Culture & Community


What is ArtStart?

ArtStart is a group of volunteers—business people, artists, art lovers, educators, and other community-minded citizens—who have transformed the historic Federal Building in downtown Rhinelander, Wisconsin into a destination arts and cultural center. The City of Rhinelander voted to purchase the building from the Federal Government for $1 and lease it to our non-profit organization, and ArtStart, Inc. was born.



ArtStart's mission: To inspire, challenge and educate through cultural events and highly-distinctive, curated visual art exhibitions with the purpose of strengthening and sustaining our community.



Gallery hours


11am-5pm Thursday-Saturday


Gallery tours Available upon request


Location and parking

68 S. Stevens Street, Downtown Rhinelander



ArtStart Board of Directors

Ken Juon, President

Judi Linder, Vice-President

Patty Fitzpatrick, Secretary

Kaye Jaeger, Treasurer

Sue Bessert

Julie Berndt

Debra Ehmann

Colleen Finn

Jon Koch

Ben Meyer

Martin Rowe

Barbara Sholl

Michelle Smith-Grage

Elaine Strite

Tara Vandenberg

Bob Weigandt

Rick Zoerb




Development Director

Melinda Childs


As ArtStart's Development Director, Melinda Childs' calling is to build individual, community and financial relationships that promote ArtStart and the arts as vital to our area's creative and economic wellbeing.


Childs has more than a decade's hands-on experience working in the arts-based community development field. She has organized neighborhood art festivals and guided artists and communities though the "how to" of creating public art projects. She takes particular pride in organizing the Art Shanty Project in which artists designed interactive fishing shacks on a frozen lake.


While serving as Program Director and consultant for Forecast Public Art in Minneapolis, Childs designed professional and economic development training programs for artists and communities seeking to use art to activate their environments and economies. She participated in numerous grant committees, as well as the planning committee for the Great Places Initiative. Childs also worked on planning artist specific content for the Public Art Network's annual conference.


Childs lives in Rhinelander with her artist husband-Jaron, two young children-Roan and Singer and dog Kasper where they lead an art- and nature-filled life.