John Michael Kohler Arts Center to purchase City of Sheboygan land for Art Preserve

Contact: Patricia DuChene
Media Relations Coordinator

Dec. 21, 2015 Sheboygan, WI

John Michael Kohler Arts Center to purchase
City of Sheboygan land for Art Preserve

The John Michael Kohler Arts Center will purchase a section of the Schuchardt Farm Property on Indiana Avenue from the City of Sheboygan for the development of the world’s first facility dedicated to the study of art environments and their preservation, conservation and presentation. The project, known as the Art Preserve, will complement the Arts Center’s New York Avenue location in downtown Sheboygan, WI.

Approximately 39 acres are included in the $1,170,000 deal approved by the Sheboygan Common Council Dec. 21. The Arts Center has agreed to make a payment in lieu of taxes as well. Groundbreaking on the multimillion-dollar project is expected in the summer of 2017 with completion targeted for the summer of 2020.

“The Schuchardt Farm Property is a perfect setting for the Art Preserve,” said Sandra Sachse, president of the John Michael Kohler Arts Center Board of Directors. “It offers easy access from major thoroughfares and connectivity with the Arts Center’s downtown Sheboygan location and existing cultural assets. The semirural quality is similar to the original locations of most of the art environments in our collection.”

The John Michael Kohler Arts Center is known worldwide for its collection and presentation of art environments. This unique field of art-making involves an individual significantly transforming his/her personal surroundings—for example, his/her home or yard—into an exceptional, multifaceted work of art.

John Michael Kohler Arts Center Director Ruth DeYoung Kohler and Kohler Foundation, Inc. have long been known as the world’s major preservationists of complete artist environments as well as for bringing together smaller components of this art form.

“The Arts Center’s unparalleled collection of works by art-environment builders is experiencing everincreasing requests for access from scholars, curators, and the public,” said Karen Patterson, John Michael Kohler Arts Center associate curator. “We already have two environments that cannot be shown until we have permanent outdoor space for them, and we don’t want to decline future opportunities to grow because of the lack of space.”

The Art Preserve will utilize the property’s unique natural qualities for the installation of art environments in harmony with land conservancy initiatives related to the area. The new facility will serve as the major indoor/outdoor museum of whole environments as well as of smaller components of this magnificent art form

“Development of this property into a world renowned, first-of-its-kind Art Preserve will be a key year-round tourism and economic development asset for the city and the state. This project has been in the works for a number of years, and it is exciting to see it come to fruition,” stated Chad Pelishek, planning and development director for the City of Sheboygan.

The James Tellen Woodland Sculpture Garden, one of the environments in the Arts Center collection that has been preserved in situ, is open for viewing year-round at its original location at 5634 Evergreen Drive in the Town of Wilson, south of Sheboygan.

“The Arts Center has always believed that the art environments we preserve should remain in situ like the Tellen sculpture garden, but that is not always possible,” said Ed McKelvey, chair of the Art Center’s Art Preserve Committee. “Our solution is the Art Preserve, which will serve as a haven for art environments that no longer have a home.”

Admission to the John Michael Kohler Arts Center, 608 New York Ave. in downtown Sheboygan, is by voluntary donation. Go to for additional information and to plan a visit.

Additional images of the James Tellen Woodland Sculpture Garden available by emailing


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About the John Michael Kohler Arts Center: Founded in 1967, the John Michael Kohler Arts Center is a contemporary arts center dedicated to making innovative arts programming accessible to a broad audience that ranges from artists and academics to families and youth of all ages. Central to its mission is promoting understanding and appreciation of the work of self-taught and contemporary artists through original exhibitions, commissioned works of art, performing arts programs, community arts initiatives, and publications. The Arts Center’s collections focus primarily on works by art-environment builders, self-taught and folk artists, and works created in the Arts/Industry residency program.

Looking to the future, the Arts Center continues to generate new explorations in the arts that foster creative exchanges between an international community of artists and a diverse public, making real the power of the arts to transform lives and strengthen communities. The John Michael Kohler Arts Center is supported by corporate and foundation donors, government grants, and its many members. The Arts Center is not an entity of Kohler Co. or its subsidiaries. More information about the Arts Center can be found at

to the John Michael Kohler Arts Center is by voluntary donation. Arts Center members receive a discount on performance and other event tickets, classes and camps tuition, purchases at ARTspace gift shops, and free or discounted admission to many special events. Memberships are available at the Arts Center, by visiting, and/or by calling 920- 458-6144.

Arts Center Hours: Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays: 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.; Tuesdays and Thursdays: 10:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.; Saturdays and Sundays: 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. The Arts Center is open at other times for special events