Highlights: Oct. 7-8

Art museum

B.C. Kowalski/City Pages

Art museum

One of many works of art featured in the Wausau Museum of Contemporary Art for its first juried exhibit with Alyssa Monks. Saturday is the opening night starting at 6 pm, with regular hours to follow.

Museum of Contemporary Art Opening


Imagine if Claude Monet were still alive—that’s the sort of caliber of artist coming to the Wausau Museum of Contemporary Art when it opens up this Saturday. Alyssa Monks, an internationally known artist in New York, is one of the most sought after artists in the country for workshops and is considered in the top 30 of U.S. artists working today. Monks will hold workshops and pick the winner of the first-ever juried exhibition to open WMOCA, in the former Wausau Club building, in downtown Wausau.

The transformation of the formerly vacant building into an art museum is stunning, and includes unearthed original hardwood floors. But focusing on the building and its former use misses the point, says WMOCA founder and local artist David Hummer. This new art museum is already drawing national attention in the art world. Monks’ involvement in the opening exhibit was key to starting right, Hummer says, and the art world agrees; her involvement brought in more than 750 submissions from across the U.S.. Of those, 49 pieces made the exhibit, and include everything from performance art to sculpture to abstract expressionism.

On Saturday Monks will announce the winner of the $10,000 first place prize. But less important than the money is the fame that will come with earning a nod at the exhibit, Hummer says. “Those who rank high will be flung into the national spotlight.”

Monks will give a speech at the exhibit’s opening Saturday evening, as well as announcing the show’s winning exhibit. Monks delivered a TEDx Talk last year, called “The Beautiful Awful,” now available on YouTube. It might be worth checking out in advance to get an idea of her power as a speaker.

Come in with an open mind, and come as you are, Hummer says. With catering by La Prima and music by Denise Sauter Jazz, the event will be fun and a foray into a world many in Wausau might not have had much exposure to. And keep in mind, this is contemporary art—the exhibit includes several nudes, so parents bringing children should keep that in mind. But don’t expect snobbery; the museum is intended for everyone, Hummer says. “This isn’t some snobby art opening where you will be put into a corner and asked questions,” Hummer says. “It should be fun and it’s going to be an exciting night.” Opening gala 6-9 pm. Exhibit on display through Dec. 29. Regular gallery hours Sun. & Tues.-Thurs. noon-5 pm; Fri. noon-8 pm; Sat. 10 am-8 pm. wmoca.org. (written by B.C. Kowalski)

Artists Unknown, Bullet to the Heart, and Pageless Story


Three hard and heavy rock bands show their stuff. Chicago-based female-fronted four-piece band Bullet to the Heart plays face-melting rock and heavy metal. These guys have a great stage presence, complete with head-banging hair flips that pump up the audience and gets them excited. From Wausau, five-piece band Artists Unknown plays a blend of heavy metal and psychedelic rock. The four-piece Pageless Story plays hardcore, punk and metal. Pair all this heavy music with some hard drinks for a great, head-banging Saturday night. 9 pm. 715-298-6303.

Rumours of Fleetwood Mac


If you close your eyes and just listen, you’ll think you’re hearing the real Fleetwood Mac. This tribute band is pro and put on a show from start to finish capturing the energy of Fleetwood Mac with perfect harmonies coupled with precise instrumentation. The show is visually engaging with great lights, and groovy dance moves from lead singer Mekenzie Jackson channeling her inner Stevie Nicks. Rediscover the songs that made Fleetwood Mac one of the most loved bands of all time, and why their acclaimed album Rumours earned its place as one of the best ever. 7:30 pm. $30. Lucilletackcenter.com.

Lincoln Lager Barleyfest


Calling all beer lovers to this 10th annual festival. Considered by many to be one of the premier craft beer festivals in the region, brewers from all over the state offer more than 125 beers, wines and spirits to sample with food, games, prizes and more. Super Bowl Champion and Green Bay Packer Hall of Fame Kicker Chris Jacke will be in attendance from 2-4 pm signing autographs and interacting with festival goers. Proceeds benefit River Bend Trail expansion and improvements. 2-6 pm. $30, designated drivers free. LLBarleyfest.com.

Harvest Fest


Celebrate the fall season with a jam-packed day of fun that’s perfect for families. There’s tons of fun on the 400 block, such as live animals, fire trucks, face painting, horse-drawn carriage rides, kids tractor pedal pull, pumpkin carving demos, building your own scarecrow, children’s hay maze and more. Enjoy a special Harvest Fest story time at 10:30 am and crafts at the Marathon County Public Library. At Janke Book Store, meet Beverly Davis, author of Namaste Great Gray, and enjoy children’s yoga at 11 am, noon and 1 pm. When you work up an appetite, check out the food trucks around the 400 Block. All kids 10 and under who donate a nonperishable food item receive a free pumpkin. Most events happen 10 am-2 pm. See full schedule and details at wausauevents.org.