Wisconsin Regional Arts Program
The Wisconsin Regional Arts Program or WRAP, was created in 1940 to promote art in the state, particularly in rural communities. Seeing a need for cultural growth after Great Depression, the program was started by a group of Professors at the University of Wisconsin in Madison. This travelling art collection was intended to offer access to art to families or individual that may not have had access in their daily lives. Through this program individuals outside of the Madison or Milwaukee urban areas were able to experience art, attend lectures or workshops, learn about art history, different techniques, and exhibit their work.
The program’s first artist-in-residence was renowned regional painter John Steuart Curry. Curry then led the program until his death and was succeeded by Aaron Bohrod. Bohrod stayed at the helm for the next 30 years. Both traveled the state, curating the Rural Arts Exhibits. Wisconsin’s famous art environment maker, Nick Englebert of Grandview, also studied in WRAP.
In 2021 the WRAP program was discontinued. They contacted Kohler Foundation to help in the preservation of this important part of the history of Wisconsin art and artists. Kohler Foundation received all of the remaining pieces in the collection. These pieces include a landscape painted in 1946 to still life drawing completed in 1996. In addition to two-dimensional work, the collection includes aluminum sculptures, ceramic bowls, and jewelry.
Kohler Foundation continues to place WRAP artwork in non-profit organizations around the state. Kohler Foundation encourages non-profit organizations to contact us if interested in a gift of art.