Remembering Holland Haus Gallery Night

While we don’t miss the snow and cold, we are missing our homeland of Wisconsin lately. Mostly the people with whom we developed close community.

We moved to Green Bay, WI fall of 2006 and lived there until 2011. We picked a lovely old Victorian home in Astor Park, the historical district of this sports crazy town. It was an awesome neighborhood to live in, as the neighbors were quite happy to participate in community, sharing resources, shoveling each others path, advice about gardening and sharing an occasional meal.

Holland HouseThe Hollands Haus was the perfect place for us share our gift of hospitality and creativity. The old Victorian had two levels and the downstairs held 5 separate spaces, including the  country kitchen. We held all sorts of gatherings in our home from musical jams, dinner parties, Settlers of Caatan nights, house concerts, spiritual gatherings, and our beloved Holland Haus Gallery Night.

Winters are long in Green Bay, WI, lasting sometimes until May and once football season is done, most folks start to go stir crazy. So it made since that Gallery Night was always in February, for one saturday night only, we would host 12-15 visual artists and a handful of singer/songwriters in our home. We would strip all of our artwork off of the walls throughout the whole downstairs and move most of the furniture to the back attic room. Each artist would drop off 3-7 pieces the night before the event and Craig and I would put the puzzle together. We’d arrange the pieces to not only to complement each other but also, thinking about the artist in each room and how they might interact with one another. Our hope was to build community, and so it was most important to us that the artists that participated or came, had an opportunity to continue relationship if they wanted.

The hanging process really suited us, with Craig being more on the logical side and me being ascetically sensitive, we complement each other well. The next morning, Craig and the kids would clean the house and set up the sound system for the musicians. Meanwhile, I along with a few girlfriends, would make food creations. Cheesecake was the highlight of the night (as the Galley night also doubled as my birthday) The house would buzz with energy and excitement as we waited for the guests to arrive at 7pm. They were always on time!

The first year we budgeted the event into our giving fund, paying for all of the food and wine but with 65 guests, it was to expensive continue. And, so our second year we asked for a $5 suggested donation. It was our lowest attended year, at 42. So our third and fourth years, we decided to ask guests to bring a bottle of wine/beer or a hunk of gourmet cheese. You have to specify the cheese in Wisconsin or you might end up with five pounds of cheese curds. None the less, that seemed to be the ticket, as the next two gallery nights would each host over 150 guests. All up, we hosted four in five years, taking a break after the third year, with our final year being the most epic.  

Natalie Vann ArtHow did we meet the artists you ask? Well, it started with one, Natalie Vann. I met Natalie on Myspace of all places. That was back when you could search zip codes and add criteria and then folks that fit that description came up. It was six months before we moved to Green Bay, and I was looking for friends, specially friends in the arts. Natalie was kind and welcomed me to Green Bay before I arrived. She introduced me to a few other artists as well. At the same time, we were apart of a spiritual small group and a few in our group were artist. Through conversations at those gatherings the idea to create an opportunity for artists both established and up and coming to show their work in a non-threating environment with no fees was birthed. The added bonus was inviting artists from all walks of like to commune, share resources and bring their extended communities together.

There is really nothing more exciting than seeing different world views, ideologies, income levels, ethnicities and creative styles come together in unity. That was what Gallery Night was for us. We were just the bridge. Our hope is that folks in the Green Bay area are continuing to see the value in creating and connecting with each other. I hope that we inspired those we met to be more hospitable. To reach out to those who are “visitors” and bring them into the fold.

We are grateful for our time there and although the bus offers a whole new way of community and connecting we will always remember Gallery Nights with such fondness. And, when we are feeling alone and uninspired we just look upon our walls, at the few pieces of work that we were gifted or purchased by some of our favorite Gallery Night artists and we remember.

Advertisements

The Holland House

The Holland House has been a place of refuge and community over the past 6 years. We have hosted countless dinner parties, 3 fantastic gallery nights featuring 25 amazing local artists and 12 awesome musicians. We have had 22 bands stay in our home and three students. Craig has created a solace in our side yard crafting a cottage garden style patio and our interior has been well maintained. This house is a house full of laughter, joy, peace and love.

