Past Exhibits

This listing includes exhibits held at the Rahr-West Art Museum. It is not intended to be inclusive, as annual exhibits such as the Youth Art Series, The Art of Tablesettings, and Christmas in the Mansion are not listed.

2023 Exhibitions

June 4 - August 6, 2023
Art Against The Odds: Wisconsin Prison Art featured about 30 artists who turned to creative production to mitigate the de-humanizing conditions of incarceration. Initiated two years ago by Portrait Society Gallery of Contemporary Art in Milwaukee, WI, the exhibition gave voice and visibility to individuals currently held in the state’s carceral system as well as illustrate the potentially profound healing properties of an art practice. With virtually no instructional art programs offered in the prison system, these individuals teach themselves through various means, often working with a limited range of materials.

May 14 - June 18, 2023
Art as Poetry/Poetry as Art is a collaborative effort where the written word stimulates the creation of visual art and visual art acts as a muse for the written word. Poets are invited to submit a poem to spark new artwork. Artists are invited to provide an image of an existing work to evoke new poetry. Each artist and poet selects the poem or artwork that excites them and then the creative juices flow.

2022 Exhibitions

November 13, 2022 - January 29. 2023
Rebecca Jabs is a Wisconsin artists and scientific illustrator specializing in the native flora and fauna of the Great Lakes region. Her work is an observation of local nature with a hint of narrative. This exhibit will feature her illustrative work for Wisconsin's Wild Lakes: A Guide to the Last Undeveloped Natural Lakes by naturalist John Bates.

September 25 - October 30, 2022
The Lakeshore Artists Guild in partnership with the Rahr-West Art Museum presents Tiny Art, featuring a variety of media, styles and concepts where the defining parameter is scale. 

July 24 -  September 18, 2022
This exhibit highlights the Navy's contribution to the space program. Some astronauts were naval officers, but the Navy also supplied ships and helicopter squadrons used in recovery of astronauts and equipment, and UDT frogmen who were the first to reach capsules after splashdown. This exhibition highlights all aspects of the Navy's involvement of our national journey into manned space. This exhibition includes 35 pieces of art, from various artists including Paul Ortlip, Everett Raymond Kinstler and Cliff Young. On the spot drawings, watercolors of equipment and manpower, portraits of astronauts and paintings of important events make up the images featured in the exhibition

June 19 - August 28, 2022
For over 70 years, the League of Milwaukee Artists (LMA) has championed artistic creativity and actively contributed to the community. The League is dedicated to the promotion of visual creation, personal artistic growth, and the expansion of the arts in our state, region and community.

April  24 - July 31, 2022Stolen Sisters
The No More Stolen Sisters exhibition curated by Teresa Faris and Valaria Tatera brings together artworks representing the issue of missing and murdered indigenous women, girls and two spirits. The exhibition showcases technically diverse artworks of regional, national and international indigenous artists and allies addressing a range of experiences and emotions surrounding the violence against, and loss of indigenous women, girls and 2 spirits. Materials range from works on paper, mixed-media installation, metal, clay, quillwork, textile and paint.

The issue of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, Girls and two spirits (MMIWG2S) is gaining national attention due to the recent election of Deb Haaland and her initiatives surrounding this issue, and various other MMIWG2S efforts. Wisconsin is home to eleven registered tribal communities, and the adjacent Highway 90 acts as a main corridor for missing persons. With four out of five native women affected by violence in today's society, it is vital that the issue of MMIWG2S is given a voice.

A closing reception for the No More Stolen Sisters exhibit will be held Sunday, July 31 from 1:00-4:00pm. Free and open to the public. 

April  24 - July 31, 2022
Culture and Community: A Celebration of Regional Indigenous Art, Craft, and Tradition highlights the excellence of regional indigenous artists. The exhibit features a variety of mediums ranging from photography to contemporary sculpture and traditional raised beadwork.

GEO RUTHERFORD: On the Threshold of the Great Lakes
April 24 - July 10, 2022Georgina Rutherford
Geo Rutherford creates prints, artist's books and large-scale mixed media works focusing on the notions of invasiveness, impermanence, and the unseen in relation to the Great Lakes. She received a BFA from Eastern Michigan University and an MFA from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Geo taught high school art in Chelsea, Michigan for five years, but now is the Art Director at the Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp, running the #WhyYouMatter non-profit, an adjunct professor at UWM, and exhibiting work around the Midwest.

Marc Chagall: Le Cirque
November 26, 2021-February 13, 2022
Le Cirque is a print portfolio of 38 prints completed by Marc Chagall in 1968. For Marc Chagall, the circus stage was the ideal setting for the dreamlike, extraordinary acts ever-present in his art. In Le Cirque, he summoned the spectacle of the circus experience in all its colorful variety - clowns, acrobats and women riding bareback, stands brimming with onlookers - as a vivid metaphor for the sometimes precarious artist-lifestyle he had decided to lead. With time, the circus came to lie at the very heart of his personal mythology and became symbolic of the human condition. 

Ladies of the Lake Quilt Exhibit
December 5, 2021-January 30, 2022
The Ladies of the Lake Quilters have been exhibiting their quilts at the Rahr-West Art Museum for over 20 years.

