Last updated on July 3rd, 2019 at 07:13 pm
The John Michael Kohler Arts Center recently purchased 39 acres of the former Schudchardt Farm property in Sheboygan where it plans to build a museum as part of a new Art Preserve that will showcase Fox Point artist Mary Nohl’s work.
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 Arts Center in downtown Sheboygan.
Those items will be accessible to visitors at the new Art Preserve, said Sam Gappmayer, director of the Kohler Arts Center.
“It is the Arts Center’s priority to restore artist built environments in the locations in which they were created,” Gappmayer said. “In cases where this has not been possible, these environments have been brought into our collections storage until they can be incorporated into exhibitions and eventually at the new Art Preserve building and site. Conversations about what will be inside or outside the building are ongoing.”
Chad Pelishek, director of planning and development with the city of Sheboygan said the Art Preserve will be a world-class, state-of-the-art facility where people can view collections while they are being restored.
Groundbreaking for the project is expected in summer 2017 with a completion date targeted for summer 2020.
The Art Preserve will be located on the west side of Sheboygan, off Interstate 43 and Taylor Drive and Indiana Avenue. Creation and Preservation Partners Inc. of New York, a subsidiary of the John Michael Kohler Arts Center recently purchased the vacant land for the project from the city for $1.16 million.
The city acquired the 200-acre Schudchardt Farm Property five 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, Pelishek said.
“The Kohlers have a good track record in this community and with the estimated tourism this will bring to the city this project made the most sense,” Pelishek said. “We have been working on this project for about a year and were finally able to close (the land sale).”
The Art Preserve, which city officials say will include a museum of up to 100,000 square feet in size, will also utilize the property’s natural qualities for the installation of art environments, according to the John Michael Kohler Arts Center’s website.
“The Arts Center’s unparalleled collection of works by art-environment builders is experiencing ever-increasing requests for access from scholars, curators, and the public,” Karen Patterson, John Michael Kohler Arts Center associate curator said in a written statement. “We already have two environments that cannot be shown until we have permanent outdoor space for them, and we don’t want to decline future opportunities to grow because of the lack of space.”