Member Spotlight 2019
Jan 31 @ 10:00 am – Apr 29 @ 3:00 pm

The Member Spotlight program will feature a new work of art every quarter, created by members of THELMA, which will be displayed alongside pieces from the permanent collection.

Submissions will be juried by our THELMA curator, with submissions accepted quarterly.

THELMA welcomes and encourages its members to show off their talents for the Member Spotlight regardless of artistic experience. Artists and non-artists are invited to submit work in various forms of media including painting, drawing, sculpture, ceramics, woodwork, glasswork, jewelry and more. Artists must be age 16 and up.

Submissions for the fourth quarter of 2018 will be accepted via email ([email protected]) or mail. Registration form and display protocols can be found in the documents below.


Current Member Spotlight:













Chris Dolan – Beanfield in Autumn

Medium: Oil on canvas







Laura Schneider – Medieval Paris

Medium: Giclee








Nancy Donohue – Hard Edge

Medium: Acrylic on canvas







Download the Protocols Form

Download the Registration Form

Sharon Garrison: Friends & Family plus passing acquaintances and me
Apr 25 @ 10:00 am – Jun 8 @ 3:00 pm

Exhibition will be on view from April 25 – June 8, 2019

Opening Reception: Thursday, April 25, 6 – 8 pm

Free admission and open to the public, meet the artist as you view her work. Cash bar and snacks available.

Artist’s Exchange: Thursday, May 30, 6 – 8 pm

Free admission and open to the public, listen to a Q&A talk and learn about her process, inspiration, and execution of her work. Cash bar and snacks available.

Sharon Garrison is an artist who specializes in portrait. She works intuitively as did Alice Neel and Lucien Freud, two of her sources of inspiration. A professor once compared her work to that of Soutine. She was not aware of Soutine at the time and headed straight to the library to look up the artist. She did not see a similarity but others have also made the comparison. Shape and value are of primary importance. Her colors tend to be realistic, even somewhat monochromatic in nature.

Although never one for drawing, her recent work is a series of portraits entitled “Friends & Family plus passing acquaintances and me”, made with Sharpie markers. These drawings are a combination of realism and caricature applied to images of acquaintances, family and friends. She often enhances memory of past relationships to create what she surmises a contemporary version of the past might look like and vice versa.

She is presently exploring cattle markers and cold wax and oil as mediums, using a trial and error approach. Her work in general is based upon trial and error methodology. Although the portraits seem to be classical in nature, there is often an edgy quality to them.

Sharon feels that the artist’s work is complete when she deems the piece finished. It is then time for a dialogue between the viewer and the artwork. With this sequence of events the work takes on a new life with each different onlooker, creating an expanded continuum.  For this reason, she does not attempt to explain her work. If the work is successful, there should be no need for explanation. However, the life experiences of the viewer melding with the art work facilitates a fresh dialogue between the viewer and artist, often resulting in a mutually beneficial understanding of the piece.

She earned an Associate Degree from UW Fond du Lac and a BFA from the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh.

She has shown in many venues around the state:

2018 Wisconsin Visual Artists Biennial, Mowa

Neville Public Museum

Union at the University of Wisconsin Madison

Gail Steinhilber Gallery, UWO

Frank Juarez Gallery, Sheboygan

1996 Faculty Alumni Show, Priebe Gallery UWO

Two person show UW Fond du Lac

Solo show Langdon Divers Gallery, Fond du Lac

Solo show Riverwalk Art Center Fond du Lac

Many Alive in the Arts juried shows, Plymouth Art Center

Invitational show Trista Holz Studios, Fond du Lac

THELMA member shows

Mowa member shows

Ecological Show, University of Wisconsin Eau Claire art gallery

Signage for Prairie Theater, UW Fond du Lac


Mowa Members Show Director’s Award 2017

Merit Award Plymouth Alive in the Arts 2018

First place Plymouth Members show 2018

Three meritorious designations and inclusion the the gallery books for Jack Richeson International Art Competitions

A featured artist in three Frank Juarez Artdose Guides

1994 Designer of the Year, UWO

Many Wisconsin Regional Artists awards

Derrick Burbul: Diary of a Mad World
Nov 14 2019 @ 10:00 am – Jan 4 2020 @ 5:00 pm

Exhibition will be on display from November 14, 2019 – January 4, 2020

Artist’s Exchange: Friday, January 3, 6 – 8 pm

Free admission and exclusive for THELMA members, listen to a Q&A talk and learn about his process, inspiration, and execution of his work. Cash bar and snacks available.

