From the beginning, Justin, Aaron, and I have talked about the idea that Eaux Claires could become a place where all forms of expression can flourish and be experienced together over one experimental weekend. And while we specifically credit music in our title, we also intend to encourage dance, literature, film, and really all genres of art to grow within our community simultaneously. Last year was the beginning of that dream and was the first step towards creating an artistic environment that extends past your typical concert in a field. This year, I’m happy to share that we’ve taken another step towards facilitating a creative melting pot with some exciting projects that sees all of these disciplines mingle within the experiential installations that have become an identity of this festival.

We hosted an open call for art submissions this winter. What I discovered was an overwhelming response of submissions from our creative community. I’m excited to see those artists bring their vision to the festival this year alongside of the projects that we have been planning since we adjourned last July. I’m honored to share the details of this years art program at Eaux Claires. I encourage you to participate, explore, and create with the many projects found on the grounds this year. We’ll Join You There…

-Michael Brown, Creative Director


A collaborative performance project from renowned sculptor Edoardo Tresoldi, Michael Brown, James McVinnie, and Griffin McMahon. Baroque will feature a once in a lifetime convergence of compositional organ music set within a massive baroque organ cuboid sculpture created by Edoardo Tresoldi. Baroque, which redefines musical performance and fine art, is a true highlight of our 2016 art program.

Sculptor, painter, and stage designer, Edoardo Tresoldi has an artistic, creative, and free approach. At the age of nine years, he took his first drawing lessons from the Milanese painter Mario Straforini. He later studied design and visual arts at the Institute of Art of Monza. In 2009 he moved to Rome and began working as a scene painter for various film projects. The scenery became a testing laboratory. From 2013 on, he has created sculptures and works in metal mesh.

Organist James McVinnie is internationally renowned both as soloist and collaborator in new music. His boundless approach to music has led him to collaborations with some of the world’s leading composers and performers. Nico Muhly, Martin Creed (winner of the 2001 Turner Prize), Richard Reed Parry (Arcade Fire), Shara Worden (My Brightest Diamond), Pee Wee Ellis, Max de Wardener, Mara Carlyle, David Lang (winner of the 2008 Pulitzer Prize in music) and Bryce Dessner (The National) have written works for him. Recent highlights have included solo appearances at the Royal Festival Hall at London’s Southbank Centre, London’s Barbican Centre, the Kilkenny Festival, on stage in Barrie Kosky’s production of Handel’s Saul at Glyndebourne 2015, the Holland Festival with Oneohtrix Point Never and the Volksbühne, Berlin with Stargaze and André de Ridder.

Griffin McMahon is emerging as a unique and versatile organist / pianist and collaborator in the New York music scene. Equally at home in the worlds of classical, sacred, and indie rock music, Griffin has performed at diverse venues ranging from concert halls like Alice Tully Hall (Lincoln Center), Mechanics Hall and the Kimmel Center to rock venues like the Mercury Lounge, Rockwood Music Hall, and Brooklyn Bowl. He has performed several times on the world’s largest functioning pipe organ, the Wanamaker Organ in Philadelphia. In November 2014, Griffin performed in a historic eighteen-hour complete organ works of Bach marathon concert at St. Peter’s Church in New York City, live-streamed by WQXR radio to thousands of listeners. Born and raised in western Massachusetts, Griffin is a graduate of The Juilliard School and currently lives in Brooklyn, New York. He currently serves as Organ Scholar at Christ Church United Methodist in Manhattan.


Hops production has been a staple in Wisconsin since the late 1830s. Hops were first introduced to Waukesha County around 1837. They were then introduced to Sauk County in 1842, which would later become the heart of the hops industry.  With the Civil War ending, approximately 40,000 soldiers would be returning to their Wisconsin farms.  Timed perfectly with the spike in hops due to problems with the crops in New York, the soldiers saw this as a perfect opportunity to make a lot of cash.  By 1867, the state’s production was over 6,000,000lbs, topping out at over 11,000,000 by the end of 1867.  Following this, the hops problems had been resolved and by 1880, Wisconsin’s crop dropped to under 2,000,000lbs, nearly disappearing by the turn of the century.

These vine installations pay homage to the Wisconsin hops industry and the vital role the state played in our nation’s hops history. Now is the perfect time, as the beginning of August finds the beautiful hops cones beginning to flower. Squeeze them. Smell them. Welcome to Wisconsin.


BRLSQ & Associates

This is a site-specific mural installation that will be built and painted live during the festival by Burlesque of North America’s handpicked team of talented visual artists. Stop by anytime and see as the piece builds, with the artists applying layer after layer of painted panels comprised of found and reused wooden signage, shipping pallets, construction waste and more scavenged from around Wisconsin and Minnesota. Burlesque of North America is most well known for their visual contributions to the world of music and beyond. Located in Minneapolis, they have worked extensively producing work for clients such as Arcade Fire, Rhyme Sayers, Bonnaroo Music Festival, and First Avenue. Their Public Works Division sees BRLSQ and its extended family accessing their roots to bring high quality public art into the world.


