Wausau Museum of Contemporary Art opens Saturday

Published: Oct. 5, 2017 at 5:59 PM CDT
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The final touches are being put on the Wausau Museum of Contemporary Art in the former Wausau Club.

After more than a year of hard work, a world famous painter will be judging its exhibits on opening day.

It's been 18 hour days for the museum's Executive Director David Hummer as he prepares the museum for Saturday. Between teaching art classes and construction, he's been reviewing hundreds of pieces of art from all over the world to choose which pieces will be on display.

"We had more than 750 entries and we have 49 that will be on exhibit," Hummer said.

He hopes the large number of entries is a good sign for the future of the museum, but he credits part of its early success to painter Alyssa Monks. Monks has come from New York City to judge the art and teach a special painting class.

"I thought there's a lot here, there's a lot of energy here and determination here and that's really inspiring," Monks said.

Monks is known worldwide for her artwork. She hopes a contemporary art museum in a smaller town like Wausau will help expand people's artistic horizons.

"I invite people to come in and experience something new with an open mind and an open heart and try to see themselves. Try to see themselves in the work. That's ultimately what artists want anyway," Monks said.

For Hummer, Monks is a major inspiration for the museum.

"She had inspired me to such a level I felt obligated to do this," Hummer said.

Now, Hummer is hoping the museum will continue to inspire others.

"A lot of people say they don't know much about art, but 'I know what I like' and really the reality is, they like what they know," Hummer said.

"I will do my darndest to help you understand what painting is beyond literal imagery."