ArtStart is known for hosting a variety of exhibits throughout the year, but this one is proving to be a bit more blue. ArtStart’s newest gallery features a variety of dyed art based on the Japanese technique, shibori, which involves folding fabric and dying them in indigo to create unique designs.

"The exhibit is called Living Blues Japan to the Midwest, and it features multiple artists from all over the world who specialize in indigo dying," said Traci Stinebrink, the Artstart's Development and Communications manager. "There are local artists involved and internationals artists involved with this exhibit. Locally the curator of this exhibit is Debra Jircik who is a very well-known artist in our area."

But the dye isn’t just used for fabric. Many artists also use the dye for other forms of art, like ink for calligraphy, or water brush paintings, and even just dying paper like what two of the local artists did.

Debra Jircik made this paper, and then she dyed the paper using the indigo. And then another local artist took that paper, that dyed paper, and created this incredible…creating this complete piece of art," said Traci.

But local residents aren’t the only people that this exhibit has attracted, as some of the attendants came to visit from overseas. And the exhibit makes a great place to visit in addition to the rest of downtown Rhinelander.

Many of the artists are from Japan. A couple of them were even able to attend our artist opening that we held. And there were able to see the exhibit in person and that was a lovely time, said Traci. "It’s a wonderful afternoon in downtown Rhinelander, to explore the lovely shops downtown, and take a moment to breath and enjoy some beautiful art, and ArtStart can definitely provide that to people."