Walk-up gallery features young artists confronting change


The Driftless Historium, 100 S. 2nd St, Mt. Horeb, is hosting an all-new walk-up gallery, a pandemic-era adaptation of the museum’s community room. This open-air venue takes advantage of the 1886 Gilbertson Hardware Store’s large plate glass storefront display windows to provide an awning-sheltered, outdoor opportunity for art appreciation.

The walk-up gallery debuted the Historium’s inaugural Student Spotlight art show on Saturday, July 18, featuring the work of Mount Horeb High School 2020 graduate Benjamin Jaramillo Nicholson and Junior Arianna Tweedy. Their installation, entitled “Transformation and Reflection,” will be on display through Sunday, August 23.

This partner exhibit was a natural fit, as both featured artists acutely understand and appreciate the cathartic and therapeutic role that art plays in their lives. Each Nicholson and Tweedy work, they contend, is the tangible product of an inward journey. Arianna notes that her eclectic dabbling in acrylic painting, watercolors, colored pencils, and ceramics is “a way to experiment with new ideas and emotions that are otherwise difficult to put into words,” while Benjamin mused that his linoleum block printing is a fitting symbol for many struggles for equality and acceptances, including his personal transition from female to male. “Transformative change,” Nicholson writes, “rarely happens in one fell swoop,” much like “turning a smooth block of linoleum into a work of art is the product of many small changes.”

The Driftless Historium’s Student Spotlight initiative is an annual art show celebrating the talent of area youth. This program, developed in partnership with Mount Horeb High School art educators Anna King and Dana Showers, provides young artists with experience producing and promoting a public art installation in a professional setting.

Select works featured in this show will be available for sale, with 25% of proceeds donated to the Driftless Historium’s preservation and education endeavors. Visit www.mthorebhistory.org/transformationandreflection2020.html to view the companion virtual gallery, and meet the artists at an outdoor, physically-distanced artist reception to be held Saturday, July 25 from 5:30 to 7 p.m.