Diary of a Mad World

“My desire to mix word and image has led me to create my Diary of a Mad World portfolio. Here, I create images that appear to be grainy modernist styled black and white photographs. However, what the viewer sees as “grain” from a distance,become words as the viewer is drawn in closer to the image. The viewer is left to reconcile the connotation of the image and denotation of the words.

“The relationship between images and words can be traced back all the way to fourth century B.C. Greece to the Poet Simmias of Rhoades, who wrote his writings in the forms of images, much like the Futurist poets of the early 20th Century. The relationship between images and words in the visual arts is often tumultuous, and sometimes harmonious, but is undoubtedly a very rich part of the contemporary art dialogue.

“I use dynamic asymmetrical compositions to capture the viewer’s attention, and I use large-scale images for the space they allow for me to add minute details in the form of text. What the viewer sees as “grain” from a distance, become words as the viewer is drawn in closer to the image through the variety of styles in how the “grain” is arranged to create texture. The texture is sometimes more organic and chaotic, and other times will be more formally structured to create pattern. Sometimes the words are more visually obscure and other times they are more visually overt. The words themselves are original poems, stories, and critical writings on art and photography I have written. In the end, the text may challenge, distort, or complement the context the photograph creates, but whatever they do, the text adds an abstract quality both visually and conceptually.”

Wayne Bertola: Vernacular Relics
Nov 14 2019 @ 10:00 am – Jan 4 2020 @ 5:00 pm

Exhibition will be on display from November 14, 2019 – January 4, 2020

“In response to questions concerning my training and schooling etc., I am, for lack of a better term, self-taught. It is my hope that the work in question speaks for itself, in its own voice, without being burdened with autobiographical and or didactic references. If the work in question has any meaning in the accepted sense it is in its ability to combine found objects and images – the discarded debris of the once-functional and the most humble of materials – in such a manner as to demonstrate their capacity for transformation into objects that by the response they generate engage the viewer in a creative dialogue of association, allusion, and reverie beyond the limitations of the utilitarian and preconceived notions of what is worthy of “notice” and what constitutes ‘value.'”

Amy Jarvis: The Mythics: A Visual Story of Women Around the World
May 26 @ 10:00 am – Jul 11 @ 5:00 pm

The Mythics: A visual story of women around the world

Exhibition will be on display from May 26 – July 11, 2020

Galleries are free to view:

Monday: 10 – 5 pm

Tuesday: 10 – 5 pm

Wednesday: 10 – 5 pm

Thursday: 10 – 7 pm. Great Hall Bar is open every Thursday from 5 – 7 pm to enjoy.

Friday: 10 – 5 pm.

Open Saturdays 11 – 3 pm.

Closed on Sundays.

This series of large scale paintings presents women across the continents and across the centuries. These paintings are meant to express inspiration by the shared journey of women everywhere. Offered as a tribute; a statement of love and an expression of fascination. The artist becomes both student and guide as she investigates various countries, looking for appealing or historical patterns, possibly artifacts or vegetation, maybe of past, maybe of future, and perhaps a little mythic imagery to invite the viewer to share the journey.

The spirits of women are portrayed in their elements, in their worlds, in their situations, and in their beauty. They are fair and they are strong, they are leaders and they are nurturers. They are the mothers of children and of cultures, bringers of values and of learning. They tell the story to help us find our way and guide us to our rightful place – where we are one.

Amy Jarvis is a Wisconsin visual artist and a 500 hour registered Vinyasa yoga instructor currently living in Thiensville, Wisconsin.  Amy resided in Fond du Lac for many years and she has remained active in that community teaching yoga events and is a former Executive Board Member at Thelma Sadoff Center for the Arts. She has participated in THELMA’s membership shows several times and has twice won the Viewer’s Choice Award prize.

Amy obtained a degree in Illustration from the Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design (MIAD) and spent years working for Milwaukee agencies and photographers as a digital retouching artist before coming back to painting. She credits her yoga journey for bringing her back to art.

