Wisconsin Regional Art Program: About

Who is WRAP for?

The Wisconsin Regional Art Program was established to encourage Wisconsin citizens with a serious interest in Art. People who make art purely for the love of it, rather than for fame and fortune. The purpose of WRAP is to encourage NONPROFESSIONAL ARTISTS to develop their abilities.

Hear what past participants have to say

Joyce Eesley, exhibition judge and presenter,
Still Life
. Watercolor.

"I have been to State Days in Madison quite a few times. To me, a self-taught artist, it has always been such an honor. My career in the arts started in 2004 when my mother said, "Why don't you do your art? You are so good at drawing." These past 10 years have been wonderful—learning and doing ART! My journey continues for I feel so blessed!" —2014 participant

"Thank you, to the people who make this all possible. The WRAA and WRAP art shows have changed my life in a big way for which I will be forever grateful. It has been just one year since I have gotten involved and I am a happier/healthier/stronger person/artist because of it. I've met many wonderful new artist friends and am having a great time. Suddenly I am understood, what a relief, since I've surrounded myself with sensitive creative artists. Their acceptance and understanding is a godsend. The visual arts, and being more involved with them has made my whole world a better place to enjoy and appreciate. Making art again, and my involvement in art shows, after a 30-year hiatus has been great therapy for me, as well as fun for my family and friends. The WRAA and WRAP is a strong positive force! Thanks to the people making it so. Maybe, along with laughter, “making art is the best medicine.” —2014 participant

How does WRAP work?

The Wisconsin Regional Art Program consists of many artist workshop/exhibits that meet throughout the year statewide. Each workshop offers a different artist demonstration or slide lecture and a different judge to lead the afternoon critique. You may enter as many Wisconsin Regional Art Workshops as you like. Your art work will be on exhibit in different communities. If your work is selected for the State Exhibit at two different workshops, you may chose which ONE you want to submit to the Madison exhibit.

Annual Exhibit/Conference

The Wisconsin Regional Artists Association (WRAA) cosponsors the Statewide Exhibit and Conference in September. Half of the awards are eligible for WRAA members only. They publish an informative newsletter, CONTOUR NOTES, four times a year. Membership is $20 a year. If you are interested in joining WRAA, contact Beverly Balakhovsky, 625 N. Segoe Rd. #902, Madison, WI 53705, 608-237-6362, wraa.membership@yahoo.com or visit the WRAA Membership.

WRAP History

The first Rural Art Exhibit was held at the Memorial Union during Farm and Home Week in 1940. Under the guidance of John Steuart Curry, the exhibit grew rapidly, expanding from 30 nonprofessional artists in 1940 to over 100 by 1947. The energy and enthusiasm of Curry's successor, Aaron Bohrod, and the WRAP directors, James Schwalbach, Ken Kuemmerlein, Leslee Nelson, and now Helen Klebesadel, along with the ongoing support of the Wisconsin Regional Artists Association, has ensured that exhibitions and workshops have remained cornerstone activities for nonprofessional artists throughout the state for over 75 years. Get the whole story here»

Hosting a workshop

Your art organization or art club can host an Art Workshop. We plan early so contact us as soon as possible, if you'd like to sponsor a workshop next year. We're looking for new places now.

How to donate to celebrate WRAP’s 75th

Recognizing WRAP as a unique university/community partnership, the Wisconsin Regional Artist Association (WRAA) led a multi-year fundraising effort to create and endowment to ensure the programs long-term health and support. To ensure another 75 years, please consider donating to the WRAP endowment.


Helen Klebesadel, WRAP Director
21 N Park St.
7th Floor
Madison, WI 53715

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