Annual Retreats

APRIL 29 - MAY 1

Gateway to Jewelry Arts

Explore jewelry making methods!

A three-day weekend of introductory level jewelry classes offering a range of techniques and styles from funky to fine. Use this weekend to explore different approaches, improve on or learn new skills, network with other jewelers, and eave with a lot of new ideas and jewelry!

Learn from jewelry artisans working in copper, silver, glass and resin. Work with beads, shape work, and texture.

Although these workshops are listed as introductory, all skill levels are welcome. Day-long workshops offer plenty of time for learning new techniques, asking questions, and crafting unique new jewelry pieces. Choose the three workshops or instructors your find most intriguing and plan for a memorable weekend of craft immersion.

MAY 20-22

Mining the Story

– with Hyptertext Magazine & Studio.

Join us for the fifth annual Writers Retreat, open to writers of all levels, in partnership with Hypertext Magazine & Studio, a social justice writing program. Expand your knowledge of process and craft in this charming art community and old mining town.

Work with award-winning authors and professors, in one of three genres: Memoir & Personal Essay, with Artistic Director Patricia McNair; Short Story with Christine Rice; and New Novel Pages with Shawn Shifflett.

Creative options abound during the retreat, including: publishing panel discussions; and readings with local authors, faculty, and participants. Manuscript consultations with faculty available on a limited basis. Work must be submitted prior to workshops.

JULY 7-10

Rustic Arts & Nature Crafts

It’s like summer camp for adults!

Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced craftsperson, you are in for an incredibly fun and creative time with over 40 nature-based workshops to choose from and more than 20 talented instructors to work with. Create rustic furniture, garden structures, baskets, or concrete/mosaic sculptures. Try your hand at blacksmithing, woodcarving, working with leather, fiber, gourds, and more. Take time to relax, soak up the sunshine, enjoy the company of a great group of nature loving folks, and discover the magic of Shake Rag Alley’s lush gardens, tall trees, historic buildings, and natural spring fed stream. Lunch is offered daily on The Green, with optional off-campus evening cook-outs and events. Come for a day, two, three or the entire four days and have the time of your life!

AUGUST 25-28

A Mixed Media Art Retreat

Immerse yourself in art making!

Four days of workshops in collage, assemblage, mixed media jewelry, journals, upcycling, printmaking & more! Connect with other art adventurers, explore the charming art community of Mineral Point, and experience the magic of Shake Rag Alley, “the place that inspires creativity.”

There is no event fee, and no minimum number of workshops are required to participate in the retreat. Students are on their own for meals, with many restaurants within easy walking distance.

Art Adventure often includes other special activities, including wine, cheese and snack social hours, student exhibits in local gallery spaces, and a Swap Table where participants trade art tools and supplies.

Planning Your Workshop Experience

After purchasing a workshop, you will receive a confirmation email which may contain supply lists, clothing recommendations, and safety information. Unless otherwise stated, workshops do not include meals. Half the fun of creative pursuits is meeting and spending time with fellow artisans! The Shake Rag Alley campus is within easy walking distance of downtown Mineral Point, where a vibrant dining and gallery experience await. If you have any questions or  needs, please let us know. We want to ensure you have the best experience possible while visiting Shake Rag Alley!

Mineral Point WI is located on Hwy. 151 in Southwest Wisconsin, about 1 hour west of Madison.
We’re a bit over 2 hours west of Milwaukee WI, about 3.5 hours northwest of Chicago and less than 1 hour northeast of Dubuque Iowa.

Getting to Shake Rag Alley
Driving: Mineral Point is located on Interstate 151 which runs between Madison WI, Dubuque IA, and Cedar Rapids IA. WI State Rte 23 runs north/south through town. Shake Rag Alley is located one block from the intersection of Rte 23/39 and Commerce Street in downtown Mineral Point.

Nearest airports:
Dane County Regional Airport (Madison WI)
4000 International Lane, Madison WI 53704
63 miles (1 hr 20 min)

Chicago Rockford Airport (Rockford IL)
60 Airport Road, Rockford IL 61109
96 miles (1 hr 55 min)

Dubuque Regional Airport
11000 Airport Road, Dubuque, IA 52003
49 miles (50 min)

Transportation to/from airport:
Rental cars are available at all airports. If you book at least three days in advance, Lift Transportation Assistance may be able to help. They offer drivers who are experts in local transportation options and will work with you to find the best transportation solution. Call 1-877-798-5438.

Do I need a car while I’m taking a class or attending an event at Shake Rag Alley?

Most services (other than a grocery store) are within a few blocks walk of Shake Rag Alley – restaurants, shops and galleries, bank, pharmacy, post office, and so on. So if you will be lodging with Shake Rag Alley or one of the nearby lodging sites, you do not need a car. Call the Shake Rag office and we will be happy to help you select a lodging option that will work for your needs.