For the past four years, Amy’s art has focused primarily on custom animal portraits. Her belief that animals make the world a better place is apparent in her art as she captures the spark in the eye, the animation and emotion displayed by her clients pets.


Joan Lobis Brown: Women of an UNcertain age: Indomitable Baby Boomers Challenging Cultural Norms
May 26 @ 10:00 pm – Jul 11 @ 5:00 pm

“Women of an UNcertain age: Indomitable Baby Boomers Challenging Cultural Norms”
Photographs and Text by Joan Lobis Brown

Exhibition will be on display from May 26 – July 11, 2020

Galleries are free to view:

Monday: 10 – 5 pm

Tuesday: 10 – 5 pm

Wednesday: 10 – 5 pm

Thursday: 10 – 7 pm. Great Hall Bar is open every Thursday from 5 – 7 pm to enjoy.

Friday: 10 – 5 pm.

Open Saturdays 11 – 3 pm.

Closed on Sundays.

Her Artist Talk has been postponed due to travel restrictions because of the Coronavirus. Joan is from New York and we are hoping to have her at a later date. Thank you for your consideration.

Artist Statement
How long does it take for a denied class to achieve parity? It took over 130 years after the Constitution was written for women to gain the right to vote on a national level. This year, 127 women are serving in Congress—more than any other time in our history.

There is no better moment than the present one to showcase the lives of ordinary/extraordinary baby boomer women. Baby boomer women have shown all of us how never to give up and forge ahead, how to lead inspiring lives and how to be truly free and capitalize on our talents and strengths and assume our rightful place in history.

“Women of an UNcertain Age: Indomitable Baby Boomers Challenging Cultural Norms” is a portraiture series— accompanied by text culled from interviews—that focuses on American baby boomer women of diverse races, religions, sexual identities, professions and socioeconomic backgrounds.

American baby boomer women—– women born between 1945 and 1964 were the first generation to expect that they could “have it all”: equality, family, careers, health and prosperity. Now, they face challenges brought on by the demands of growing older while continuing to enjoy those same meaningful and evolved lives.

Women have been, and still are, the targets of sexism and ageism. Older women are often invisible, remaining largely unseen by members of a youth-oriented society and underrepresented in popular culture and imagery. When they are visible, they are often and euphemistically described as being “of a certain age,” as though an acknowledgement of maturity might be taken as an
offense. Even worse, older women are sometimes thought of and depicted as crones or witches.

Since 2015, I have photographed and interviewed 39 unknown yet outstanding baby boomer women who have shattered stigma, dismantling stereotypes to become extraordinary women launching new careers, achieving physical goals, overcoming adversity and making society a better place for all of us.

I researched and networked to identify women to feature in my project who were born during this period and are living in the United States and leading inspiring lives. The women we meet in this project are strong, resilient, tenacious, courageous and unstoppable. Their stories cover a wide variety of accomplishments. They are athletes, scholars, activists, businesswomen, artists, migrants and survivors. They are role models all. These amazing women are a testament to the character, courage, vitality and spunk of American baby boomer women.

Each portrait in the series represents a collaboration between me and the particular woman being photographed. The women have been photographed in settings—whether at home or at their  workplace—that are meaningful to them and convey a sense of who they are. Additionally, together we made choices about their hair, makeup, clothing and even what objects would surround them. They are not only making sure that they are seen—they have taken charge of how they will be seen.

These photographs and stories bear witness to a generation that never gave up. As a bonus, the images and stories of these ordinary/extraordinary women will serve as a blueprint for younger generations, guiding them in how to live their truest lives as well as offering them encouragement and freedom to face the unique challenges that lie ahead of them. I learned a lifetime of lessons from listening to these women and wish I’d had them as role models as a young woman.

The large collages in this exhibition are made from postcards that have been collected at previous iterations of my traveling exhibition. In effect, these collages reflect the wisdom that comes with age.

I provide postcards, with an image that I took at the January 2017 Women’s March, asking women viewers to answer to the question “What would I tell my younger self?” (please see postcard uploaded as image #18).

