Last updated on July 3rd, 2019 at 07:12 pm
The John Michael Kohler Arts Center in Sheboygan is moving forward with plans to build a new museum and art preserve to showcase the work of Wisconsin artists.
The John Michael Kohler Arts Preserve will be a three-story, 53,000-square-foot building in a heavily wooded rural area on the west side of Sheboygan, off Interstate 43 and Taylor Drive and Indiana Avenue. It will be an additional location for the John Michael Kohler Arts Center, which will maintain its primary location in downtown Sheboygan.
Plans for the project have been in the works for two years, since the John Michael Kohler Arts Center purchased 39 acres of the former Schudchardt Farm property from the city in 2016.
“With the creation of this cultural space in the midst of this natural site, it is hoped that this hub will become a culturally significant entity for the community equal to that of the John Michael Kohler Arts Center,” said a statement submitted to the city by JMKA representatives.
Some examples of the work that will be displayed at the art preserve include Wisconsin artists Mary Nohl, Fred Smith and Eugene Von Bruenchenhein as well as international artists such as Nek Chand.
“The ideal situation is for the artist’s work to stay in its original location; however, this is not always possible,” JMKA representatives said.
Known as the “Witch of Fox Point,” Nohl filled her home and yard with a wide array of paintings, sculptures, jewelry and drawings. Her work was passed onto the Kohler Foundation when she died in 2001.
While Nohl’s house and her sculptures remain in Fox Point, many of the objects she created for the interior of her home are now held at the John Michael Kohler Arts Center in downtown Sheboygan.
Those items will be accessible to visitors at the new art preserve.
The building will be open to the public six days a week from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. More than 70 percent of the building will be devoted to public collection space. The building will also have a classroom and multi-purpose room and a library study space.
In 2016, Creation and Preservation Partners Inc. of New York, a subsidiary of the John Michael Kohler Arts Center, purchased the vacant land for the project from the city for $1.16 million in 2016.
The city acquired the 200-acre Schudchardt Farm Property seven years ago with the intention of developing a green technology business park. When the John Michael Kohler Arts Center approached the city with this proposal, the plans for the land changed.
The city plan commission will review the John Michael Kohler Arts proposal Tuesday.