The Big EAUX is a 3D-mapped art installation by Antic Studios – a local production company widely known for intricate stage designs and stunning visual content.  Standing at close to 8′ tall and 40′ wide, the installation is a perfect reminder of our place and time over the weekend.  Once the sun sets, The Big EAUX transforms into a dazzling light display filled with colorful animations.


THNDRPPL are a collective from Lisbon, Portugal formed by media designer Francisco Furtado (PT), musicologist Trever Hagen (USA), software programmer Ed Barber (UK) and visual artist Inês Aleixo Leiria (PT). They develop work concerning the virtual architecture of sensory spaces and its relation to social experience.

The Chippewa River cuts through the valley of the Eaux Claires festival. Its waters shape the region’s culture, economy and beauty. RIVERPODS is an installation inviting everyone to commune with the Chippewa, on land. Underneath parasols spread across the waterfront, you enjoy a chill dusk with your friends while underwater recordings submerge you into the river… Come the night, Eaux Claires takes on a new life, as does the Chippewa. Beneath the moon, RIVERPODS mutates into a reactive light, color and sound environment where river dwellers are immersed in the nature of the Chippewa, beaming and pulsing, beautiful and treacherous, flowing until dawn.


“Momentary Passing” is the work of Riley Messina of ERBA Floral. Based out of Portland, Oregon, she is known for the cohesive simplicity and balance in her aesthetic. As a floral designer and stylist, Riley has worked throughout the United States and abroad.

The installation “Momentary Passing” is meant to accentuate the emotion of heightened visual appeal in one moment and in the next, a bittersweet realization and acceptance of the transience of it all. A reflection of life and decay set within The Creek stage to be enjoyed during performances by Eighth Blackbird, Bryce Dessner, and Bonnie “Prince” Billy.


Davy Sumner creates compositions and installations inspired by the natural world, noise, physics, and society. He often uses sound spatialization, feedback, chaotic systems, and custom technologies in his work.

Discovered in 2016, Circadas spend the majority of their lives in larval form underground. After reaching maturity through a molting process, they emerge in swarms to congregate on the ground, in trees, and on man-made structures. The brood synchronizes their development in large numbers to overwhelm predators and ensure species survival.


Lighting designers Carl Faber and Michael Brown have been collaborating together since their introduction at the Williamstown Theatre Festival in 2005.  Expanding on their work from last year’s festival, The Ampools is their latest collaboration, a site-specific lighting installation that encompasses the entire grounds of the festival. This year features a collaboration with our guest video artists to transform the grounds into an immersive installation of its own.


Chuck U is an artist from Minneapolis. He draws strange creatures in strange environments in a style that can be described as “very linesey” as in, he uses lots of lines. He’s been featured in Juxtapoz, Beautiful Decay, And so so many blogs. He is responsible for most of the beer can art for Indeed Brewery in Minneapolis. Check out his site at or follow him on Instagram @chucku612


John Mark has produced original productions for the Weismann Art Museum, Lab Theater, Nu-Mode Magazine, MSP Airport, Red Eye Theatre, Public Functionary, The Southern Theater’s Artshare Program, and choreographed for musical artists like Poliça, Tickle Torture, Prof, Har Mar Superstar, Big Cats, Grrrl Prty, Lizzo, and Little Scream. He enjoys opportunities to choreograph dance in unusual places. In addition making dance on stage and on studio sets, John Mark has created choreography in abandoned buildings, warehouses, gardens, garages, art galleries, airports, and even exercise equipment factories.  In Motion is a new collaboration with Eaux Claires that seeks to infuse dance into the festival weekend both on and off the stage.


Asht is a structured contemporary dance improvisation piece coupled with choreographed sections, performed by Flux Dance Project. The six performers will carry the intention of listening to instinct and executing truthful reactions to the music, other dancers, nature and audience members. Asht is a work under the intent of connecting with and matching the raw beauty of nature.

With Our There Being the White Side of Here (Gregory Euclide)

Expanding on the celebrated whiteboard artworks created in his classroom, and featured as a true MN Original, artist Gregory Euclide will help create an immersive whiteboard installation that celebrates the temporary nature of Eaux Claires. He has created a whiteboard artwork that audience members are invited to erase, one by one, in small portions as a contribution to the artwork’s destruction. This process will be ongoing throughout the festival.  Be sure to check in multiple times to see the progression and choices made by other members who attend. The erasing of this work is an unavoidable visualization of how our existence is built on the destruction of the natural world. On the exterior of this installation and at selected times posted during the festival, Euclide will demonstrate and create some of these beautiful works in real-time, only to be destroyed by audience members in attendance.

