National Parks – Personal Narratives

Starting DateOctober 21, 2016

Ending DateNovember 27, 2016

Event Description


In Galleries One, Two, Three, and Overlook

Opening reception: Friday, October 21, 6:30 – 8:30 p.m.

The National Park Service (NPS) celebrates its centennial in 2016. In these hundred years, the NPS mission has broadened from the preservation of unique natural sites to include historical and cultural places for our enjoyment and recreation. National Parks – Personal Narratives features work from 100 local, regional, and national artists that expresses the significance of the National Parks in their lives, and communicates that connection through unique depictions, interpretations, and memories.

Also on view at The Phipps are three related exhibitions, Tributaries of Earth and Water: An Exhibition Celebrating our National Parks by Project Art for Nature in the Riverview Gallery, an exhibition of new ceramic work by Mark Lusardi presented in the Atrium Gallery  in partnership with Northern Clay Center, and a show in the lobby of plein air paintings celebrating the St. Croix National Scenic Riverway.

The paintings of the St. Croix River, our local national park, are by nine students from the St. Croix River School of Painting and their teacher Kami Mendlik. They were created as a special project, which began on June 23 of this year when Mendlik and her students were taken on the National Park Service’s pontoon boat by a Park Ranger for a ride on the St. Croix River. Throughout the summer, these student artists and their teacher gathered periodically to paint together along the St. Croix and worked independently in their studios to create the work for this exhibit. The participating students are April Goodwyn, Bridget Haugen, Diane Hands, Dana Karr, James Hainlen, Angie Malin, Doug Malin, Leisa Luis-Grill, and Carol Pruchnofski.

The opening reception for National Parks – Personal Narratives and the related exhibitions, will be on Friday, October 21, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. This event is free and open to the public. Gather at The Phipps with friends and family to view the new exhibits, listen to live music, enjoy tasty hor d’oeuvres, meet the artists, and participate in free activities.  Take picktures of micro-organisms using your smart phone and then have your photos projected large for everyone to see.  Stop by the Water Bar to taste samples of water from local and regional national parks, and learn about issues impacting the health of our water from University of Wisconsin-River Falls Sustainability Faculty Fellows.

Following the reception, from 8:30 – 11:00 p.m., there will be a Party in the Galleries. This ticketed event is for ages 18 and older. Tickets are $10 in advance or $12 at the door. Enjoy campfire-inspired cuisine, wine and local craft beers (ages 21 and older), live music and dancing with Sexy Delicious, original video projections, performances by the FunnyBone Thugs-N-Crowd Improv Troupe, and more.

On Saturday, November 5, at 2:00 p.m., The Phipps presents a special event in the Black Box Theater, Around the Campfire…Stories from the National Parks. Tickets are $5, free for ages 12 and younger.  This family-friendly afternoon program will feature park rangers, a campfire singalong, a skit by local youth, and other storytelling presentations inspired by our national parks. Following the program, the audience will be invited to roast marshmallows and create a sweet treat at a one-of-a-kind “s’more bar”!

This exhibition and related programs are presented in partnership with the NPS and are made possible with financial support from Andersen Corporation.

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