MyNicolet   |  Directory  |  Email  |  LibraryContact

News Story

Northern National Art Competition opening reception Sept. 29

Sept. 20, 2018

One of the premier art exhibits in Wisconsin will open Saturday, Sept. 29, when the 31st Annual Northern National Art Competition holds an opening reception at 5 p.m. in the Nicolet College Art Gallery.

Northern National Artwork“Top contemporary artists from the across the country submitted works for this juried competition,” said Nicolet College Gallery Director Katy Ralph. “Only the finest pieces were selected, resulting in an amazing collection that rises to a very high standard.”

The event is co-sponsored by the Northern Arts Council, which awards $8,500 in prize money to artists judged to have created the best works.

Tickets for the opening reception are $20 and can be purchased at Trig’s Customer Service Desk and Diane’s Frame Shoppe, both in downtown Rhinelander. Tickets are also available through ArtStart's School of the Arts Legacy Program.

The reception will include a light buffet, wine, live music by the Woodland Strings, and commentary from this year’s judge, Mark Steven Greenfield, former director of the Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery.

Greenfield pored over 409 images submitted by more than 200 artists from across the country, selecting the best 92 pieces for the exhibit.

“I feel it is vitally important that national and regional aesthetics both be recognized and celebrated as the cultural barometers they represent, giving us a more insightful understanding of our diversity,” Greenfield wrote in his Curatorial Statement for the exhibit. “The work I’ve selected puts into visual language social and cultural imperatives the artists clearly felt could not be articulated in any other way.”

A Los Angeles native, Greenfield studied under Charles White and John Riddle at the Otis Art Institute. He received his bachelor’s degree in Art Education from California State University, Long Beach, and a master’s of fine arts degree in Painting and Drawing from California State University - Los Angeles. He also served as director of the Watts Towers Arts Center from 1993 to 2002.

His work has been exhibited extensively throughout the United States and internationally. His work deals primarily with the African American experience and in recent years has focused on the effects of stereotypes and racial politics on American culture. For more information about Greenfield, visit

Admission to the exhibit will be free after the opening reception. The Nicolet Art Gallery, located in the Northwoods Center on the Rhinelander Campus, is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. The Northern National Art Competition exhibit will run through Nov. 9.

The digital collage above, titled Nature's Colors, is by Chicago artist Ed Derwent. It will be one of the many works of art on display at the 31st Annual Northern National Art Competition exhibit at Nicolet College.