Listener Chris Murphy of Madison asked us, "Why are there a higher concentration of outsider artist environments in Wisconsin than anywhere else in the U.S.?" So, we turned to the experts to learn more about the monuments and sculpture parks that embrace celebrate concrete, gems, and trinkets.
This story is part of Wisconsin Life and WPR's WHYsconsin project. What have you always wondered about Wisconsin, its people or its culture that you want WHYsconsin to look into? You ask the questions, and we find the answers!
For the members of Tomahawk Circle, playing in a rural family band is a labor of love. Founded in 2006, the Lac Du Flambeau Ojibwe drum group got its name from the street on which the founding members grew up.
In 2018, a photo exhibit opened at the Paine Art Center in Oshkosh. “The Color-Brave Photo Project: Black and Brown Faces — A New Narrative,” was the culmination of years of work by community leaders to show the complexity and beauty of people of color in the Fox Valley.
Wade Fernandez says his music is hard to pin down into a single genre. He says people will ask if he considers himself a rock musician, a blues player, or if he’s more into country, folk, jazz or even flamenco.
Boleslaw Kochanowski spends hours at his drafting table in his office above the blacksmith shop, creating designs for his metal sculptures. A pencil drawing of “To the Point,” a new public art sculpture unveiled this summer in Stevens Point, sits on the floor by the desk.
Charles Collins has always enjoyed tinkering with electronics. He spent time three decades ago fixing instruments in a music store. “I like to know why things break or why things do what they do,” says Collins.
Sometimes when we’re far from home, it’s nice to have something familiar around to keep us connected. Contributor Eric Dregni has lived in Norway and Wisconsin. And by pure coincidence, he and his son have found a connection in both places with the same familiar thing: a stave church.
Gene Purcell dedicated almost his entire professional life to public media. His passion began in La Crosse, where he started as a student reporter at WLSU-FM. Through the decades, he worked his way up the ladder: as WLSU’s news director, WPR’s La Crosse regional manager, Wisconsin’s Educational Communications Board executive director, and ultimately, the director of Wisconsin Public Media.
On August 31st, I hear that the chimney swifts are roosting in the brick chimney at Our Lady Queen of Peace church in Madison, Wisconsin. At summer’s end, swifts mass in great flocks at dusk as they prepare to migrate south.
For those who have fought and died in the U.S. Armed Forces, they leave with their families the weight of their sacrifice. Holly Higgins of Sun Prairie, Wisconsin, lost her son, Daniel Johnson, while he served in the U.S.
Was it a badger? Was it a bobcat? Or was it just an abnormally large, trash-eating house cat? Author BJ Hollars of Eau Claire tells the story of his family’s urban tracking expedition in search of “The Beast Of The East Hill.”
(Editor’s Note: This story discusses animal processing.) Whether it’s a dog, cat, bird, or even a pig, our pets are a part of our families. And when they pass away, we may want to keep something to help remember them, like an old collar or their favorite toy.