By Matthew Gundrum —

Friday, May 1 marks the date for Draw Mabel’s Menomonie. This event is one fraction of the 125th anniversary celebration honoring the Mabel Tainter Center for the Arts. The celebration, titled The Year of the Mabel, will consist of an ongoing series of events from now until November.

Draw Mabel’s Menomonie is an artistic competition open to individuals of all ages and talents. Entries will be accepted in four award categories including K-12, college students, community artists and professional artists.

“This is one exhibit that we thought would be great to get more of the community involved,” said Mabel Tainter’s Special Events Manager Jennifer Joyce Rentmeester.

The deadline for all artistic submissions is April 24 Artists will be judged in their respective categories.

The entries must thematically capture Menomonie from 1850 to 1910. Andrew Mercil, a member of the Mabel Tainter Board of Directors, went into greater detail on what sort of content is expected.

“It could be people, it could be buildings, it could be riverscapes, something related to the logging industry. It could be really anything related to Menomonie in that time period.”

Draw Mabel’s Menomonie is a traveling exhibit. It will start in the Mabel Tainter, move to Wilson Place and then Rassbach Museum.

The event is one small part of a history preservation project to enhance tourism and community involvement.

“We got this collaborative effort that’s the Mabel Tainter Board of Directors, the Dunn County Historical Society, the Wilson Place Mansion, the Chamber of Commerce, the Main Street Menomonie Organization, Oaklawn Inn Bed and Breakfast and the Stout Alumni Association,” Mercil said. “So all of those are doing this collaborative effort because we all care about Menomonie, and we all care about the town’s history.”

Mercil stated the Draw Mabel’s Menomonie event was largely inspired by the artistic tendencies of the Tainter family.

“Because they were a wealthy family it was one of the leisure activities to be well-read, to be artistic, to play any kind of musical instrument,” Mercil noted.

The event encourages artists of all kinds and disciplines to partake. Rentmeester stressed the importance of Draw Mabel’s Menomonie to University of Wisconsin–Stout students specifically.

“As an alumni and fine arts major from Stout, I think that any student who’s an aspiring artist should take advantage of this event,” Rentmeester said. “Any time the public has the opportunity to see your work is a great chance to receive amazing feedback.”

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