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The Chestnut Gallery aspires to visually enrich our community by exhibiting local, regional and national artists focusing on a broad spectrum of media and expressive styles.

Ann E. Lawton Gallery Interview

Observe and Report: Evidence of the Day-By-Day

Join us to welcome Mixed Media Artist, Ann E. Lawton, to our Gallery. The exhibit runs from from November 3rd to the 24th, with the Gallery Reception hosted on November 4th from 6 to 8 PM!

Artist's Statement:

My life, my work, my pleasure, my comfort: to sift and sort mixtures of accumulating line, layers, texture, and color in hopes for understanding, perspective, and hard-earned peace. My sketchbook and mixed media practice give tangible form to the junk drawer of thoughts crashing around in my mind—from the slippery, sharp, and significant, to the bright, silly, and shiny. Making art and sharing art with others is the easy part of the work that I do in studio classrooms or in a therapy session with a client, but I find that taking moments to encounter the world with wonder after each class or session needs to be carefully enacted with purpose and intention. In creating collections such as the ones featured in this exhibition, I try to see every day experiences as part
laboratory and part playground.

The sheer brutality of being an educator and emotional laborer is something that isn’t easily described. In my work as an art therapist and art educator, burnout, imposter syndrome, and ambivalence aren’t just buzzwords in my personal and professional life but are realities I must be vigilant about recognizing and responding to proactively. Even when I am not able to create in my studio or in my sketchbook with the layers of media, from scribbles to pools of watercolor pigment to collage and drawings, I feel the insistency to be mindful in my everyday experiences such as cloud watching when I am at work, to removing the make-up off my face when I get home at the end of the day. These small moments visually add up over time and create collections that may cause for pause or amusement.

This exhibition, Observe and Report: Evidence of the Day-by-Day, aims to present collections of seemingly mundane or ordinary moments as opportunities to acknowledge patterns, unremarkable actions, habits, and routine as understanding, empathy, connection, and curiosity. The imagery and significance may come together like most puzzles would—looking patiently for pieces to fit in small spaces, much like making sense of any small problem, recognizing significance which wasn’t obvious at first. The process and product serve as the symbolic mirror of the constant swell and swale my evolving self.

Ann E. Lawton is a mixed media artist, registered art therapist, and art educator. Since 2011, Ann has been teaching in the art department at UW-River Falls and facilitating art therapy groups in the Twin Cities metro area. In addition to her teaching responsibilities at UWRF, Ann is also the campus Violence Prevention Coordinator and Assistant Director of Undergraduate Research, Scholarly and Creative Activities. She received her BS in Broad Area Art from UW-River Falls in 2008, and a MS in Art Therapy from Mount Mary University, Milwaukee in 2011. Ann lives with her husband in River Falls, Wisconsin.

Upcoming Exhibits

Gallery Hours:
Mon-Thur 10AM-3PM


November 2021 – Ann E. Lawton – Mixed Media – River Falls, WI

December 2021 – Holiday Showcase

Once Loved Art

Get your art to us!
We're currently collecting donated art --now!

Chestnut Center's "Once Loved Art" sale takes your "retired" art that you've retrieved from the basement or back of the closet, and gives it new life, in someone else's home!

As we travel through life, many types of art touch us in special ways. Gifts of art are given with love. A special moment is remembered with an art piece. Someone creates a piece of art that we value. These all become a part of our home decor and valued treasures.

There is a time however, when we move on, and these things hold a different meaning, but their value does not diminish. Chestnut Center understands and wants to provide a way for you to give these valued art pieces a new life and a new home.

Retired art might take the shape of a piece of wall art, an antique quilt, a piece of lace or jewelry, a sculpture or other three-dimensional pieces, or maybe autographed sheet music.

Consider donating your once-loved art to Chestnut Center. Funds raised are used for educational programming in the arts.

Donated art can be dropped off at the Chestnut Center during regular office hours (Tuesday through Thursday, 10 am-3pm) or by appointment (715-389-8999).
Let us put your retired treasures back to work!

Chestnut Center's "Once Loved Art" Sale will be held at least once annually. Watch for it! Sign up for our email blasts to be notified. Also, a selection of this art is on display--and for sale-- in the Terrazzo Room year-round.

On Display in the Fireplace Room:

Gene Wesley

Introducing our new virtual exhibits!


Flowers In Focus by Roxie Wetterau

Weeds & Dirt by R. Christian Egger

Gene Wesley Virtual Gallery Exhibit

“Wilderness Reflections” by Don Halloran and Sylvia Eisenmann

Call For Artists!

Artists interested in showing their work at the Chestnut Center Fine Arts Gallery, please fill out the form below!
--> CCA Gallery Exhibition Request Form