I would like to add postcards from women who participate at the Thelma Sadoff Center for The Arts, as well as the greater Fond du Lac area and Wisconsin in general, to the collage part of this exhibition. Yet-to-be completed postcards would be on a small table in front of existing collages and will invite viewers of this particular incarnation of the exhibition to answer the same question and impart their own wisdom.

After completing them, viewers will drop the cards into a box to be collected at the end of the exhibition. These will then become part of a new collage to be included in my next exhibition of this project. In this way, everyone who views this exhibition is invited to become a part of it as it travels and grows.

To guide viewers through the exhibition, spiral bound notebooks will contain a page featuring a thumbnail image and story for every woman in the exhibition (please see image #19).

There will also be a mirror among the images. In this way, I hope to have viewers literally see themselves among these women and, figuratively, imagine their place among them.

Also featured is what I am referring to as a networking image, showing how I came to be connected to the subjects in my portraits, underscoring my own place among them (please see image #20).

There is also the possibility of having framed images. All prints are archival pigment prints.

Adriane Little: Mapping Mrs. Dalloway
Jul 16 – Aug 29 all-day

Mapping Mrs. Dalloway by Adriane Little

Exhibition will be on display from July 16 – August 29, 2020

Literature is riddled with dead or otherwise missing mothers. Virginia Woolf’s life and writing were partly, yet significantly guided by the death of her mother when Woolf was just 13-years-old. This loss reappears across her novels. As an artist, I am interested in studying both her writing and her as a woman who experienced this early and profound loss. Conceptually, this work is supported by continued research to advance the trope of the missing mother. Mapping Mrs. Dalloway represents a new way of visualizing text and image within my practice by incorporating data mapping in this new work.

For Mapping Mrs. Dalloway, I walked the streets of London and photographed along the path that Mrs. Dalloway walks in the novel. In doing so, I brought the walking path and Mrs. Dalloway forward 90 years into the present. These are the same streets that Woolf herself walked countless times. My intention was not to illustrate the novel, but instead to use stream of consciousness in capturing the images. This mirrors the literary strategy of the novel. This project challenged me to photograph in a new way. I was limited to a specific amount of time while in England. I knew where I would walk but I was not certain what I would actually find. As each day past, I became more familiar with the sense of place created by the movement of people in the city and the project evolved.

After returning from England, I divided the text of the novel into 20 sections. Each section is then visualized as a word count of the novel and layered over an image in the series. The circles grow larger the more often a particular word was repeated. The green that is used for the data mapping was color matched from photographs I took of the wall paint while inside of Monk’s House. The data visualization both obscures and reveals information within each image. I perceive the interaction of the mapping within each image as moments of loss.

Adriane Little is a conceptual artist and educator living in Kalamazoo Michigan. Her studio practice originates from the perspective of photographic processes, but also crosses media and theoretical positions. The underpinnings of her visual work and research are at an intersection of trauma and ritual through an interrogation of a presence and absence of the maternal body. The translation of this space is both literal and metaphor or the architecture of an ephemeral maternal space that is embedded within what she calls the matrilineal ghost. As a continuation of these ideas, recent work turns to literature as a source of visualization. Literature is riddled with dead or otherwise missing mothers.

By both committee and invitation, her artwork has received national and international recognition in numerous exhibitions and video screenings. Since arriving to Western Michigan University in fall 2006, her artwork has exhibited in 57 different venues in 52 international cities and in 87 different venues in 69 U.S. cities. Most notable and recent venues include; Gallery 1401 (Philadelphia PA), CEPA Gallery (Buffalo NY), the Institute of Culture (Trbovlje Slovenia), The Center for Photography at Woodstock (Woodstock NY), Albright-Knox Art Gallery (Buffalo NY), Chelsea Art Museum (NYC), Syracuse International Film Festival, Siouxland Film Festival, Milwaukee Short Film Festival, Dawson City International Film Festival in the Yukon, Macon Film and Video Festival, Three Rivers Film Festival and the Leeds International Film Festival in the UK, among others. She has curated several exhibitions including Plus 3 Ferris Wheels, 17 Days and several solo exhibitions in galleries and online.





















