This Self-Guided Tour Brings Art to Wisconsin’s Countryside

This tour hopes to bring art to the rural parts of our state.

There’s no need to go to a museum to get your culture fix this fall – because the Wormfarm Institute’s Farm/Art DTour is taking over Wisconsin’s countryside.

The nonprofit aims to “integrate culture and agriculture across the rural-urban continuum,” says executive director Donna Neuwirth. Its programs include roadside stands stocked with produce and art, a farm-based artist residency and the annual Fermentation Fest.

The latter event is “where live cultures converge,” says Neuwirth. “We talk about live culture in all its forms, so everything from dance to yogurt and poetry to sauerkraut.”

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A key part of Fermentation Fest is the biennial Farm/Art DTour, a 50-mile self-guided drive through working farmlands in Sauk County, northwest of Madison. Along the way, “DTourists” can stop to read original roadside poetry, shop at food markets, check out educational notes and view breathtaking art installations inspired by the land they’re built on. Past installations have included a giant pair of boots, a 3D farmhouse made of wire and a pair of abstract, yeti-like creatures.

The DTour offers Milwaukeeans a way to reconnect with Wisconsin’s agricultural roots, says Neuwirth. “The DTour brings people into the land upon which we all depend and does so in a kind of glorious and sensuallypleasurableway.”


The Farm/Art DTour runs Sept. 26-Oct. 4 and is free to visitors. Check out the Wormfarm Institute’s website for more information: wormfarminstitute.org.


This story is part of Milwaukee Magazine‘s September issue.

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Jude is an editorial intern at Milwaukee Magazine. He is a rising sophomore at Northwestern University studying journalism, gender and sexuality studies and theatre.