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February 10, 2023

It's just two weeks until the 13th annual Folk Arts Festival. This signature event is one the higlights of winter around here. Keep reading for details, but first, some thank yous.

Carson Park Museums Voted the Best

For the 5th year in a row, Chippewa Valley voters have named the Chippewa Valley Museum the Best Museum/Historic Site in Volume One's readers poll. The Paul Bunyan Logging Camp -- now known as Wisconsin Logging Museum -- is the 3rd Place winner in this category. 

Thank you. Thank you for visiting, donating, and sharing these places with your friends and family. You are helping us be the best museums we can be.

Volunteers Clean Sweep Exhibits

On January 26th a group from Ambient Inks, an Eau Claire commercial screen printing company, spent the morning cleaning the exhibits. They swept, dusted, washed, talked, and laughed. It was a win for all. Thank you to Ambient Inks!

Three volunteers from Ambient Inks cleaning the plexi-glass in the Clear Water Lodge 

You can also contribute to the museum’s mission and see the exhibits by participating in a quarterly cleaning day. CVM invites teams of three to perform light cleaning such as dusting and wiping display glass for about two hours.

There are several sites to clean year-round: CVM exhibits, Wisconsin Logging Museum interpretive center, and Schlegelmilch House. The Paul Bunyan Logging Camp buildings, Anderson Log House, and Sunnyview Schoolhouse need seasonal attention.

These events are an opportunity to slow down, explore, and socialize. If you are interested in leading a series of cleaning days, or would simply like to participate in one, please contact Tim Hirsch at or call 715-834-7871 and ask about volunteering. 

Reclaimed Materials Art Talk with Don Gaber
Saturday, February 18, 1:30-3pm

Every object has a story. Learn from Don how vintage materials can be repurposed through art, then use the reclaimed materials provided to create sculptural artworks of your very own. Advanced registration is strongly encouraged to guarantee a spot in this program. Recommended for ages 10 and older. 

Cost: Included with admission. Free for members. $10/Adult, $8/Senior, $5/5-17.

Ostrich, peacock, and eagle made by Don Gaber from reclaimed parts and on display in the Dimensions & Discovery art exhibit.

Register for Don Gaber Art Talk

Save the Dates for Art Talks 2 & 3

* Tuesday, March 7, 6-7:30 pm. Scott Von Holzen, and Ray Kaselau.

* Saturday, March 18, 1:30-3 pm. Christy Skuban and Aubrey Hogan. 

Learn More

13th Annual Folk Arts Festival

Saturday, February 25, 12:00 - 5:00

Join local folk artists and vendors for a day of family-friendly demonstrations and activities. Below is a peak at what to expect: 

  • Folk Music: Harp, Dulcimer, Guitar, and Piano Ragtime 

  • Presentations on Maple Sugaring, Balloon Sculptures, and Puzzle Making

  • HMoob/Hmong Cross Stitching

  • Wood Turning and Wood Carving

  • Fly Tying

  • Model Railroading

  • Fiber and Textile Art

  • LE Phillips Memorial Public Library Dabble Box

  • Kids Zone

    • Fleece-tied blankets with the Eau Claire K-Kids for the Birthday in a Box program offered to Head Start children ages 3-5

    • Alcohol ink-dyed art with straws

Festival is included with museum admission. $10/adult, $8/senior, $5 Youth 5-17, Free for museum members and children under 5.

See Schedule

Now through April 8:

Dimensions & Discovery: Exploring 3-D with EMPTY WALLS ART

The 2023 Winter Art Exhibit features 3D wall-mounted art and sculptures made by eleven local artists. Dimensions & Discovery: Exploring 3-D with EMPTY WALLS ART runs now through April 8.

EMPTY WALLS artists: Don Gaber • Aubrey Hogan • Ray Kaselau • Jeff Nelson • Karen Scarseth • Christy Skuban • Scott Von Holzen  

Invited artists: Tim Brudnicki • Kate Mclean • Terry Meyer • Kelsey Wenberg

Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow on February 2, predicting another six weeks of winter (no surprise there). A visit to the Dimensions & Discovery art exhibit and/or the Folk Arts Festival will certainly help liven up the winter we have left.

As always, hang in there.

Carrie Ronnander
Executive Director, Chippewa Valley Museum

PS -- To celebrate Valentine's Day, here is an undated and unsigned love letter from the museum's collection. The letter is attributed to Anton Quarberg because his name appears on another letter given in the same donation. It was written on stationery used at The Commercial Hotel in Eau Claire in the early 1910s. It may have been written in 1910. It also could have been written much later if the writer was using old leftover letterhead.

What I know about this Anton Quarberg (there were a few of them living in the Mondovi area). He was born about 1889 in Modena southwest of Mondovi and appears to have lived in that area most of his life. He received a 7th grade education and worked as a farm laborer in his early twenties before purchasing his own farm. Anton lived with his brother as a young adult then married his wife Alma in 1925 at age 31.

Maybe Anton wrote the letter to Alma, but there's no hard evidence of that. What I do know about the letter writer. He was head over heels with some young woman, who is also unnamed. Below is a transcription of the letter just as it is written, punctuation and all. Enjoy.

You asked me to write you a long letter in answer to yours. It is a great happiness to do so and to know that you care to hear all my thoughts, hopes and wishes. I have read your letter again and again, the assurance it contains of your affection is very precious to me dear — do you really love as much you say you do? I must not doubt it but still it seems so strange and new to me that I should have the power of winning the heart of one so good and clever as you and that your choice should have fallen upon me. I am very Proud it should be so my heart is full of thoughts of you and every hour of the day I look forward to beimg with you again


Oh my Dear — words cannot tell how deep and abiding is the love I feel for you. while toiling from Place to Place your Image sustains me and the recollection of words kindly spoken and tenderly conveyed serve to invigorate my — spirits, without the Possessions of your affection my Present life would be darkness and void but solaced by your love knowing as I do that I have deposited in my keeping a treasure that monarchs might envy. I love looking forward to the blissful moment when I may once more clasp you to my heart.

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