Melissa Wilkinson: UnNatural Histories
Jul 16 – Aug 29 all-day

UnNatural Histories

Exhibition will be on display from July 16 – August 29, 2020

This series of paintings relates to my interest in dichotomies: obscuring and revealing, attraction and repulsion, good and evil, the past and the present. Through a tediously crafted watercolor painting practice I seek to make something strange out of the ordinary. I am deeply interested in the interaction of parts and am attracted to the tactile in an increasingly technological and dehumanized time. I appropriate imagery from 19th century naturalist illustrators such as John James Audubon, Jacques Barraband and Elizabeth Gould and pair with superficially sensual subject matter to develop a pastiche that fractures both into the surreal and suggestive. I draw from sensual imagery sourced from internet searches, bodies, fabrics, shells, gems, flowers, etc. in order to open a curio chest that examines the 21st century obsession with all things slick and hollow. The images break from their original sources into fragments, creating a complex visual experience that both irritates and seduces. I paint these images to investigate the slippery definition of both desire and corporeality.

The romantic process of painting allows me to meditate on issues of gender, identity construction and beauty. Though the paintings are initially conceived of using digital processes,they are made employing a very purist approach to watercolor. In doing so, I endeavor to uphold these painting processes while dismantling the elitism with which they are often associated.

Alexandra Opie: Wonder Box
Sep 4 – Oct 17 all-day

Wonder Box by Alexandra Opie

Exhibition will be on display from September 3 – October 17, 2020

A mask or face covering is required in the building. We appreciate your cooperation and understanding.

An artist exchange talk will begin at 6 pm on Wednesday, September 30 with a Q&A about her exhibition: Wonder Box.

You may attend in person or at home via Zoom. We will meet with her via Zoom in our building. Capacity will be at 10%. Free admission and open to the public. Cash bar available.

Reserve your spot: In-person or via Zoom. See link below.
A mask or face covering is required in the building. We will watch the Zoom Q&A talk in our building.
If you choose to watch the Q&A talk via Zoom at home, we will email you the Meeting ID and Password.

Please RSVP HERE. 

The antique forms of tintype, ambrotype, and prints from glass-plate negatives allow for a heightened awareness of the intense beauty and mystery of the mundane. These plant parts are photographed in extreme macro–with an eight-foot long camera and a scavenged military aerial survey lens–in a way that intentionally confuses perception. The resulting ambiguous scale, in conjunction with a composition reminiscent of portraiture, lends a corporeality to these plant specimens. Lines between plant and human are blurred as these organic forms mimic the familiar: silhouettes, hands, gestures, viscera, genitalia.

















Kimberly Nysse: In Spite of Myself
Sep 4 – Oct 17 all-day

In Spite of Myself  by Kimberly Nysse

Exhibition will be on display from September 4 – October 17, 2020

A mask or face covering is required in the building. We appreciate your cooperation and understanding.

Adopted at a young age, Kimberly Nysse’s search for self has been more intense than it is for most of us. Her self-portraits are a direct extension of that continuous search. “I acquire the deepest knowledge of myself by exploring the most intimate truths, and then abstracting from that perception of reality.”

Kimberly’s background and education are in costume design for the theatre. The connection from stage to canvas is apparent throughout her bold, saturated colors that are larger than life. Working mainly with acrylic on hand-stretched canvas, her style ranges from realism to the abstract, with carefully measured geometry forming the backgrounds and patterns seen throughout her pieces. Although her self-portraits are intensely personal, they also reveal universal emotion as they concretize the fundamental, yet ever-changing, views of herself and her existence.

By all accounts, she is not self-effacing. Yet she consistently opts not to explain her motivation or process. What is clear, however, is her all-encompassing commitment to the life of an artist. She chooses to work with techniques that require attentiveness and take long stretches of time. Whether it is printmaking, quilting, photography, encaustic or painting, her work insists upon a mindfulness and reverence for the process.

In her studio and home, she surrounds herself with things of beauty. Small sculptures created by her children, pottery and ceramics, a vintage accordion she named Pearl, and of course, music; the rich ballads that have become the soundtrack to her life and work. Her world is not cluttered. It must be necessary, beautiful, loved or it is not welcome. Clutter distracts from truth and she would like her life to be as truthful as her art. Kimberly has the power to bring the widest metaphysical abstractions into the immediate. Her question with every creation is: Is this worthy of being called “the truth of it?” She is a student at Holy Family College and lives and works in Sheboygan.