Finalists for the Farm/Art DTour

Finalists for the Farm/Art DTour gather in May at Larry and Bridget Munth’s farm. Left to right are Molly Balcolm Raleigh, Emily Stover, Leslie Iwai, John Miller and Rita Grendze. Bridget and Larry Mundth have their backs to the camera.

Photo by Donna Neuwirth

Through a competitive process, seven artists from Wisconsin and beyond have been selected to create large-scale art installations for this year’s Farm/Art DTour taking place as part of Fermentation Fest from Oct. 4-13.

After dozens of proposals were submitted from artists around the country (and one from Austria), a six-member jury met in April to select 13 finalists. In May, the finalists converged in Reedsburg for an orientation, aimed at deepening the artists’ understanding of the project, the landscape and the community. The finalists traveled the DTour route on an Able Trek Tours motor coach and spoke with farmers who have played host to DTour stops in the past, including Ron Churchill, Tom and Linda Gillen, and Larry and Bridget Mundth. The conversations ranged from silage nutrition, to the history of the region, to the late spring and its possible effect on site choices.

The evening concluded with a cookout featuring locally sourced food and discussion at Reedsburg’s City Park. Six community members played host to the artists overnight.

The next day, the artists each took the DTour on their own, selecting potential sites for installations. The finalists then went home and had two weeks to develop their final proposals.

“I was awed by the beautiful landscape of the Driftless Region, but frankly was even more impressed by the level of support being offered by all involved. Every step of the way I was met with genuine interest in helping me to realize my proposal,” said Rita Grendze, one of the selected artists.

The jury met a second time in June to tackle the task of choosing seven artists from the 13 finalists. They considered artistic excellence, community engagement, and the visual impact of each proposal.

This year’s Farm/Art DTour commissioned artists are: Actual Size Artworks and Katey Smith, Stoughton; Emily Stover and Molly Balcom Raleigh, St. Paul Minn.; Jeremy Mundth, Fitchburg; Jesse Lee Wilson, New York; John Miller, Madison; Karl Unnasch, Pilot Mound, Minn.; and Grendze, Geneva, Ill. Details about the artists and their installations and the rest of Fermentation Fest will be available in August on the event website and in the printed Event Guide to be distributed throughout the area. Visit www.fermentationfest.com or stop by the Reedsburg Area Chamber of Commerce to pick up a copy of the 2013 Event Guide.

If you are interested in volunteering for the Farm/Art DTour, contact Katie Schofield at katie@fermentationfest.com or 608-415-7456.

This event is a Wormfarm Institute initiative made possible in part through grants from ArtPlace America, The National Endowment for the Arts, Wisconsin Arts Board and Sauk Count Arts and Culture Committee with funds from the state of Wisconsin and the NEA. Major sponsors include Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board and Tera’s Whey.