Take It With You (Gregory Euclide) (Various Locations)

A truly rewarding experiment for those willing to seek it out, artist Gregory Euclide has created multiple, intricate dioramas of lost worlds which twist the perspective of viewers. But these works aren’t displayed in the open. These works are buried on the grounds of Eaux Claires with small clues that lead to their location. Once you’ve found the location of these worlds, look closely, as each artwork is only visible through a small peephole for viewers to peer-into or photograph as they see fit.

Gregory Euclide is an artist and teacher living in the Minnesota River Valley. His work has been featured in The Nature of Nature at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts (2014-2015), Badlands: New Horizons in Landscape at MASS MoCA (2008-2009), Otherworldly at the Museum of Arts and Design in New York (2011), Small Worlds at the Toledo Museum of Art in Ohio (2011), and was presented as a solo exhibition, Nature Out There, at the Nevada Museum of Art (2012). Euclide’s work has been reviewed and featured in publications such as: Art News, Sculpture Magazine, Art Ltd Magazine, Hi Fructose Magazine and Juxtapoz Magazine. His work is also featured on the 2012 Grammy Award winning album covers of the musical group Bon Iver and on the cover of McSweeney’s Quarterly Concern #43. Euclide was awarded three Minnesota State Arts Board Artist Initiative Grants through the National Endowment for the Arts, and a Jerome Foundation Residency through the Blacklock Nature Sanctuary. In addition, he was a recipient of the 2011-12 Jerome Foundation Fellowship for Emerging Artists and the 2015-2016 Mcknight Fellowship for Visual Artists. Euclide received his MFA from the Minneapolis College of Art and Design.


The LIGHTHOUSE celebrates urban ecotourism and sustainability. A fully functioning mobile hotel room, it moves as the flow of the city requires, occupying places both celebrated and ignored, using the city as its lobby. Sixty percent of Minnesotans live in the Twin Cities and buildings consume half of their energy use. LIGHTHOUSE personalizes and celebrates the potential for a more sustainable future in building design. LIGHTHOUSE will also host the literary program for Eaux Claires in 2016 with personalized one-on-one readings available inside from our inspiring authors.


Template is a combination sculptural and performance environment created by Serra Victoria Bothwell Fels and VNESSWOLFCHILD.

Serra Victoria Bothwell Fels makes environments to subtly shift inner and outer interactions. Her large-scale sculptures incrementally build ordinary housing materials into the unexpected, creating moments of discovery and rest that cultivate both a curiosity and stillness of being. Bothwell Fels’ work is shown worldwide from Pioneer Works (New York) and Palais de Tokyo (Paris) to Sky High Gallery (Milwaukee).

VNESSWOLFCHILD is a musician and interactive ritual healing performance artist who uses sound, installation, video and movement to create performances that encourage uncovering, understanding and integrating subtle aspects of existence. Most of VNESSWOLFCHILD’s recent works explore inner self through a practice of moving contemplation on Earthworm as a means to learn how to more deeply hear and commune with Mother Earth. Each work is an act of reverence for the divine feminine.


THE WOODS is an invitation to see things. It’s an invitation to look past the meadow’s mown grass to where things are a little shadier, a little more secret, a little wilder. In The Woods, you can step off the path, feel the place you’re truly in, and see what’s around you. Maybe you’ll notice the way the light filters through the leaves. Maybe you’ll hear how the music fits around the trees. Maybe you’ll find art left behind by the warblers and the earthworms and the wind. Maybe you’ll find art left behind by someone who walked the woods before you. Maybe you’ll make art yourself. You never know what you’ll find.


Oxbow Designs specializes in bespoke architecture and interiors focusing on the traditional disciplines of timber framing, woodworking, and stone masonry.  They are honored to contribute to the Eaux Claires festival with the Wooded Stage, where S. Carey and others will give intimate performances for those that gather throughout the festival.  This stage is Asian design in its modality using traditional joinery and a stone plinth foundation.


This sound sculpture is an invitation. It’s an invitation to passersby to come and interact – with sounds and with each other. Just as a public basketball court contains an open, unwritten invitation to come play pick-up basketball, this sculpture contains an open invitation to come play “pick-up music.” The Musical Fence: Reprise honors The Musical Fence, an interactive public sound sculpture built by Paul Matisse in 1980.  Led by Dan Joseph and sprout & co, a small team of artists, scientist-educators, and community members from Somerville, Massachusetts, have built this Reprise in the hope of breathing life into this idea — of making a public space for pick-up music making.

