ASSOCIATION of Wisconsin Artists 

1954-2022  Celebrating 68 Years!

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Speakers announced for the State Conference 2022

Judge and speaker Melissa Airy

Background:  Melissa Airy, MFA 2020 with an emphasis in intermedia art and sculpture, is a multimedia artist and educator based in central Wisconsin. She currently holds the position of Lecturer of Art and Gallery Manager of the Edna Carlsten Art Gallery at the University of Wisconsin at Stevens Point. 

Presentation: Melissa Airy will share her personal art practice and research as it explores the intersection of contemporary ephemeral art media while being deeply inspired by sacred rituals and traditions. Not only does Melissa take on the identity of being an artist, she also identifies as being a pilgrim, most prominently embarking on the Camino de Santiago, a 500-mile ancient pilgrimage trail across Spain. The action of physically journeying has become a personal act of durational art-making, while also becoming the subject of her conceptual work. Melissa will share how she uses performance art, video and installation to explore the profound sense of purpose and awakening she encountered along the way. Through her artistic research and practice, Melissa strives to understand and translate religious experiences for a secular audience. She feels this allows diverse modern audiences to enter into the beauty of sacred rituals and traditions via the mental and physical spaces she creates within her art.

Speaker Shelley Smith

Background: Shelley Smith learned her colors before she could talk. Today, she harnesses this same innate sense of color in capturing everyday nostalgic American “sights often seen, rarely noticed.” Her paintings have been juried into over 60 international, national, and regional shows, earning numerous honors. Shelley’s a member of Oil Painters of America (OPA), and the International Guild of Realism (IGOR). She is an Elected Artist in the American Artists Professional League (AAPL) as well as a Signature Member of American Women Artists (AWA).

Presentation: Shelley is magnetically drawn to subjects that appear to have stories to tell. The resulting images are well-worn like a favorite pair of jeans. She is fond of architecture and structures and tends to romanticize them in her paintings, which differentiates her artwork from photographs. 

Shelley will share her background, experiences and natural tendencies that have formed her direction and inspiration. This is the foundation of her creative process—a constant search for subjects, the development of composition and ultimately the painting. Finally, she’ll demonstrate why she believes that each painting takes a lifetime to create.

Click here to register 2022 Annual State Conference


Online entry due:   September 15, 2022 (2 piece limit)

Artwork due:  Monday, October 3, 2022, 8-10 am (tentative)

Artwork pick up:   Saturday, October 29, 2022, 9-11 am (tentative)

Location:  Pyle Center, 702 Langdon St., Madison, WI 53706.

Coordinators:   Mary Ann Inman,, 608-676-4853

Becky Herb,


coming soon


There will be no juror or workshop. Artwork must be original, but it is not restricted to be less than 2 years old. In addition, you may exhibit giclee prints if they are identiļ¬ed as such. For example, in media you could specify giclee print of watercolor.


The 2022 Bridging Generations State Exhibition will be held in Wausau in July and August. A few children’s artworks will be displayed at the State Exhibition from regional locations around the state of Wisconsin. Criteria for merit awards are neatness, contrast and pattern. More info here >>


  • Contour Notes and E-news
  • Website:
  • Timely Treasures, an event calendar (with dates noted)
  • A color catalog featuring award winning adult and teen art

Programs, events and recognition:

  • Regional WRAP management
  • Annual State Exhibit and Conference Weekend
  • Tiny Treasures Exhibit and Sale
  • STAMP (Statewide Teen Art Mentor Program for teens)
  • Bridging Generations (for ages 5 through 12)
  • Member Exhibit 
  • Awards from generous donors

Funding sources:

  • Tiny Treasures is an annual fund-raiser
  • Membership dues and Wisconsin Arts Board grants
  • Three endowments support AWA and WRAP
  • Individual and business contributions


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