Outlook Magazine - Fall 2019



“Menomonie would not be Menomonie without UW-Stout,”

“UW-Stout is essentially the business,” Mike Tarr said. “I don’t think we could survive without that customer. “The store is here because UW-Stout has the biggest undergraduate art and design program in the state.” By the cash register is a Stout Proud pennant. Since 2015 the store has offered four $150 stipends each year to students as a way to give back. Students fill out a simple application, including a biography, images of their work and the names of two faculty mentors. The stipends are awarded based on need and merit. “I wanted to show students I care about them,” Mike said. “I came to this business as an artist connected to the program. What I sell matters to me.” Micah Maraia, who owns Studio MLM in the former Masonic Lodge building he owns, is a 2003 industrial design graduate. Maraia also owns Dotz, a company that invents and develops cord and cable management products. His businesses, which he started in 2008, have been in downtown Menomonie since 2010 and in the current space since 2016. Being close to campus allows Maraia to hire alumni, three currently. Studio MLM is a full-service, multidisciplinary design and development company. Midwestern town. What I like is the close proximity to the post office, the bank, the airport is nearby and the living expenses are low. I do work with the school. I’ve taught a class there, do guest critiques and judge competitions.” Across the hall in the building, at Main Street and Broadway, is Jennifer Joyce Design, a floral studio specializing in wedding and event floral design. It is owned by 2004 “It’s a nice town,” he said of Menomonie. “Because of the university it is not your typical

said Lisa Anshus Frank, who owns Anshus Jewelers, which her family has operated downtown for 104 years. “It brings a vibe. Stout helps keep Menomonie current. We can’t be stagnant.” On a daily basis Anshus Jewelers, on Main Street, has university students stop in for jewelry repair or a watch battery. Those relationships expand to couples who meet at UW-Stout buying wedding bands, said Frank, a 1990 business administration graduate who has worked four decades in the family jewelry shop started by her grandfather, Nels, in 1915. Frank took over the business five years ago from her father, John, and her mother, Audrey, a 1949 UW-Stout textiles graduate. Attending UW-Stout while having the family jewelry store close by was like having two worlds side by side. She lived in the dormitories for two years and then an apartment with friends. “As soon as I went up the hill (to downtown) from Froggatt Hall, I was home,” she recalled. “As soon as I went down the hill to campus, I was in a different place. I made new friends. It was a different environment.” Alumni Mike and Kari Tarr co-own Mike’s Art & Design Supply. Mike graduated in studio art with an emphasis in ceramics in 1995. Kari graduated in 2002 in graphic design and is an adjunct instructor, teaching foundation art classes. Mike’s, on Main Street, is the only art and design supply business in Menomonie. Mike worked there from 1996, when it was Penco, until 2007, becoming manager. Then he earned his Master of Fine Art in painting and drawing at Bowling Green State University in Ohio. He returned to manage Penco in 2009 and bought the business in 2011. ART, DESIGN INFLUENCE




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