WAUSAU – It’s used every day – some people don’t give it a second thought, while to others, money means everything. Money can make us feel a certain way, behave a certain way. It can allow us to travel the world, or to never leave our home. It’s more than the paper, coins or plastic that we hold in our hands.

In “Cultural Currency: Contemporary Art from the Riemer Collection,” on view March 4 through June 4 at the Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum, artists investigate preconceived definitions of monetary value, meticulously repurposing bills and coins into exquisite artworks.

This collection is the passion of Louise Rothman-Riemer, who grew up in Wausau, and Davis Riemer, investment advisers from Oakland, California, who began collecting money-themed art in 1995 to encourage new attitudes toward money’s intrinsic value.

Several other artists featured in the exhibition also have Wisconsin roots, including one who held a residency at the Woodson Art Museum in 2019. Mark Wagner was born and raised in Marathon County and creates intricate collages made from deconstructed U.S. dollars.

He’s not the only “Cultural Currency” artist from Wisconsin, however. Artists C.K. Wilde, Stacey Lee Webber, Tim O’Neill and Kelli Hoppmann also have ties to the Badger state.

Program highlights

March 9, 10:30 a.m. – Noon
SPARK! – Cultural Currency: Adults with early-to-mid-stage memory loss
and their care partners gather for interactive, guided experiences in the
galleries followed by hands-on art making inspired by observations and conversations. Register online or call 715-845-7010.
March 22, 1-3 p.m.
Making @ The Museum – Currency Inspired Collages: Stop by the museum’s
classroom to create collages that incorporate designs and motifs found on
April 13, 5:30 – 6:30 p.m.
Guest Artist Talk: Through his work, artist C.K. Wilde poses the questions “What is value?” and “What is valuable?” Re-examining perceptions of agency, worth and sociocultural perspectives informs and inspires Wilde’s studio practice. Learn more about Wilde’s process and why money remains his preferred medium for
creating art centered on social justice and narrative.
April 14, 2 – 4 p.m.
Open Studio & Conversation: Observe visiting artist C.K. Wilde at work in the museum’s classroom studio. Engage in conversations on representation, inclusion, history and creative community while watching a currency collage take shape
April 15, 1 – 4 p.m.
Mini Workshop – Connecting to Community through Collage: Themes of identity, place and history are at the core of C.K. Wilde’s art making. Participants are invited to make collages relating to personal narrative and the social, natural and cultural histories of north central Wisconsin. By sourcing and utilizing meaningful materials like images, maps and print media, participants will learn Wilde’s techniques and conceptual approaches to collage. Registration required; fee: $25 for museum members, $40 for non-members. Register online or call
April 16, 1 – 2 p.m.
Gallery Conversations: Stroll the Cultural Currency galleries with C.K. Wilde as he highlights favorite artworks and shares insights from the perspective of an artist making from money
April 29, 1 – 2 p.m.
Money Matters Gallery Walk: Join collectors Louise Rothman-Riemer and Davis Riemer, investment advisers from Oakland, California, for a walk-through of their money-themed collection. During this afternoon gallery stroll, they share insights and stories about Cultural Currency’s artworks.
May 6, 10:30 a.m. – Noon
Art Beyond Sight – Cultural Currency: People with low vision and blindness explore the exhibition via a multisensory gallery experience led by museum educators. Time in the galleries is followed by guided art-making in the museum’s classroom studio. Register online or call 715-845-7010.
May 24, 1 – 3 p.m.
Making @ the Museum – Imprints & Impressions: Drop-in to the museum’s classroom to create and combine image transfers through coin rubbings and currency-inspired stamps to produce unique mixed-media illustrations.

For more information on these programs, events and exhibitions, visit www.lywam.org, email the museum at info@lywam.org or call 715-845-7010.
Always admission free.

If you go
Hours: Tuesday – Friday: 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.
First Thursday of each month: 9 a.m. – 7:30 p.m.
Saturday and Sunday: Noon – 5 p.m.
Closed Monday & holidays
Phone: 715-845-7010
Where: 700 North 12th St., Wausau