The Art Gallery

The Art Gallery

We will soon be offering many of the Gallery’s fiber products online. For those who are interested in purchasing fiber products previously sold in the Gallery, please check with our Mercantile Page. We are in the process of updating and expanding what will be sold there. In the near future we will announce this re-opening in the Ewe Turn Blog.

At the end of 2020, due to the difficulties presented by the Covid-19 pandemic, we made the decision to permanently close the Art Gallery at Whitefish Bay Farm. Because the Art Gallery has been such an integral part of our farm, we also decided to keep some of its memories alive with the following description of its history and operation from 1983 until 2020.

Whitefish Bay Farm Gallery was founded in 1982. The gallery was housed in the old granary and machine shed. Much of the building’s original character has been retained even though its functions have been changed. The Gallery offered for sale a selection of original fiber artwork, photograhpy and pottery, created by a number of artists and fine crafts people. A variety of handmade fiber articles, naturally colored and/or naturally dyed yarns, and roving for handspinning and felting were always on display and available for purchase. The building in which the Gallery was housed was the first structure that we renovated. For many of the Gallery’s early years, Gretchen’s parents, Grace and Ernie Waidelich, were instrumental and invaluable in its daily operation and success. Both were talented in-residence handweavers. They were invaluable in passing along their skills to the two of us.

Entrance to Whitefish Bay Farm Gallery
View of the gallery from the vegetable garden

The Gallery and sheep barns provided a background for the vegetable garden. In the vegetable garden we also grow marigolds, cosmos, dyers coreopis and other plants suitable for dyeing our yarns.

Display of yarn for sale in Whitefish Bay Farm Gallery
Loom and yarn in Whitefish Bay Farm Gallery

In addition to displaying fiber art and photography, the Gallery was also the summer and fall studio space for spinning, weaving and other fiber related activities of owners Gretchen and Dick Regnery. Dick is a weaver; Gretchen is a spinner, felter, weaver, knitter and dyer. Together we create one-of-a-kind articles featuring wool from the flock of white and naturally colored Corriedale sheep.

Display of naturally dyed yarn for sale in Whitefish Bay Farm Gallery
weaving project on the loom

Fiber activities are usually took place when the Gallery was open. Dick may have been weaving on his 60 inch Glimåkra countermarche loom. Gretchen may have been spinning or plying yarn, either on her Watson or Lendrum spinning wheels, spinning with a drop spindle, or perhaps carding wool or dyeing yarn or fleece.

Artist painting an image of the flock on pasture

There were often art related activities taking place in the gallery or on the gallery grounds. Activities might include spinning on either a wheel or drop spindle, weaving, plein air artists painting on location, a dye pot working to produce beautiful fiber and yarn, or a wet felting project in process of completion.

Yarn drying just after being dyed
Yarn drying just after being dyed
Gretchen dyeing yarn with indigo
Above is a sampling of yarns that have all been naturally dyed, some using plants and mushrooms found on the farm. It is an ongoing project that has just begun to scratch the surface of color possibilities that will complement the wool that our sheep produce for us and for so many other fiber artists.