But without a car, how can I get to Shake Rag Alley?

If you need transportation from the Madison airport or any location within Southwest Wisconsin, Lift Transportation Assistance can help. They have drivers available and are experts in local transportation options. They will work with you to find the best transportation solution. Call 1-877-798-5438 at least three days in advance to book your ride. If you have further questions regarding transportation, please give our office a call at 608-987-3292.

Please visit our Local Dining Directory. Also, feel free to stop by the office and ask for general or seasonal recommendations.

If you decide to try the Cornish meat pie Mineral Point made famous, the one miners carried to work in the early 1800s, it’s pronounced PASS-tee. (There, now you’ll sound like a local!)

Stroll down High Street and Commerce Street to visit the many art galleries and specialty shops. You won’t be disappointed!

Local history begins right on the Shake Rag Alley campus. Our self-guided walking tour will tell you more about our buildings. Paper copies are available in the office or at the outdoor kiosk near the main entrance. Just down the street, traveling down Shake Rag Street away from town, you’ll find Pendarvis, Merry Christmas Mine Hill, Soldiers Park playgrounds and public pool, and Brewery Pottery. The Mineral Point Historical Society offers tours of the Gundry House at Orchard Lawn and outdoor music events in the summer, as well as indoor lyceums in winter. You can also explore local history at the Mineral Point Public Library, where archive materials are available for viewing.

Be sure to check our News page for upcoming events or follow us on Facebook.

Before or during your visit, you may wish to consult the Mineral Point Chamber of Commerce Events Calendar or visit the Mineral Point Opera House website for upcoming performances, events, and tickets.

Mineral Point also offers excellent bicycling and hiking trails.

Sometimes surprising, but the astonishing four-season views are absolutely worth it! Umbrellas available at the office.

Current Forecast

On-line – Register on-line and pay by credit card or PayPal using our secure server.

By mail – Send us a completed registration form and pay by either check or credit card.

By phone – We are happy to take reservations over the phone. Call us at 608-987-3292.

In person – Drop by our office during regular office hours to register in person. Payment may be made by cash, check or credit card.

Office Hours
9:oo a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Our office is located in the red Coach House, at 18 Shake Rag Alley. Please use side entrance.

Minimum Age for Participation

Adult workshops are designed for students age 14 and above unless otherwise noted. We are happy to discuss options for younger students, including our Summer Youth Program.

A registration deadline is published for each class. In some cases registration after this date may still be possible if a class has openings. Check with the office (608) 987-3292.

Class sizes are limited so early registration is recommended. If a class is full, you may fill out this form to be placed on the waiting list.

Many classes have materials fees in addition to the tuition. These are identified in the class listing and are usually paid with the tuition payment. However, in some cases material fees are paid directly to the instructor at class time, usually to take advantage of bulk purchasing prices, these in-class costs are noted in the workshop description.

Shake Rag Alley workshops range from introductory workshops to those requiring previous 
experience and skills. There are offerings for novice, beginning, intermediate, and advanced 
students, with the bulk of the workshops welcoming all levels. 
All workshops are listed at the minimum level of experience required.

Novice – No prior art or craft experience required. All tools and materials are normally supplied but if students are asked to bring supplies they are minimal. You will make a simple artwork project featuring the medium and are likely to complete the project during the workshop.

Beginner – Previous experience in this medium is helpful, but it is not required. Students may need to purchase basic tool sets or art supplies. You will likely complete a finished work in the medium during the workshop.

Intermediate – Students should have previous experience, posses basic skills with the techniques and tools of the particular medium, and be able to work independently. You may need to supplement your existing set of tools and materials with new artist-grade purchases. Concentration will be on new techniques, experimentation and implementation. You may produce finished works or begin a number of new pieces.

Advanced – Workshop requires experience, confidence, competency within a medium, and quality artist-grade materials. The main goal is artistic growth and creative challenge. Students improve their knowledge of techniques and design, and a finished work may or may not be produced during workshop. Hands-on activity will be balanced with critiques by self, instructor, and peers. You will develop your own goals for future work.

You will receive a registration confirmation via email. If you do not have an email address, you will receive a snail mail confirmation.

Please note that your class registration will not be confirmed without full payment.

Please read your class confirmation carefully, as it may include a supply list.

While we recognize that life intrudes and plans change, in consideration of the time and energy instructors invest in preparing for classes, we must adhere to the following cancellation policies:

Student Cancellations

Cancellations made 31 days before the published registration deadline date for any given workshop are eligible for a full refund less 25% of the workshop fee OR a gift certificate in the full amount of the workshop fee. The gift certificate can be applied to workshops or lodging through Dec. 31 of the following year and is transferable

Cancellations made 30 days or less than the published registration deadline date for any given workshop are not eligible for refunds. We encourage all students to purchase trip insurance, available for a reasonable fee.