2021 Exhibitions

The Manitowoc/MOWA Cabinet: The Work of Patrick Burke, David Carpenter and Randy Sahli
July 11-September 5, 2021
This exhibit revolves around a very special cabinet that was commissioned by the Museum of Wisconsin Art. Featuring the carpentry of Randy Sahli, the carvings of Patrick Burke, the painting of David Carpenter and finishing by Julie Gunderson, this work has deep ties to the community. A selection of work by each artist will be on exhibit.

Portrait of Manitowoc Project
February 28-July 25, 2021
This community art project led by portrait artist Sonia Vasquez was created between October 2020 and February 2021. This project was generously funded by Art Bridges. 

For more information click here.

Ann Barbeau Photography
May 9-July 3, 2021
Ann Barbeau: Photography, featured digital photography by Manitowoc artist Ann Barbeau. Barbeau’s work celebrates the beauty she finds in Manitowoc. The images focus on four subjects: a walk along the shore, details from the forests, beach ice, and the sunrise.  

For the Love of Eggs: Curated by the Friends of the Rahr-West Art Museum
March 7-April 4, 2021
This exhibit featured eggs on loan from local collectors, celebrating decorative eggs from many different and cultures.

New Acquisitions
January 29-February 21, 2021
Featured recent gifts to the Rahr-West Art Museum by artists Judith Roth, Lest Schwartz, Sterling Rathsack, and more.

2020 Exhibitions

Water's Edge Artists: The Art of Preservation
September 27 - November 1, 2020
Features artists dedicated to recording historic, endangered, or threatened places.

Lakeshore Artists Guild "What We Made"
September 18-October 18, 2020
Art helps us to process what is happening in the world around us. It starts conversations and builds bridges. It helps us to express our feelings in a safe way and ease our burdens. "What We Made" is an exhibit of work crated since March 15, 2020 in response to the events of this year.

On Loan from Art Bridges
June 7-September 13, 2020
This summer, two contemporary art works will be on loan from the organization Art Bridges: Terry Adkins’ Native Son (Circus) and Felix Gonzalez-TorresUntitled (L.A.). Art Bridges’ mission is to share outstanding works of American Art with those that have limited access to our country’s most meaningful works. This mission is achieved by partnering with institutions of all sizes on projects that deeply engage communities.

Ron Stokes: Retrospective
June 7-August 9, 2020
An avid watercolor artist, Ron also liked to experiment in various other mediums. A lifelong arts educator, Ron spent more than 30 years working with the Manitowoc Public School District. Learn more about Ron Stokes.

What They Were Wearing
June 7-August 9, 2020
An exhibit developed by InCourage and exhibited at the Rahr-West Art Museum explored the stigma associated with victims of sexual assault attached to their clothing. The installation was designed to show that sexual assault and rape do not discriminate based upon what a person was wearing, by presenting the outfits worn by victims when they were assaulted.

2019 Exhibitions

Hmong Heritage & Culture
December 8, 2019-January 12, 2020
Featured artwork and artifacts celebrating the unique artisanship and culture of the Hmong people.

Pure Energy: Charles Dix & Doris White
June 9-August 11, 2019
This exhibition used the Rahr-West Art Museum's extensive collection to examine two of Wisconsin's most acclaimed abstract expressionists.

The Naval Art of Thomas Hart Benton
May 19-September 15, 2019
This exhibition examined Thomas Hart Benton's Naval artwork created during World War II.

Joan Emmett is Fantastic
January 27-February 17, 2019
From steam-punk machines to fanciful artwork, Manitowoc artist Joan Emmett brings fantasy to life with her creations.

2018 Exhibitions

Ladies of the Lake Quilters
December 9, 2019-January 13, 2019
Featured beautiful hand-made quilts by the local Ladies of the Lake quilt group.

Really Big Prints
July 22-September 16, 2018
Featured prints made during UW Manitowoc's Really Big Prints 3.0 event.

R.T. Wallen: Naturally
July 1-September 16, 2018
This exhibit showcased the Manitowoc sculptor's creations in bronze and stone lithography.

Modern Masters: Twentieth Century Prints
June 10-August 12, 2018
Organized by the reading Public Museum, this exhibit featured prints from the major modern artists of the 20th Century, including Warhol, Picasso, Dali, and more.

2017 Exhibitions

University of Wisconsin Faculty Art
December 3, 2017-January 14, 2018
Featured work by faculty members from throughout the University of Wisconsin system in a variety of media.

Marc Chagall: Le Cirque
June 11-August 13, 2017
Featured the rare and internationally coveted series of 38 Le Cirque lithographs. This collection, known to collectors as the Teriade Portfolio, is revered as one of the best 20th Century print art series.

Silent Service: Artwork from the Naval History & Heritage Command
May 21-September 17, 2017
This traveling Naval exhibition included select artwork created by the Navy's in residence artist, John Charles Roach.

Poetry in Color: The Works of Bert Zylstra
January 15-February 12, 2017
Featured the colorful paintings of Dutch artist Bert Zylstra, complimented by the poetry of Kathryn Gahl.