TIMESQUID (video artist)

Hal Lovemelt (The Timesquid), is a Minneapolis Video Artist in an intensely passionate and romantic relationship with video feedback, they do run into some rocky patches, but the make-up sex is always great.

VISIONQUEST (video artist)

Matt Bardins/Visionquest is a visual artist based in Minneapolis, MN returning to Eaux Claires after helping run video for the Dells Stage in 2015. One of the founding members of experimental interactive video company Playatta, Visionquest has performed with many Minneapolis acts including Poliça, Dosh, Doomtree, Taggart & Rosewood, Low, and most notably Marijuana Deathsquads.

BROWNSHOESONLY (video artist)

Nick Ciontea is a visual artist, educator, and electrical engineer transplanted from Wisconsin to Chicago. The owner and sole employee of video synthesizer company “brownshoesonly”. Doesn’t say no to wine. Wants a dog.

EFFIXX (video artist)

Anthony Ciannamea, aka EFFIXX, is a creative director working at the intersection of design, motion, and technology. He has directed and produced videos for musicians like Son Lux, indie labels Alpha Pup and Ghostly International, and has toured as a visual performance artist with Deru, Shigeto, Prefuse 73, after a residency at Low End Theory (SF). His latest project with Deru yielded the first album released on a handheld LED video projector – a modern-day time capsule. Entitled “1979”, the project explored themes of nostalgia and featured nine a/v collaborations between the two artists. Now based in California, Anthony works as an art director with modern chamber ensemble The Echo Society, and is launching a VR album series and physical music artifacts with 79Ancestors, a newly-formed interdisciplinary record label with partner Ben Wynn and acclaimed Adobe experience designer Yaniv De Ridder.

BIG PAUPER (video artist)

Big Pauper is a video artist, producer and all around mad scientist from Portland, OR.   His work utilizes a treasure trove of self-hacked electronics (everything from the Fairlight CVI to the Sega Dreamcast) to concoct surreal broken scenes of stunning intrigue.  He also makes custom glitch video art tools as BPMC ( & sound art instruments within the design collective Folktek (


Dwarfcraft Devices is an internationally known effects pedal and synthesizer company run from good old Eau Claire, WI.  For just a shade under a decade Ben and Louise Hinz and their crew have been making new machines for new music. For the Eaux Claires festival, DC will present The Tripolith, an audio visual instrument that invites you to participate as well as observe. Three control panels create and manipulate sound while abstract videos are projected upon three screens surrounding the experience.  The structures are made by local artist Ben Holmen with additional visual work from videographer Jesse Johnson.


ChippewaLL is a chiptune-voiced musical wall that allows festivalgoers to create music together. Capacitive touch circuitry is spaced in a grid behind the surface of the wall to form a tone matrix. These touch “nodes” are used to detect hand movements in order to trigger note positions within the tone matrix. ChippewaLL is the work of Paul Varnado, an electrical engineer based in Lexington, KY.


The Jack Raymond Show is a radio program that’s been broadcast every day for 48 years from a small, family-operated radio station in Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin. The host of the show, Jack Raymond, is a mysterious figure who has a loyal local following, and still gets fan mail, but he’s been dead for over 40 years. This film is the story of Jack Raymond and the eccentric radio station that has unwittingly influenced a generation of local artists, filmmakers, and musicians.

Andrew Swant is a Milwaukee-based filmmaker whose works include William Shatner’s Gonzo BalletWhat What (In the Butt)Hamlet ADD, and the production of Frankie Latina’s Modus Operandi. Swant co-wrote and starred in The Jeffrey Dahmer Files, which premiered at SXSW and was distributed by IFC. His work has been shown at the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art, White Columns (NY), Machine Project (LA), and at festivals such as SXSW, British Film Institute, and the American Film Institute.

UNITY AND GUIDANCE (Various Locations)

Working under the direction of Creative Director Michael Brown, Trace Richolson is the creative assistant for Eaux Claires.  This is his first year interning with the festival.  For the inaugural festival, he was production coordinator for The Banks, as well as the video artist and lighting designer for that space.  He currently studies photography at the University of Wisconsin – Eau Claire.  He also works for the UWEC Event Production Crew as their Lead Production Technician.

The “Unity and Guidance” installations were conceived as symbols.  A symbol of the unity this festival creates, through music, friendship, and a passion for togetherness.  This festival is not something delivered to you.  It is a community.  We all come from different walks of life, but walking through the gates we are all united.  We are here to guide each other and ultimately, enjoy the ride.

Let’s Break it Down

Over the course of the campaign we will be sharing content on our social media platforms and the Eaux Claires website—these posts will include many different actions to encourage and support voting. Key to success and central to the message: Act now; don’t wait until the last minute.