Shake Rag Alley Catalog Bursts with Creativity

Shake Rag Alley Center for the Arts’ 2019 catalog is packed with more than 230 arts and crafts workshops for adults and youth, and a variety of special events for all ages.
Founded 15 years ago this year by local artists and community members, the nonprofit Shake Rag Alley Center for the Arts exists to provide educational experiences in visual, performing, and literary arts for adults and children; cultivate the creativity that thrives in our rural community; and rehabilitate and preserve our historic buildings and rustic campus.
This year’s adult workshop lineup features 25 new instructors — from across the country and across the street — teaching arts and crafts classes in blacksmithing, coppersmithing and gas-forge welding; jewelry, photography and pottery; hand-carving spoons and weaving wool rugs; silk-scarf painting and watercolor painting; culinary herbalism and flower arranging; and assemblage and mixed media. Classes are already selling out since the Dec. 1 launch of the 2019 catalog, which can be viewed, downloaded, or a print copy requested at www.shakeragalley.com. Students can register and make lodging reservations online or call the office Monday-Friday for assistance.

One of Mineral Point’s first artists, Ava Fernekes, created these rosemaled mouse traps, which are owned by William Treweek of Dodgeville. Shake Rag Alley’s monthly Women’s Art Party resumes March 20 with a fun project to honor Fernekes. Bring a trap and any fun materials you wish. Beads, buttons, photos, fabric, ribbon, sequins, wire, paint, etc., will be provided, and traps will be available for a nominal cost. Meet at 6:30 p.m. in the Ellery House on the Shake Rag Alley campus at 18 Shake Rag St., Mineral Point.

From March through November, classes range from introductory half-day classes to three- or four-day in-depth workshops. Five in-depth retreats — Writers Retreat, Jewelry Boot Camp, Woodlanders Gathering, Art Adventure and Printmaking Retreat — are again being offered, each with its own unique character and capacity to nurture participants. Workshop students enjoy a 10 percent discount off Shake Rag Alley lodging, which includes three private rooms in the historic Coach House on the Shake Rag Alley campus, and Roland’s Loft and the Tuckpoint Garden Suite at The Sardeson building in the heart of Mineral Point’s historic downtown.
The Summer Youth Program, which runs June 17 through Aug. 19 with mid-morning and afternoon classes, features three dozen K-12 workshops including Paper Mache Art for the Fourth of July Parade, two Free Arts Camps, Laura Ingalls Wilder Day and Be in a Play Camp. Thanks to the support of the Mineral Point Community Chest and United Fund of Iowa County, scholarships are available by filling out an online application on the website or calling the office.
Beyond arts and crafts workshops, Shake Rag Alley offers bountiful opportunities to make magical memories this year. In addition to the Winter Writers Series of free readings by award-winning authors that runs through April, and annual family programs including the June 1 Tour of Fairy Homes, Oct. 31 Trick’r Treat event and Dec. 7 Santa Day, several events and programs are in store in 2019.
Women’s Art Parties resume the third Wednesday of the month beginning in March,  and the Shake Rag Alley Spring and Summer Garage Sales will again feature fun and eclectic finds in April and August. In conjunction with the workshop season, an ongoing exhibit will showcase arts and crafts created by Shake Rag Alley instructors, and the popular jewelry sale will be held in conjunction with Jewelry Boot Camp weekend May 3-5. In June, Shake Rag Alley will join Pendarvis and the Mineral Point Historical Society in celebrating Mineral Point Museum Night, and Point Five will grace Alley Stage in July.

For additional information about Shake Rag Alley’s 2019 workshops and events or to request a catalog, see www.shakeragalley.com or call (608) 987-3292.