Wausau Driver and Review
Editor’s note: Business of the week is a sponsored feature that shares the stories of locally owned and operated businesses in the Wausau area, highlighting the products and services they offer and how they contribute to the unique flavor of the metro area. Learn how to pitch your business by emailing [email protected]
This week’s featured venture is D Anthony, a soon-to-be-unveiled new gallery, studio and frame store in downtown Wausau by Wausau Museum of Contemporary Art Founder and Executive Director David Hummer. Located at 416 Third St., D Anthony will open in the coming weeks at the former site of Ginny’s Antiques, which closed after many years in business. This is the latest venture from Hummer, an internationally renowned artist who first established a framing service in Wausau over a decade ago and has decades of experience. This business, the Bauhaus, quickly turned into a painting studio where Hummer taught his craft to passionate students from all walks of life, most of whom had no background in art or painting and loved it. Hummer said anyone can learn to paint: “No talent required – just a willingness to learn something new.” As the years passed and the number of students increased, Hummer began to think: if there is so much interest in art in Wausau, what if there brought other artists here as well? This was the catalyst for the Wausau Museum of Contemporary Art, which features exhibitions and juried art competitions that attract some of the most celebrated figurative painters and sculptors in the country and the world. Along with his wife, Becky Hummer, David envisions a space that will inspire a new generation of art lovers, showcasing artists from around the world in a wide range of styles while offering framing services and painting workshops. for students. He will teach some workshops himself, but he also plans to welcome guest instructors from around the world to share their art and style. Here, David shares his journey, his biggest influences, and his thoughts on why Wausau is the perfect place for art to not just survive, but thrive.
Q: When was your business started and what inspired you to get started?
A: The Bauhaus, LLC was established shortly after moving to Wausau in 2008. Then it was a picture framing service. Picture framing has always been a steady source of income for me over the past 35 years when I opened my first gallery with a framing service in 1986 in Milwaukee. I have become quite well known for my framing ideas and the quality of my work with the residents of the North Shore of Lake Michigan. As a beginner self-represented artist, I needed to earn money until my paintings and drawings took off. Once I started relying more and more on selling my artwork, I gave up framing. Another interesting event happened after moving here too. I was asked to teach painting by someone I now consider my big sister, and we still paint together. This was the first transformation of the Bauhaus. Once the word got out, I was teaching stuff that exploded. I had to buy a bigger studio to accommodate all the people who wanted to learn. That’s when I moved into the Washington Street retail space. The business continued to grow without any publicity; just word of mouth. When I founded the museum a few years later, (another by-product of my teaching and a much longer history) I moved the painting studio to a small room next door of the building and I reduced the number of courses that I offer. It really reduced my own painting time. Once I open D Anthony, I will not only continue to teach painting, but I will also invite other artists from around the world to come to Wausau to teach their respective processes. There will also be life drawing classes with live models on a weekly/bi-weekly basis. Now that Cheryl’s Framing no longer exists downtown, I felt it was the perfect time to publicize my service so people have an alternative to big box store services.
In addition to being a picture framing service, it will also be a beautiful art gallery whose main objective is to represent international women painters and sculptors of all styles, from realism to abstract.
Q: Does the company name have a special meaning that you are trying to convey?
A: D Anthony seemed right to me. It’s my first initial and my middle name. At the museum, they call me the executive director, David Hummer. As a painter, I’ve always used my filler name David Anthony Hummer. I wanted to reinvent myself and separate this entity from my other parallel lives but still use my name.
Q: What is it about Wausau that makes this community a good choice for your mission? You lived in Milwaukee. Why not a big city, for example?
A: Why not Wausau? I love this city and the people who live there. I have developed great friendships and built an artistic community of painters who understand the “talk of art”. Its important to me. I always look to other cities to do the same as this, but Wausau is a great start. I think what I have to offer, my community needs. I also think it’s viable. I spent much of the summer exploring art galleries in the Walker’s Point neighborhood of Milwaukee. After pounding the pavement a lot and finally finding a few spaces that I thought might work well for my needs, I had to start weighing the pros and cons of splitting my time between here and there. I’ve come to the conclusion that I’m going to start here and see how it goes before expanding into a bigger market in town. Dubuque, Iowa is also on my radar.
Q: What are some of your biggest influences – or, the heroes that inspire you?
A: It’s hard for me to answer that question because I have so many due to the nature of who I am, as a husband and father, museum director, gallery owner, mentor and ultimately artist. I learned a lot from a gallery owner in Milwaukee in my early twenties when I opened my first gallery and frame shop. She was my mentor, Gloria D. Erlein. Another big influence in the gallery owner arena is Frank Bernarducci. Frank has been a highly respected name in the industry for decades in New York. I followed his career and later invited him to be a judge for one of the museum’s competitions a few years ago. We still keep in touch and I would like him to come back to work together. My wife is my hero, however. I really don’t know how she does what she does. And she does it all with such love, compassion and grace. I always wanted to be more like her.
As a painter, my biggest influences to date are two women. One I never met, and the other I had the humble opportunity to work with. Jenny Saville is a painter in England who fascinates me. She is a painter painter. I love her without ever having met her. The other is Alyssa Monks, a very important figure in the New York pictorial scene. She is one of the most amazing human beings I have ever met. And then there is his painting…close the front door…his work is fearless and at the same time tranquil. She came here to Wausau to teach and serve on the jury for the first exhibition when I opened the museum in 2017. This is also the year she was named one of the 30 most influential painters of our lifetime. I am so proud and grateful that she is my friend. She is a true inspiration.
Q: How do you want people to feel when they walk through the door?
A: I guess like any gallery, I want them to feel comfortable, but transported. I would like it to become a place where people can hang out and visit, share a story and maybe even learn something.
Q: What are the biggest challenges you had to overcome and how did you overcome it?
A: My biggest challenge is kind of in the same boat as my influences. I will make it short. As a painter, you have to get rid of fear. I get there and it’s passed into my person outside of painting. It’s one of the beautiful things about painting…it changes you, and always for the better.
Q: What has been your greatest triumph?
A: My greatest triumph to date is learning to live in the present. Our three puppies reinforce this for me every day.
Q: What would you like more people to know about your business or what you do?
A: I think I’d like people to know that you don’t have to know anything about art or even be able to do anything you’re happy with to know more. and enjoy it. Teaching now for about a decade, I have found that my students, if they stick with it, learn not to be so hard on themselves. We are all exactly where we are meant to be.
Q: Where do you see yourself or your business in five years? In other words, what are your dreams for the future?
A: Always happy no matter what. Maybe fish a little more than in recent years.
Connect with D Anthony
- Location: 416 Third St., Wausau (former Ginny’s Antiques space)
- Phone: 715-571-6551
- Watch Facebook and Instagram for business page launches and the future website at danthonygallery.com.
- Times to be specified.