Our neighborhood is one of the most friendly and warm places we’ve ever lived. Astor Park is a unique and lovely place to live. The community is organized and hosts fun family and adult events through out the year. In fact, the Astor Park wine night was where we meet most of our neighborhood friends. The park is two blocks from our home, offering tennis and other fun programs in the summer. There are a number of great public and private schools within walking distance, including our children’s school, St. Matthews (a wonderful choice).

We are sad to leave it but happy to share it with a new owner.

Our desire is to be mobile and available to communities around the globe and selling our home is the this the key to the future.

So without further ado, Here it is. If you are interested contact Jana at janahollandmusic@yahoo.com or call 920.883.6874

http://www.HomesByOwner.com/56235

  • Price: $147,500
  • BR/BA: 5 BR, 2 BA
  • Location: Green Bay, WI
  • Description:
  • Two family home, great second income or easily converted to single family home.
  • Area: City of Green Bay
  • 4/5 Bedroom(s)
  • 2 Total full Bath(s)
  • Approximately 1962 sq. ft
  • Two Story
  • 2 Car Garage
  • Heating/Cooling features: Gas, Central Air
  • Interior Features: Basement, Carpet, Formal dining rm, Range and oven, 2 Refrigerators, Hard wood floors, Central Air, Air Purifier,
  • External Features: Front porch, Side patio/gardens, Public sewer srvc, Public water supply, Wooded lot.
  • School District: Green Bay/Brown Cty
  • Taxes: 2330.00
  • Property Type: Homes
  • Sq feet: 1,962 sq. ft.
  • Amenities: New AC/Water Heater, Parking, Patio/Deck, Refrigerator, Stove, Washer, Dryer, Hard Wood Floors

It only takes a spark, so please pass it on…
~peace~
The Hollands!

On Hospitality and Citizenship

I’ve had random thoughts racing through my mind all day. They’re all seemingly important but not necessarily connected. So, I chalk it up to cabin fever.

First thought: I have moved over 19 times in my life. I have lived on three continents and in 5 US states. I have been the visitor and the local.  Through all of these moves I have come to understand this; being hospitable is crucial. I’m not convinced that folks understand the impact they have on others and the life-giving ability they have to make someone feel at “home.” To bring someone into the fold, to treat one like kinsfolk. That is the calling for us all. Not just the few Martha Stewards out there (bless their hearts)…

Second thought: Craig is going to the consulate office tomorrow to take his big test to become an American Citizen.  Australia and the US have an agreement allowing him dual citizenship.

What does it all mean? Well, first and foremost, he’ll be able to vote. When I met Craig 12 years ago, he was in politically based punk band. Typical of most punk rockers,  he was pretty opinionated about the powers that be and the way the poor and downtrodden are oppressed. However, living as an alien (legally but still an outsider) pulls a bit of voice out of one and for the past 10 years or so he has been observant but relatively silent on most issues. As we near his citizenship I have noticed his voice getting louder and I wonder… if  becoming a citizen makes a difference in one’s credibility or feeling of credibility?

Third thought: The house is getting in order for our grand gallery night event coming up this weekend. It was started purely as a way to make friends and build community with like-minded creative folk. And to support the arts, which we love dearly.  In a sports town that over shadows the arts this event has been a diamond in the rough for us. We are looking forward to hosting our 4th and possibly final gallery night.  How it works: We invite about 15 local fine artists to show 3-5 pieces.  We live in an old Victorian house in Historic Astor Park. We take all of our decor down in the 4 lower main rooms and use them as the gallery walls. The kitchen is used for a delicious spread of desserts, wine and cheese. We also invite many of our musically inclined friends to perform throughout the night.

As we prepare to move on this fall, our hope is that folks in this area will continue to see the value in creating and connecting with each other. I hope that we inspired those we met to be more hospitable. To reach out to those who are “visitors” and bring them into the fold.

~jh