Artisan Gallery is celebrating 30 years of art and a new name.
On June 9th, we changed our name to Abel Contemporary Gallery.
The gallery opened in 1987 as the Wisconsin Artisan Gallery under the direction of its original owner, who converted a former creamery into a showplace for the work of 30 local artists. A few years later the gallery shortened its name to the Artisan Gallery, enabling the gallery to show talent from a broader region.
In 1998, Theresa Abel became the Art Director and helped continue the growth of the gallery, both in quality and in reputation. In 2004, she and artist Tim O'Neill took over ownership, broadening the focus of the gallery, exhibiting artists with national reputations along with work of well-known local artists. Abel, a painter, and O’Neill, a woodworker and metalsmith focused on exhibiting fine art and fine craft side by side.
As the gallery’s reputation has grown, attracting visitors from across the country in person and online, it has become important for the gallery to have a unique name to differentiate itself from other “artisan” galleries and businesses. Abel Contemporary will build upon a great tradition with a new name and our mission of supporting the arts and artists will remain unchanged.