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Northern National Art Competition opens July 18

July 10, 2015

One of the premier art exhibits in the Northwoods will kick off Saturday, July 18, when the Northern National Art Competition holds its opening reception at 6 p.m. in the Nicolet College Art Gallery.

Judge for this year’s event is Bob Kanyusik, who helped found the event 28 years ago and taught art at Nicolet for 31 years.

Kanyusik pored over 441 entries from more than 230 artists to select the best 100 for the national exhibit at Nicolet.

“One of the strengths of this year’s show is the diversity of technique,” Kanyusik said. “My approach was to look at how successful each artist was at conveying an idea. No question there are some amazing pieces in the exhibit which reflects the diversity of today’s art world.”

Tickets for the opening reception are $20 and can be purchased at Trig’s Customer Service Desk , Diane’s Frame Shop, and the University of Wisconsin School of the Arts July 17 and 18, all in Rhinelander; or by calling Tom Winquist at (715) 362-6988.

Tickets will be available up to the start of the reception at Trig’s and Diane’s Frame Shop. No tickets will be available at the Art Gallery.

The reception will include a light buffet, wine, music, and commentary from Kanyusik. He will discuss the criteria he used to select the prize-winning pieces and provide tips on how to view any art exhibit.

Kanyusik’s own artwork has been exhibited nationally and internationally. In 1986, he won a national competition to produce a statue honoring the service and sacrifices of Wisconsin's Vietnam War veterans. His sculpture, Fragments, consists of four life-size, bronze figures that convey the price the war’s veterans paid during the conflict and afterwards. Fragments, which can be viewed at Highground Veterans Memorial Park in Neillsville, Wis., is also the first veterans memorial in the United States to include a figure of a woman.

Kanyusik holds a Master of Fine Arts in printmaking from Tyler School of Art in Philadelphia and a Master of Arts in painting from St. Cloud State University.

The exhibit, which is free after the opening reception, will run through Saturday, Sept. 12. Hours are 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday with special hours Saturday, July 25, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., and Saturday, Sept. 12 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The gallery is located in the Learning Resources Center on the Nicolet Campus, one mile south of Rhinelander just off of Hwy. G.