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Going Full Circle: The Story of my New Art Gallery in The Historic Third Ward, Milwaukee

Four years ago, I made a choice — I left the corporate world, went back to my roots in art. Since then, I've been immersed in the serene beauty of a quiet lake community in southern Wisconsin, embracing my passion for art.


During this journey, I reconnected with an old friend, Jason, a classically trained musician turned kick-ass financial planner. He's a huge success in financial planning, and I've always been impressed by his accomplishments in both music and financial planning.


Recently, Jason shared some fantastic news with me. He had a small space in The Marshall Building of The Historic Third Ward of Milwaukee, originally used for guitar lessons, that he was no longer utilizing. He asked if I would be interested in transforming it into a gallery or a studio.


Immediately I was covered in goosebumps.


The Historic Third Ward is the beating heart of Milwaukee's arts, entertainment, and culture, earning its stripes as the #4 Best Arts District in 2022 by USA Today. The Marshall Building, a creative haven since 1907, stands just steps away from the Public Market, brimming with civil engineering history. Yet, the goosebumps weren't inspired by the impressive locale alone.


Not only will my new Art Gallery be located in The Historic Third Ward, it will be in the Marshall Building that holds personal significance to me. In 1990, fresh out of earning my Fine Art degree in Milwaukee, my quest for a "full-time artist" life collided with the reality of needing to make a living. Guess where my first corporate job was? Yep, right in The Marshall Building.


That corporate stint became a nearly 30-year detour from my artistic roots. Life had other plans, but now, almost three decades later, I've circled back to where it all began. It feels like I left something vital at the Marshall Building, and it's time to reclaim it.

This just might be my Mary Tyler Moore moment... maybe I'll make it after all.

I would love for you to join me on February 24, for this very special occasion. Please see details here and RSVP or click on the photo below.

Photo of Carolyn Wonders in a business suit covered in paint. Caption reads February 24, Gallery Grand Opening


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Carolyn Wonders


Modern life with its social, political, and cultural debates leaves us all raw, triggered, and anxious. We are bombarded by rhetoric that is carefully chosen to obscure truth and advance agendas. I see art as a universal language that can transcend that which twists us into parrots of this rhetoric. Living with art you love and seeing through an artist’s eyes can help us see these superficial debates for what they are and get us in touch with what really matters.


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