Wikipedia explains poor farms as "country or town-run residences where paupers (mainly elderly and disabled people) were supported at public expense".
The poor farm I went to this past Sunday was in Central Wisconsin, about 2.5 hours from Milwaukee and it used to be just that. There was even a jail cell in the basement and a small cemetery out back where the residents who passed away were buried. But, for the past 3 years the Poor Farm in Little Wolf, WI has housed a contemporary art space run by Michelle Grabner & Brad Killam who are known for their many contributions to the art world such as The Suburban and from what I gather from talking with them and seeing the space myself is that it's only going to gather momentum as a destination point for both art appreciators and artists themselves.
I had heard about the Poor Farm from reading Mary Louise Schumacher's art city column and just had never found the time to make the trip. Like most things that I finally find time for, now that I've been I'll be going back every August for their annual opening party.
Images 4-6: collaborative project with Peter Barrickman, Celeste Verhelst, Perre Kerch, Xav Leplae + friends (Milwaukee)
Inspirational posters by Alex Jovanovich (New York) + Nicole Perez (Chicago)
Images 9-10: The Catalyst by Yvette Brackman (Copenhagen)
Guillaume Leblon (Paris, France)
Lily Cox-Richard (Ann Arbor)
found this dude & was gifted a book from Michelle & Brad
I was in love with the lettering on the barn out back which still reads "Waupaca County Home"
Many thanks to Mary Louise for taking me this past Sunday to be inspired by this space. And also to Brad & Michelle for the tour, cake and greens from their winter garden. It was yet another reminder to take advantage of what is near-by and to always be thankful for those who are establishing conventional and crazy art spaces, those who make up the programing/keep the lights on and of course the creatives who make beautiful and undefinable work to fill them up.
Photo set here.