Tiny works by Fond du Lac artist to be featured in exhibit at Ripon College

“Perseverance,” an exhibit featuring 1,000 tiny prints in collages by Fond du Lac artist Mel Kolstad, will be on view April 2 through May 3 in Caestecker Gallery, C.J. Rodman Center for the Arts, at Ripon College. A reception and artist talk will take place at 6:30 p.m. April 29 as part of the Spring Arts Celebration, which includes other visual art, music and theatre.

The exhibit reflects nearly a year’s worth of work. “I enjoyed myself thoroughly,” Kolstad says. “I was delighted to spend my days creating these tiny collages and prints and reveling in the satisfaction of seeing this somewhat absurd amount of artwork come to fruition.”

Travis Nygard, co-director of Caestecker Gallery, says, “I cannot be happier that we are exhibiting Mel’s work at the college, as she is one of the most interesting and enthusiastic artists working in Wisconsin today.”

The collages, which are mounted on magnets, will be for sale after the exhibit’s run for a minimum donation of $10, and all proceeds will be used to support fine arts scholarships at Ripon College. Kolstad says she intentionally prices her work at an affordable level so it can be collected and enjoyed by anyone.

A preview of a few magnet designs can be viewed at ripon.edu/magnet. The purchased magnets will be available only for pickup at the arts celebration.

Kolstad is a printmaker and collagist, specializing in large series of tiny art. She also has served as a speaker, instructor, arts advocate and volunteer curator for the Langdon Divers Gallery, located inside the Fond du Lac Public Library. She has participated in many artist residencies throughout Wisconsin and has exhibited her work across the Fox Cities and northern Wisconsin. Her work can be viewed at melkolstad.com and on Instagram at @melkolstadart.

The Caestecker Gallery is open from 2-5 p.m. Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays and 2-6 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays. Admission is free and the public is welcome.

Spring Arts Celebration

The Spring Arts Celebration on April 29 will bring together the visual art, music and theatre of Ripon College in one fun-filled evening in C.J. Rodman Center for the Arts. Festivities will run from 4:30 p.m. to about 9 p.m. All are free and open to the public:

  • 4:30 p.m.: Caleb Klinzing ’22 of Sheboygan, Wisconsin, senior organ recital, Demmer Recital Hall.
  • 5:30 to 8 p.m.: Reception in Foyer Gallery. There will be complimentary beverages and appetizers, as well as a cash bar. Reservations are not required, and guests are welcome to come and go freely.
  • 6 to 6:30 p.m.: Pre-musical discussion of “The Great American Trailer Park Musical” with Visiting Professor of Theatre and director Lillian Brown, Benstead Theatre.
  • 6:30 p.m.: Mel Kolstad artist talk, Demmer Recital Hall.
  • 7 p.m.: Dedication of the Foyer Gallery.
  • 7 p.m.: Opening of Mel Kolstad’s exhibit in Caestecker Gallery and the Senior Art Exhibit in the Foyer Gallery. Work by senior studio art majors Deonte Perry of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and Rae Klancnik of Villa Park, Illinois, will be on view.
  • 7:30 p.m.: “The Great American Trailer Park Musical,” Benstead Theatre. Havoc ensues at the Armadillo Acres Trailer Park after the arrival of an unwelcome guest. A riveting musical comedy with a touch of Jerry Springer drama! The two-act musical was written by David Nehls and Betsy Kelso and performed in the first annual New York Music Theater Festival in 2004 and off-Broadway in 2005.


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