Wisconsin Life # 812: Turning Back the Clock

January 6, 2022


We’re turning back the clock as host Angela Fitzgerald tours the Paine Art Center and Gardens, a historic mansion in Oshkosh. She learns about Nathan and Jessie Kimberly Paine, the affluent couple who built a home honoring the natural resources found in Wisconsin. It’s a beautiful work of craftsmanship housing an elegant art collection and ever-changing exhibits. Angela meets up with Laura Fiser, Curator of Collections and Exhibitions, as they delve into the historic past of the building and how it evolved into the landmark it is today.

While Angela walks the spacious halls of the Center, we explore stories from across Wisconsin beginning with a performance poet in Madison. Isha Camara is a performance poet and visual artist hailing from South Minneapolis. Camara spent a number of years living in Madison while she earned her degree from UW-Madison. A participant of the First Wave Program, Camara’s poetry taps into topics and emotions that draw from her identity and own personal experiences as a Black Muslim woman.

Then we find Germantown illustrator Bryan Dyer. Dyer started “You Are The Hero,” a nonprofit organization that creates superhero portraits for kids with chronic illnesses. Parents email Dyer to request a portrait. He lets the kids pick their hero’s name, colors and superpowers. He takes care of the rest, free of charge.

The next story we hear is that of Karen Ann Hoffman who believes it’s important for her to feel connected with her Oneida heritage. That’s why over the last quarter century, the Stevens Point resident has been both a student and teacher of Iroquois raised beadwork. It’s an ancient art form practiced by the Five Nations that make up the Iroquois Confederacy, including the Oneida.

Finally we hear the sounds of woodworking as we enter the workshop of Scott Cooper and Kurt Grunwald. For Cooper and Grunwald, woodworking is a family tradition and for the past 20 years, it’s become a holiday tradition. The two friends were helping out at the Salvation Army’s Thanksgiving food drive. They were handing out food to families in need and noticed another need. The need for toys.


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