Grand Opera House

Artist Spotlight

Walt Hamburger

Appleton singer/songwriter Walt Lontkowski, better known as Walt Hamburger, has countless achievements to his name at age 39. He works with One Week Records and fronts a band named Car City. He is president at Walt Hamburger Foundation and aids in foster care and adoption at Orphan Animal Rescue and Sanctuary. He thrives equally in READ MORE

Abby Gammons

Little Chute artist Abby Gammons stumbled upon her chosen medium by accident two years ago. “I wanted to decorate my room and was looking on Pinterest for ideas. I saw an image that inspired me and it had a macramé weaving in it,” says Gammons, who describes her style as eclectic with Scandanvian and midcentury-modern READ MORE

Daniela Kouzov

Ceramic artist Daniela Kouzov began working with clay in 2017 and hasn’t looked back since. “It was a pure accident, but it feels like it was meant to be,” says the Bulgarian-born artist who now resides in Green Bay. Having dabbled in creative endeavors all her life, Kouzov was seeking to experience a new medium READ MORE

Emily Bowles

Posted on Dec. 1, 2020 by Emily Speers

For Appleton poet Emily Bowles, inspiration can come from anywhere and it often does. For example, while on a run one day Bowles passed by a dead fish on a trail and that imagery provided fodder for multiple poems. A dead fish on a running trail may appear as unlikely inspiration, but there’s a moral READ MORE

ellis jake solie

Listening to ellis jake solie speak, it is very quickly apparent that she is an artistic soul. Her voice is soft and methodical, and her words are poetic. “I love things that seem magic. I feel like art is really good at that,” she says. As someone who can make even her own name into READ MORE

Nikisha Johnson

Posted on Sep. 30, 2020 by Alisa Lewis

Nikisha Johnson, an Appleton painter, credits her early inspiration from watching her mother paint and take photographs. “I was always amazed watching her create something really beautiful and unique from the tools she used, whether it was a camera or print screen or a paintbrush, she always had a very intuitive sense in how to READ MORE

Lydia Andersen

Appleton-based artist Lydia Andersen has had an interest in illustrations for much of her life. Throughout childhood, Andersen drew and illustrated short stories. Andersen has carried her artistic interests into adulthood by turning what was once her side hobby into a full-time career.   “The Paint Chip Series” has been Andersen’s ongoing project since 2016. She READ MORE

Karla Lauden

“You don’t realize when you are faced with death and you don’t have a choice. It changes your life completely. You see things differently. You’re completely open because you have nowhere to hide. I’ve been given a second chance.” Looking at me through my computer screen, Menasha artist Karla Lauden professes the event that transformed READ MORE

Megan Fredrich

Classifying one as an art rebel is a bit redundant – haven’t painters, sculptors and makers long been the rulebreakers of society? But even within art, a practice rooted in creativity and disruption, conventions exist, traditions are followed and classics are celebrated. Megan Fredrich is having none of it. “The art scene is a little READ MORE

Nate DeRidder

Painter Nate DeRidder creates work that functions as both art and activism. Environmental awareness and animal rights are common themes for the artist whose interest was sparked after reading “Food Matters” by Mark Bittman, a book that addresses environmentally ethical eating. “I did my own research after that and from there I researched climate change. READ MORE