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Arts on Point: Gallery Weekend
April 6 @ 10:00 am - April 8 @ 5:00 pm
* Art Exhibition
* Has LGBTQ content
* May be of interest to the LGBTQ community
Which Midwest, gay-friendly, small town spotlights 22 art galleries? Mineral Point, population 2500, not only has a higher ratio of art galleries to population than Santa Fe, it has more art galleries than bars, which in Wisconsin is saying something. And a number of galleries and pubs, lodging venues, and shops are gay-owned. And it’s just an easy 45 minute drive south from Madison.
It’s a different experience to stroll the streets and shop in a town where all the stores or galleries are locally owned and genuinely liberal, with none of the “Big Boxes” around. It’s moms and pops, moms and moms, pops and pops, all real people and friendly. Happy to take time to chat with visitors, explain about the old stone buildings and their quirks, show you how they make pottery or jewelry or woodwork. Every shop is different. You may find antique glassware in one and revolutionary South African art in another. It’s always surprising and fun.
Weekends are lively in downtown Mineral Point especially during ARTS ON POINT: Gallery Weekend, April 6-8, the first of four, big, energized long weekends at the beginning of April, June, August, and December. Along with the 22 art galleries and lots of unique shops staying open on those Friday and Saturday nights , there’s live music, improv and comedy performances, art workshops, historic tours, and plenty to do. For those who stay over in a variety of quaint & cozy B&B’s, guest houses, hotel and motels, there will be classic films Sunday afternoons at the handsome old Opera House. (Some Like it Hot with Marilyn Monroe on the big screen) on Sunday afternoon, April 8th. And of course there are really good restaurants and pubs, lots of variety for a small town. (And the local cheese curds squeak on Fridays.)
“There’s definitely a lot of art in this town,” nods Sandy Scott, co-owner of Longbranch Gallery, “It’s been a working artist community for decades, a gay-friendly oasis in Wisconsin, along with Madison, only 45 miles away. “But we’ve also got a real Five and Dime,” chimes in partner and co-owner Judy Sutcliffe, “An amazing little candy store, an award-wiinning cheese factory and a nationally recognized school for the arts. A ballet academy. And a wine bar with a prairie out front. And on June PRIDE day the rainbow flags are flying from the stone buildings up and down the main streets.”
Mineral Point is an architectural gem in the hills and valleys of southwest Wisconsin’s Driftless Area, missed by the glaciers, antiquity of landscape intact.
Smithsonian Magazine dubbed it one of the 20 best small towns to visit in America and the National Trust for Historic Preservations named it one of America’s Distinctive Destinations.
April 6-8, ARTS ON POINT : Gallery Weekend …or anytime this summer and fall is a good time to plan a visit. Check out the websites for ArtsOnPoint.com and MineralPoint.com.
22 Galleries and many shops open Friday and Saturday from 10am till 9pm through Sunday afternoon. Live music free, improv $10, comedy show $15.