M.C. Escher: Reality and Illusion

Now thru May 28, Woodson Art Museum, Wausau


The most iconic works by Dutch artist M.C. Escher (1898-1972) are familiar to many—a pair of hands drawing themselves, fish morphing into birds, the fantastic, endless stairs, for example. This exhibition of 120 woodcuts, lithographs, mezzotints and drawings delves deeper into both the literal and impossible worlds Escher created over a career spanning five decades. Drawn from a large collection of M.C. Escher’s work, Reality and Illusion includes early figure drawings, lesser-known book illustrations, detailed Italian landscapes, the tessellations for which he became famous, and examples of his signature architectural fantasies.

Seeing famous pieces created by Escher such as “Drawing Hands,” “Cycle and Sky” and “Water I” first-hand proved the immense talent Escher possessed. The rich values of black and white in his lithographs, seen in “Three Spheres II” and “Bond of Union” provides depth and detail to his works. The museum offers magnifying glasses so viewers can examine the tiny details in Escher’s works, creating a personal experience. Escher created intricate geometric drawings and prints of spaces that can only exist on paper and in the viewer’s mind. His images continue to boggle the brain, captivating viewers more than 40 years after his death. In Escher’s world, stairways are built upside-down, water runs uphill and every object is reproduced with mathematical precision. Knowing Escher mostly for his mind-bending illusions, it was impressive to see some of his other artistic talents on display. In his early works, such as “Tree,” you see his gift with pen and ink. In other works, such as “Horseman”, his flair with pencil and watercolor shines through.

Admission to the museum is always free. Open 9 am-4 pm Tues.-Fri., Sat.-Sun. noon–5 pm. Extended hours until 7:30 pm the first Thursday of each month. 715-845-7010, lywam.org.

Upcoming programs:

Art 101: Perplexing Prints · Wed. 3/15. Explore the puzzling patterns and impossible spaces in M.C. Escher’s artwork during a gallery walk with museum educator Catie Anderson. 12:15-1 pm. 715-845-7010

Illuminating Escher Gallery Walk · Thurs. 3/23. Glean insights into the life and work of M.C. Escher from Nicholas T. Kondoprias, a partner PAN Art Connections, Inc. which organized M.C. Escher: Reality and Illusion. Noon-1 pm & 5:30-6:30 pm. 715-845-7010

Drawing Inspiration: Teen & Adult Workshop · Sat.-Sun. 3/25-26. Teens and adults hone their drawing skills and create an Escher-inspired illusion. Sat. 10 am-4 pm; Sun. 9 am-noon. $45 members, $60 non-member, Saturday lunch and materials provided. Register at 715-845-7010

Hands-on Art · Thurs. 4/6, All ages drop in and create an Escher-inspired tessellation, using a provided stencil to develop a radial tortoise design. 5:30-7 pm. 715-845-7010

Glorious, Good Wood Opening Gala

Friday 3/10, Q Artists Cooperative, Stevens Point

Taking inspiration from modernist and mid century designers and applying handcrafted techniques, Wausau craftsman Graham Coulson produces high quality modern furniture made from solid wood. In this exhibit he displays old, new and updated handmade furniture pieces to highlight the expansive array of wood products he has available. View the pieces at the opening gala with snacks, drinks and live music. If you can’t make it to the gala, these glorious wood furniture pieces will be on display in the gallery through April along with new works by other local Q and guest artists and artisans. 5:30-7:30 pm. 715-345-2888.

Baby Wants Candy


Alex Elena

Saturday 3/11, Nicolet College Theatre, Rhinelander

With alumni such as Jack McBrayer, Rachel Dratch and Stephanie Weir, every Baby Wants Candy performance is an opportunity to see tomorrow’s comedy all-stars. Based in Chicago, this comedy troupe improvises a 60-minute musical at each performance. Show up with a few preposterous plots on hand, so when they start the show by asking for suggested title and theme of their one-of-a-kind performance, you’ll be prepared. On top of the hysterical dialogue and lyrics this group creates on the spot, Baby Wants Candy is backed by a full band for an authentic musical experience—one that will never be re-created. $15. 7:30 pm. 800-544-3039, nicoletlive.com.



Saturday 3/11, Jensen Center, Amherst

For over 30 years Johnsmith has been sharing his music across America and abroad. In this show presented by Tomorrow River Concerts, this singer-songwriter performs a variety of genres including folk, bluegrass, blues and Americana. According to Sing Out! Magazine, “His music is open-hearted, unpretentious, grounded in the personal, yet always accessible and universal.” Listen to the man who loves nothing more than sharing his love in songs and stories. 7:30 pm. $12 general, $10 seniors & students. 715-824-5202, jensencenter.org, johnsmithmusic.com.

The Blues Café

Saturday 3/11, Rothschild Pavilion

This 18th annual event hosted by the Great Northern Blues Society includes 10 hours of non-stop blues music! This year features acts all from outside of Wisconsin with performances by Joyanne Parker & Sweet Tea at 1 pm, Jimmy Nick & Don’t Tell Mama at 3 pm, Ghost Town Blues Bands at 5 pm, Brandon Santini at 7 pm, Becky Barksdale at 9 pm with Bing Futch playing acoustic acts between the main stage acts. Chairs, food and cold beverages available on-site. Doors open at noon. $20 in advance, $25 at the door. gnbs.org .

Corkscrews & Snowshoes

Saturday 3/11, Camp Sturtevant, Wausau

This fundraiser combines your love of the outdoors with your passion for wine tasting. Enjoy snowshoe trails lit by luminaries, then sample a selection of red, white and dessert wines along with bite-sized snacks and desserts from Vino Latte Weston. Leave the kids at home as this event is for ages 21+. Proceeds support youth scholarships and reduced fee membership at Woodson YMCA. If you don’t have your own snowshoes, rentals are available locally at Shepherd & Schaller. The event will be held as a hike if conditions are not suitable for snowshoeing. Visit or call either YMCA branch to register. 7-9 pm. $30. 715-841-1819, woodsonymca.com.

We Banjo 3

Tuesday 3/14, UW-Stevens Point Dreyfus University Center


Coming from Galway, Ireland, We Banjo 3 uses banjo, fiddle, mandolin, guitar, vocals and percussion to create their own sound they call “Celtgrass.” Their combination of traditional Irish and American bluegrass music is “pure listening pleasure” according to Irish Music Magazine. Formed by two sets of brothers, Enda and Fergal Scahill and Martin and David Howley, who are some of the most celebrated young musicians in Ireland, this band performs in perfect harmony and composes innovative arrangements that audiences of all ages can appreciate. 7:30 pm. $13.75 in advance, $17.75 day of show. Tickets.uwsp.edu, 800-838-3378

Heart Healthy Grocery Store Tour

Tuesday 3/14, Trig’s Grocery Store, Wausau

Ever wondered if you were putting truly healthy items in your shopping cart for you and your family? Learn to choose the right foods for your eating plan, learn the facts about fat, sugar, sodium, calories and fiber and discover the variety of healthy foods available with dietitian Jennifer Mikulich during free guided tour of Trig’s Grocery Story. Bring a pen and paper for notes and wear comfortable shoes for walking around the store. 6-7:30 pm. Registration required by calling 715-847-2380. If you can’t make it on Tuesday, Aspirus offers this program monthly with future sessions on Tuesdays May 16, June 14 and July 18, all 6-7:30 pm. Visit aspirus.org for full schedule and to register.