill is the sister site to North Shore Academy of the Arts, which was originally launched in this historic building before moving to its current Broad Street site, where it has offered classes for more than 10 years.

“The Arts Mill helps to fulfill NSAA’s original mission of offering opportunities to people of all ages in the arts, while fostering cultural appreciation,” said Sheri Bestor, NSAA founder and president.  “This new component of NSAA is a wonderful balance with what we offer at our home site.”

The Grafton Arts Mill currently showcases 17 juried artists who have joined in a collaborative effort throughout the past year, displaying work ranging from oil paintings, basketry and fused glass…to jewelry, mixed media, textiles and sculpture.

“We see the Arts Mill environment as an ‘art think tank,'” said Paula Christensen, Arts Mill Director.  “It’s a creative co-op studio space, which provides artists a place to work, as well as to receive feedback from other artists in an environment of camraderie and collaboration.”

Open Tuesday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., the Grafton Arts Mill, just around the corner from the Milwaukee Ale House on Highway 60, offers an opportunity to shop for local, handmade art that can be defined as art or craft — with a pointedly inclusive, non-elitist philosophy.  Further, various art exhibitions have taken place throughout the past 12 months to draw visitors to the historic Mill on a regular basis.

“Our third-floor gallery space currently is featuring the first-ever, off-site Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design alumni show,” says Christensen, “and we’re happy to say we have both juried and non-juried shows planned through January 2013.”

Past shows have showcased artists throughout the community, state, and country — in open calls for art, as well as juried exhibitions — and Christensen’s goal is to someday feature artistic concepts from around the world.  Just as important, in an effort to encourage artists right here at home, Grafton’s Kennedy Elementary School has been invited to showcase its school art show in the mill’s gallery from May 2nd through May 14th.

Jenny Frontier, artist and boutique owner, who displays her mixed media, decorative arts, and accessories in the Arts Mill, says, “We are here for the artists — to nurture creativity in an inviting and encouraging environment — but also for the community to enjoy the artistry around us.  It’s exciting to offer people the chance to buy handmade, local, one-of-a-kind art…unique gifts that help support the efforts and vision of the artists right in our own community.”

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Paula Christensen, Arts Mill Director

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