woman drawing flowers on paper

ArtStart and Nicolet College Partner on School of the Arts Sept. 15 to 18


Anyone interested in exploring their creative interests in a relaxing and inspiring Northwoods setting is invited to attend the upcoming School of the Arts Sept. 15 to 18 in Rhinelander.  

Over the four-day event those attending will have the opportunity to participate in more than 20 different arts-based classes, presentations, and events that range from pouring molten metal to make art to embracing playful creativity through mindful drawing. All classes will be held on the Nicolet College campus, with a Thursday evening panel discussion and Sunday morning wrap-up brunch at Holiday Acres Resort.    

“Art takes on many forms and our goal was to stretch those boundaries while also giving people the opportunity to continue to develop and refine more traditional artistic endeavors,” said Melinda Childs, Community and Cultural Development director with ArtStart, which is sponsoring School of the Arts in conjunction with Nicolet College. 

Individuals can pick and choose specific classes and events which feature ala carte pricing from $25 to $75 per event or they can register for all four days for $225, which includes access to all School of the Arts events. 

By design, School of the Arts will take place in concert with the Project North music, art and sustainability festival, which will take place Sept. 16 and 17 in downtown Rhinelander and will feature performances by 10 different bands and also include interactive art installations and an EcoVillage to demonstrate a variety of sustainable practices. 

Those who want to attend both School of the Arts and Project North can do so for $285. 

For more information and complete class details, visit and click on the School of the Arts link under the Events tab. 


The School of the Arts schedule is as follows: 

Thursday, Sept. 15 - Morning Workshop 

Replica Molds Community Workshop - Pour lead-free pewter, use hand files and colored inks to create your small sculpture, wearable, pendant, or souvenir artifact. 

Afternoon Workshops – select one 

Saying a Mouthful: Food, Writing, and Memory with Emily Anderson - Learn how to open the doors of memory by writing about food and practice using specific sensory details to provide a literary feast for themselves and their readers. 

Mixed Media Print Making with Mel Kolstad – Have you ever wondered how to create prints using the intaglio printmaking method? It’s so much easier than you think! In this class, we’ll learn four techniques that will encompass one print design. 

Cuttlebone Carving and Cast Metal with Sara Hanson – Create your own design (or choose from imagery) and learn how to direct carve into cuttlebone, pour lead-free pewter and use hand tools for finishing work to create your small sculpture, wearable or souvenir artifact.  

Outside In: Letting Nature Inspire Embodied Creation with Emilia Seay Allen – If a typical day leaves you feeling numb from the chin down, or like a brain operating an unwieldy machine, you’re invited to come explore the creative, community-building potential locked up within your body—whatever your physical ability. 

Evening Event 

Making Art in a Post-Covid World: Panel Discussion and Happy Hour led by Katie Vagnino - Kick off your weekend with great food and drink, visiting with other attendees and instructors, and listening to a panel discussion and Q&A featuring School of the Arts artists across the disciplines of art, writing, drama, music, and others. 5 p.m. to 7 p.m., Holiday Acres Resort. $25 includes discussion, heavy appetizers, and a drink ticket. 

Friday, Sept. 16 

Morning Workshops – Select One 

Cyanotype 101 with Norma Dycuss Pennycuff - In this session we will discuss some of the history of the cyanotype before jumping into making our own works using pretreated paper, provided shapes and images, sunlight and water.  

Mindfulness and Goal Setting with Angela Johnson - This interactive talk explores both mindfulness and creative goal setting. Learn tips and techniques to quiet and focus your mind. Hands-on activities include mind mapping, free writing and creating concrete actions steps to work towards your creative goals. 

Poetry in Brief: Exploring Short Forms with Katie Vagnino - In poetry, every word matters, and never more so than in the short poem. Short poems are ideal for the 21st century, where readers’ attention spans are ever diminishing. Thus, it’s common advice, in both copywriting seminars and creative writing classes, to write like every word costs you something. 

Collaging and Printing with Nature with Mel Kolstad - Attendees will start by creating gel prints with a Gelli plate and then take those finished prints and use them in collages, using many different kinds of papers. 

Embracing Playful Creativity Through Mindful Drawing with Elizabeth Lewis - We often judge ourselves - and what we are experiencing in the present moment - unkindly which then takes us further away from the inner ease, creative flow and joy we are seeking in the creative process. In this class we will explore mindful drawing as a way to slow down and relax, spark artistic freedom, clear away mental clutter and more. 

Saturday, Sept. 17 

Morning Workshops – Select One 

Cyanotype 102 with Norma Dycuss Pennycuff - So what can we “do” with our cyanotype prints? We will take a look at contemporary cyanotype work, toning, painting, stitching and other methods of adding to our pieces. Frames and other finishing methods will be provided. 

Dragons from Daddy Issues: Improvising Your Way from Troubles to Fairy Tales with Emilia Seay Allen - Employs Viewpoints, a technique created for theater and dance, to explore the imaginative and world-building potential stored in your own body, whatever your physical ability. We’ll draw from two different worlds—the folk and fairy tales that make up the bedrock of our cultures, and the psychological angst we just can’t quite shake—to create vibrant, imaginative new worlds.  

Kintsugi: Exploring the Art of "Golden Repair" through Clay Pot-Breaking with Elizabeth Lewis - We sometimes feel broken apart by loss. Reconfiguring the pieces of our lives post-loss in a way that makes us feel whole again is central to the grieving process. In this workshop, we will explore clay pot-breaking using the concept of kintsugi. Clay pot-breaking and re-making is a grief support activity aimed at giving form to the process of healing from loss.  

Poetry as a Conversation with Katie Vagnino - Poets often enter into dialogue with each other, whether borrowing a line and riffing on it, responding to another poet's argument, or reimagining a famous poem through an entirely different lens. We'll look at some famous examples and talk about strategies for how to write this kind of poem. Students will then get to "talk back" to a poem of their choosing. 

Weaving the Wild - Basketry Fiber Exploration with Sam Martinez - After surveying the different plants used in basketry for thousands of years, we’ll discuss responsible harvest and processing methods for weaving with cattail, milkweed, cedar, willow, birch and more. No basket weaving experience required, although sufficient manual dexterity is necessary. 

Sunday, Sept. 18 

Morning Brunch – 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. 

Holiday Acres Resort 

Relax in the beautiful setting of Holiday Acres Resort on the scenic shores of Lake and share last thoughts and inspirations with other SOTA students and artists. Enjoy a showcase of art created throughout the weekend and set intentions for living a creative life all year long.  

For more information and complete class details, visit and click on the School of the Arts link under the Events tab.