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Artists’ notecards help others reconnect

A notecard painting by Hortonville artist Mike Vanevenhoven.

Social distancing and stay-at-home orders can make it easy to feel disconnected from the people most important to us. Staying in touch with friends and loved ones is critical to our well-being, whether you’re a social butterfly or an introvert. The pandemic has changed the way we interact and connect with others.

Each fall the Community Foundation usually connects in person with our Himebaugh Legacy Club members and our valued professional advisor partners, along with many donors. The pandemic has instead forced us to chat on the phone or wave during a video call.

To encourage people to reach out to friends and family, the Community Foundation asked the Trout Museum of Art in Appleton to recommend four artists whose work we could purchase and feature on notecards. The artists all had shows at the museum over the past year.

Each artist was thankful for the opportunity to sell their work and get their name out into the community. The back of the notecards includes information about each artist, a thank you to the Trout Museum, and the Community Foundation’s logo. The sets include a little note that says “We miss you, and we’re sure others miss you too! Send someone a note and tell them you are thinking of them.”

The artists:
Ellis Jake Solie is a painter and artist from Neenah. She is a graduate student at the Art Institute in Chicago.
Sculptures, paintings, ceramics and poetry are just a few of Solie’s mediums. She enjoys using found pieces as her starting materials – wood, metal, lace, dyes – and interpreting what it is that “the thing wants to be.” She describes it as a collaboration between herself and the materials.

Mike Vanevenhoven is a photographer who lives and works in Hortonville.
“Like a painter utilizing different brushes or moving between oil, acrylic or watercolor, I make camera, lens and media (film or digital) choices depending on how I see the subject in my mind’s eye.

Elyse-Krista Mische is a mixed media artist, hospice volunteer and Certified Nursing Assistant from Appleton who uses her art to preserves personal memories.
“I specifically use make-believe and crafty materials from my childhood and craft processes introduced to me by my elders to evoke a sense of nostalgia and as a way of preserving not only myself but also the older generations who have used these processes. I construct narratives and objects that act as time capsules and I choose materials that urge people to touch or to get up close and personal.”

Lydia Andersen is a painter from Appleton, who specializes in miniatures.
She paints on commercial paint chips, which vary in size from two to four inches, and contain subjects such as flowers, animals and vegetables. Each illustration is inspired by the paint chip color. For instance, one of her chip paintings is the color “pink pansy,” so she appropriately painted a vibrant pansy on it.

Solie requested 10 packets of cards, which are not for sale. Instead, she made a donation to the Covid-19 Community Response Fund.

“During this time of social distancing and isolation, personal communication is very important” Andersen says. “I was thrilled to be a part of a project where the goal was to connect with your friends and family through old-fashioned letter writing. I hope that a card with my artwork on it will bring joy to someone as well as make them feel connected and loved.”

We invite you to donate now to the COVID-19 Community Response Fund. You can also learn about who has given to the fund, the fund’s grant recipients, and check out our latest news and updates.

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