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A whole heck of a lot of artists around the Chippewa Valley spend time talking about arts co-ops. Unfortunately, I think, the majority of that talk ends up as wasted breath over a pitcher of Berghoff at the Joynt or whatever the Menomonie/Chippewa Falls counterpart might be. There are a handful of art co-op type organizations in existence right now (like Arts Coming Together, Tangled Up in Hue), and there have been honest-to-god attempts in the past (Destini Artworks, anyone?), but truly strong and active art co-ops seem to be at a premium around these parts. However, some artists in Menomonie hope to change that.
Eight UW-Stout art students and two townies are starting a new co-op art gallery in downtown Menomonie – looking to have local people display and sell their creative works. Gallery 111, named for the store’s address (111 Main Street E.), is slated to open January 11, but has been displaying items from Stout students since December 18. Art from the founding members – as well as those who helped with the renovation – will be shown at the opening. Soon, others can join the co-op, so if you’re interested in getting involved or following the progress of the gallery, check out its website:Gallery111Menomonie.com. And check out the blog.