Rice Lake, Wisconsin
In The Gallery
Throughout the years many local artists and photographers have displayed their works in
what is known as the Gallery in the concession area at the Red Barn Theatre. Nina
Klauss, whose dream became a reality 55 years ago, wanted the audience to be
entertained in many aspect of the arts, on stage and off. The Hardscrabble Players
moved into the Barn in 1967. A lounge area came to be in 1968 . It was then that
volunteer Doris Kelly researched and contacted artists to display their work downstairs
below the stage. One of the first to display in 1973 was a UW Barron County student
Jeff Nelson from Bloomer showing his work in oils and collage.
The Gallery was remodeled in 1992 when others who secured local talent for the Gallery
include Jeff and Chris Hile, Wilma Berger, Gail Gifford, and Don and Linda Ruedy. In the
1980’s the Red Barn sponsored outdoor Art Fairs for a few years.
This year the photographers and artist are featuring the best that nature has to share
both in Wisconsin’s northland and the wilderness of the west.
Dave and Cathy Greschner ‘s works will be featured during The Spitfire Grill June 1-15.
Dave is known locally for his 40 years of sports photography, although his display will be
wildlife in motion, because he see birds and animals as athletes. The actions he will
display include birds as acrobats reaching for berries, a white tail deer in full leap above
corn stubble, a ruffed grouse fanning and flushing, as well as the beauty of birds and
animals in the Rice Lake area. Cathy will display her wool rug hooking, which is a
process of pulling wool strips through a linen foundation cloth that was used by early
settlers. Cathy hand dyes much of the wool working in a primitive style of design
influenced by colorful antique rugs.
Working with a variety of mediums and subject manner Nancy Dutmer’s work will be
displayed during The Last Romance June 22 -July 2. Nancy uses nature, beads, and
other items like shells in combination of her works. This year Nancy will display various
animal skulls that have been found in the woods or given to her. The skulls will be
adorned with beads, bling, and other crafts. From Chetek, Nancy’s skills in set design
and construction for Big this season will add to the sets done in past years as well as her
acting and vocal skills in various productions.
Jim and Julie Laybourn of Jackson Hole, Wyoming spend hours filming and
photographing wildlife in the wilderness of the Grand Teton and Yellowstone
National Parks. Their works will be on display July 13-23 during the run of Big, The
Musical.. Jim is a a wildlife filmmaker/photographer and conservationist. Jim began his
photography career as a teenager selling photographs to Wyoming newspapers.
Through his expeditions in the Tetons and Yellowstone Jim began observing grizzly
bears and has created a short film titled “Always Endangered, The Story of Grizzly 399”.
Julie, who grew up in Rice Lake, after raising her family in Minnesota, moved to Jackson
Hole and met Jim. They are drawn to their wild neighbors; grizzly bears, wolves, elk,
and are fascinated as well with all creatures great and small. They will display photos of
wildlife and landscapes.
Sharon Rubin, longtime Red Barn actress, and Program Book coordinator , will bring her
“Mothers Natures Handiwork” photographs to the Gallery August 3-13 during Wait Until
Dark. Sharon’s appreciation of Mother Nature as a way to display the beauty of
Northern Wisconsin will come through in photos of sunrises and sunsets, storms, and
various reflections off the Lake of trees, as well as other natural designs made from
Joe Thrasher, local retired Lawyer and 40 year resident of Long Lake, will bring his
photographs to the stage run of Run for Your Wife August 24-Spetember 3 rd . Calling
himself an amateur photographer he calls his collection eclectic. Living on the lake he
finds both nature and the landscape his main subjects. Clouds with their changing
formations, as well as wild birds are favorites. The Glossy photographs may include a
Heron in flight, and frosty Geese in the snow. He hopes to add new photos to the
collection this summer using his new camera.