Cancellation requests must be made by calling our office at (608) 987-3292.

We encourage all students to purchase trip insurance.

If you have booked a Shake Rag Alley lodging reservation in conjunction with your workshop, please refer to our lodging cancellation policy.

Cancellations by Shake Rag Alley

If a workshop does not meet a minimum number of students, it may be cancelled. A decision to cancel a workshop due to under enrollment will be made on the day following the published registration deadline.

If Shake Rag Alley must cancel a workshop you will be notified immediately via email or phone and will receive a full refund.

If you have booked a Shake Rag Alley lodging reservation in conjunction with a workshop cancelled by Shake Rag Alley, you may receive a full refund on lodging should you wish to cancel. Please call the office at 608-987-3292

Workshop Locations

We have a number of classrooms on campus from intimate spaces in historic buildings loaded with character to the  spacious Lind Pavilion and our fully equipped Jewelry Studio in the Smeja Annex around the corner. We also occasionally utilize other studio space within a few blocks of campus. You will receive instructions on space assignments and directions when you check in for your workshop.

Please plan to arrive a few minutes early to allow time to get to your classroom. See our Map and Directions.

Where to Check-in Before Workshops

Check in at the Shake Rag Alley office, at 18 Shake Rag Street. The office is located in the two-story red Coach House. Use the side entrance, up the ramp from the brick patio.

Parking is available on the campus side of Shake Rag or in the grassy parking lot across the street. For additional parking recommendations, please refer to our campus map.

What to Bring

Please refer to the workshop listing on our website. Some workshops use only supplied materials. Others ask that you bring materials or tools, and offer clothing recommendations. These are listed in workshop descriptions.

Please DO NOT bring pets, young children or other observers. In general we do not allow non-registered observers or student assistants. Exceptions may apply, but please check first.

If you have questions about a supply list, please call the Shake Rag office at (608) 987-3292.

Lodging and Meals:

Workshop fees do not include lodging or meals.

Shake Rag Alley offers lodging at three on-campus guest rooms in the Coach House, and in two apartments within easy walking distance. Registered students are eligible for a 10% discount on Shake Rag Lodging.

Mineral Point has a number of fine motels, B&B’s and guest rooms nearby, and there are ample restaurants within walking distance. Pick up a detailed flyer on dining options when you check in for your workshop. For more information about local shops and services see the Mineral Point website.

Be sure to check our Upcoming Events or follow us on Facebook to keep abreast of developing programs.

Comfort & Convenience

sunny rooms amid lush
on-campus gardens

Character & Charm

downtown energy in
quirky loft studio

Luxury & Inspiration

historic buildings
steeped in story

Relaxation & Reverie

apartments made cozy
by artists & artisans

Campus Map: Shake Rag Alley Center for the Arts

ADA compliant buildings: Lind Pavilion, Coach House, Smejas’ Studio

Did you know that Shake Rag Alley will work with you to create a Private Art-Making Retreat?

Celebrate with family and make lasting family memories.
Plan an unfogettable get-away for friends.
Organize a unique event for clubs & groups.
Develop your work team through creative experiences.

Campus Map: Shake Rag Alley Center for the Arts

Coach House
18 Shake Rag Street

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Art Café

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Ellery House

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Open Air Parking

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Lind Pavilion Parking

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Roadside Parking
allowed on Commerce Street

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Smejas’ Studio parking

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Smejas’ Studio
30 Doty Street

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Curbside Parking
as indicated

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Accessible Parking
with curb cut

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Alley Stage

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Cabinet Shop

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French Cabin

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1830 Log Cabin

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Potter’s House

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Blacksmith Barn

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Federal Spring

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Monarch Garden

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Lind Pavilion
411 Commerce Street

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two blocks to

High Street & Commerce Street
Restaurants, Shops & Galleries

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To Grocery Store
Point Foods
622 Dodge Street

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Street Parking with Additional Parking behind Smejas’ Studio

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The Green
open air park

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Stair Steps
Cabinet Shop & Lind Pavilion

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Stair Steps
to Alley Stage

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Stone Bridge
Federal Spring

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The Sardeson
223 Commerce St.
The Sardeson is home to the
Sardeson Pottery Studio,
Roland’s Loft,
and Tuckpoint. 29 of 31

Weaving & Fiber Arts Studio

Cannery Row Arts Incubator
121 Water St.

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ADA accessible buildings: Lind Pavilion, Coach House (first floor), Smejas’ Studio