ArtStart to auction off photos from Packer exhibit
BY EILEEN PERSIKE
One of the more popular exhibits to line the gallery walls at ArtStart in Rhinelander is coming to an end this weekend. “Capturing the Packers” will go out in typical Packer fan fashion with a free tailgate party and celebration 4-7 p.m. Jan. 27 at ArtStart, located downtown on Stevens Street.
“This is still a really high-quality art exhibition that we’re proud to have and it happens to have football as a subject matter.” -Melinda Childs
The exhibit features 75 years of photographs of the Packers, taken by the Biever family – Vernon and his sons John and Jim from 1941 – 2016. All of the featured prints will be sold at the tailgate party, either by live auction or silent auction.
“This was a really interesting exhibit,” said ArtStart development director Melinda Childs. “Because it’s art-meets-football and it’s also a family story.”
Vernon Biever originally photographed the Packers as a freelance photographer for a Milwaukee newspaper while he was a college student. After serving in the military during WWII, he approached the Packers and offered to take photos in exchange for a field pass. Not only did Biever create the position of team photographer, he created a family business, by having his sons follow in his footsteps.
Childs said this was a popular show for the Northwoods.
“Some of the shows that we have push the boundaries a little bit and are challenging,” Childs admitted. “But this one, pretty much everybody can relate to the Packers.”
The exhibit also shows how art can touch on many aspects of society, satisfying one of Childs’ goals.
“People think art, and they think Monet, or classic oil paintings or abstract or contemporary art that they don’t understand, but people don’t often think that sports photography is art, or design is art,” she explained. “When you go to Target or Shopko and you buy kitchen towels, an artist designed those. To me this show kind of brings that home, this is still a really high-quality art exhibition that we’re proud to have and it happens to have football as a subject matter and have really interesting photos, and photo journalism.”
Exhibit sponsor is the “official bank of the Green Bay Packers,” Associated Bank, which helped with the expense of printing, framing and matting all the photos that are hanging on the walls, and will be sold.
“When we ask for exhibition sponsors, it really is to put the exhibit up,” said Childs. “We have free admission, which we are committed to keeping, but it’s great to have local businesses come on board to help us cover those expenses.”
The exhibit was curated by Matt Foss, a Biever family friend. For more information, visit ArtStartRhinelander.org or call 715-362-4328.