Mineral Point: An Under-The-Radar Retreat

photo-566This weekend, Mineral Point, Wisconsin is proud to host these students and two faculty members  – Nick Lowe and Mark Jeffery — from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC).  They are here to meet local artists, research the town’s history and engage with the community.

The art school considers Mineral Point a place worth visiting and studying.

Kate Schott of the SAIC says the relationship between the school and Mineral Point began 80 years ago with SAIC alum Edgar Hellum. After Hellum and his partner, Robert Neal, began restoring cottages (now the Pendarvis State Historic Site), Mineral Point started to become “an under-the-radar retreat for in-the-know artists, many of them from SAIC,” says Schott. Faculty members and alumni are frequent visitors to town, with a few having weekend homes here.

Schott goes on to say this about Mineral Point “today, the low-key Midwestern hamlet with the slogan ‘Where Wisconsin Began’ has established a community of artists who are blurring the boundaries between preservation, food, art, heritage and domesticity, and who are making important work outside of the art world’s urban centers.”

If you’re in town this weekend, there’s a good chance you will encounter one of these art students, each of whom have been assigned one of the town’s historic buildings to research. They will visit the Mineral Point Archives, take a guided tour of Pendarvis, and enjoy a pasty supper. Their trip culminates with an SAIC Alumni Reunion on Sunday, October 4, 2015 at 7 p.m. at the Midway Bar and Grill.

Mineral Point is very fortunate to have this strong connection to such a prestigious institution like the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, which is celebrating its 150th Anniversary this year.

Contributed by Lisa Hay


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