Art in the Capitol

The 25th Senate District is blessed with astounding natural beauty, from the rocky shores of Lake Superior to the gentle rolling hills, lakes and streams of Washburn, Barron and Price Counties. That beauty has attracted artists of all types, creative individuals who capture and interpret that beauty in their work. What better way to connect my Madison office with the people and the beauty of Northern Wisconsin than by opening up my office to those artists. I call this my “Art in the Capitol” project. Each month or so, I will display the works of an artist from the 25th Senate District on the walls of my office and on this webpage. Please follow the links to learn more about each artist and to view their artworks.




    • Mary Burns - Ancestral Women

      In the Ancestral Women Exhibit, award-winning jacquard weaver Mary Burns honors women’s journeys by creating their portraits in jacquard weavings. The Ancestral Women project was conceived to portray the strength of ancestral women around the world, both elders and their contemporaries, and to honor their journeys. The first phase of this larger project featured women elders from each of Wisconsin’s 12 Native American tribes, 11 of which are federally recognized, and one, the Brothertown Nation, which is seeking federal status. Mary then wove six clan pieces for the exhibit (bear, loon, eagle, marten, crane, turtle) and four landscape pieces that illustrate essential cultural practices (maple sugaring, harvesting wild rice, building a birch bark canoe, and a piece showing a rising sun over a lake that symbolizes a new day).

      My office was not large enought to display the complete exhibit, so I asked a number of my colleagues who serve on the Joint Legislative State Tribal Relations Committee to display some of these beautiful weavings in their offices and they enthusiastically agreed.  Click on the links below to see which pieces are in which office.  For more information on the exhibit. please visit the artist's website -


    • Jamey Ritter

      Jamey Ritter

      Jamey is a Photographer, Graphic Designer and Illustrator living in Washburn, WI. Jamey has been behind the lens since 1993 and a graphic designer since 1999. Jamey started her WPA/Art Deco inspired poster series after she created a custom wedding gift for a cousin’s wedding.  Her inspiration is often found on the south shore of Lake Superior where she has lived most of her life.

      I agree with Jamey, Northern Wisconsin is truly is a remarkable place to live and I'm glad to call it home.  To see more of Jamey's art, please visit her webpage at


    • Don Olson

      Don Olson

      Don Olson is a Chetek area artist whose original painting style includes working with oils and acrylics. Don captures the beauty of the Wisconsin landscape. His work has been displayed in several galleries throughout the region, and will be featured as part of the 2016 Art Meander, a self-guided tour of galleries and artists' studios in Northwestern Wisconsin on October 7th and 8th. for more information on the Art Meander visit To contact Don, please e-mail him at


    • Terry Daulton

      Terry Daulton

      Terry Daulton lives on the Turtle Flambeau Flowage in Mercer, Wisconsin. She primarily paints landscapes from Northern Wisconsin and the Lake Superior Region. She finds inspiration while working as a biologist and educator, and recently coordinated the art/science exhibitions "Drawing Water: Artists and Scientists Explore Northern Lakes" and "Penokee: Explore the Iron Hills." Her favorite medium is pastels. Her work can be seen at Odonata (Hwy 51, Mercer), MoonDeer and Friends (Boulder Junction), the Center for Visual Arts (Wausau), Downtown Art Place (Ironwood, MI) and the Paige Wiard Gallery (Calumet, Michigan). Contact Terry at or


    • Cida Smith

      Cida Smith

      Cida (pronounced Sid-ah) and her husband Rick purchased a weekend cabin in Cable, WI in 1990. Always loving the Northwoods they decided to make Cable their full time residence upon retirement. Art has always been a part of Cida’s academic and personal life. She has studied watercolor for more than 25 years. Her more recent artistic journey has taken her into mixed media, acrylic and collage. Her work can be seen at "Art Beat" in Hayward WI, "Northwind Book & Fiber" in Spooner and at "Art Market 63" in Cable. Artist Statement - "I was blessed with creative parents who always encouraged my interests. As a child I spent time drawing and painting. Abstracts are my favorite style since they use the pure basics of design, which allows the viewer to create their own story. I have been influenced by my surroundings whether it be travels to Asia, Europe or my backyard in Cable. I consider myself an intuitive Artist. I try not to take my Art too seriously because I believe that 'play' is an important part of the creative process. This frees my imagination and lets me explore the 'happy accidents' that give the piece a life of its own."


    • Deanne Persson

      Deanna Persson

      For the past 25 years, Deanna Persson has been living in the north woods of Hayward, Wisconsin. The north woods influence is seen in many of her mixed media pieces of art. Prior to moving to Hayward, Deanna lived, worked and played in Chicago: those experiences are also expressed in her artwork. Deanna has worked in the home furnishing department at Carson Pirie Scott in Chicago, taught at Schiller Elementary School in Cabrini Green in Chicago and served as a Chicago Public School Administrator. In 1987 Deanna and her family purchased a zoo, "Wilderness Walk" in Hayward and a new life adventure began. Her family's life was rich with animals of many species and the challenges of the tourist industry. In 2001 they sold the zoo and Deanna opened Art Beat, a gallery in Hayward that features area artists, fine craft work and gifts. Deanna describes herself as an abstract mixed media artist. In her own words, Deanna "is blessed with the love of family and friends, the opportunity to make art, to be a part of our arts community and to be a part of the Northwoods Humane Society and their mission to help animals in need. Family, friends, art, animals . . . life is good." For more information on Deanna feel free to visit her Art Beat Gallery Website -


    • Paula Bunch

      Paula Bunch

      Paula Bunch lives in Washburn on the Shores of Lake Superior. The beautiful photographs she shared with our office are of the bog behind her house. Paula is interested in painting, graphics and photography. She studied and earned her B.S. and MFA from the University of Wisconsin and has taught at the Cleveland Museum of Art and the University of Wisconsin Elvehjem Art Center. Her art has been exhibited in group and solo shows across Wisconsin as well as Illinois, Pennsylvania, New Jersey and as far away as Saitama, Japan. I am pleased to be able to share this work that has such an immediate connection to the waters of Northern Wisconsin.


    • Justin Ausman

      Justin Ausman

      Justin Ausman is a resident of Barron and a welding student at WITC - Rice Lake. I saw his work when he came to the State Capitol as part of the Wisconsin Technical College System Showcase, an annual event designed to increase awareness of the many ways Wisconsin’s technical college students give back to their communities as part of their educational experience. He generously agreed to let me display his sculptures in my office.