Scherbarth Residency Program

The Scherbarth Residency Program provides lodging and studio space to artists and makers in the visual, performing, and literary arts to participate in the creative community at Shake Rag Alley Center for the Arts, and the rural community of Mineral Point, Wisconsin. While living on our unique campus of historic and reproduction buildings, Scherbarth residents will be able to contribute in meaningful ways to the mission of Shake Rag Alley and participate in the creative ecosystem of the Driftless Area of southwestern Wisconsin. Through the generosity of Jim Scherbarth, artists and makers will have access to the time and space needed to work and create, as well as to the nurturing environment of Mineral Point, and opportunities to network with its resident artists.

The Scherbarth Residency Program honors the artistic legacy of James (Jim) Edward Scherbarth, an award-winning visual artist who taught oil and cold wax workshops at Shake Rag Alley in 2013-19. Based in Minneapolis until his death in June 2021, Jim loved the process of art making and the creation of imagery through an increasingly spiritual conversation with the world around him and within himself. His work was inspired by continual learning, sharing, and traveling. His creative process was an intuitive one of constructing and deconstructing, of collecting, blending, erasing, blurring, marking, and clarifying. Reflecting the natural processes of the world: accumulation, erosion, growth and decay, his process was an archaeology of mind and spirit — an excavation of imagery, of stories, emotions, memories, and experience buried within his creative subconscious. 



The Scherbarth Residency Program is open to artists and makers at any stage in their careers who can benefit from the residency’s cohort model, and wish to contribute in a meaningful way to community. Residents are expected to:

  • Share their work in a public forum, which could include face-to-face models as well as social media.
  • Contribute stewardship hours to the Shake Rag Alley campus. This could include snow removal, maintenance of common areas, assistance with administrative tasks, and caring for our historic buildings.
  • Work on a project described in the application proposal.

To maximize flexibility and accessibility, residents may choose to be in residence from one week to six weeks. Artists and makers who are self-directed and focused are invited to apply for residencies; we welcome proposals in any media and/or genre. The Selection Committee  reviews applications with the Shake Rag Alley mission in mind, as well as how the proposed projects contribute to the cohort and larger community.

Selected recipients will have the option to be in residence from February 19 until March 31 2024.

Lodging is provided in the historic Coach House rooms (private bedroom and bathroom) and a choice of studio space in the Ellery or Potter’s houses, or Cabinet Shop at no additional charge. Access to a shared kitchen, shared laundry, and several communal spaces, along with WiFi is provided. Residents are responsible for their own meals, materials, and incidentals, as well as travel to and from Shake Rag Alley Center for the Arts. For an introduction to the Shake Rag Alley campus, please visit the links above to see our spaces; some of the studio spaces do not have running water, and all are on our rustic campus. During a winter in Wisconsin our campus will often be snow-covered and—although beautiful—includes walking through snow drifts and salting walkways.

Please note that because Shake Rag Alley Center for the Arts is housed in historic buildings from the 1800’s, and as portions of our grounds are reproduction to match that aesthetic, many of our spaces are not ADA accessible. Please call or email with questions about accessibility and to discuss available accommodations.

Application Process

The 2024 application period will be open from October 1-November 31, 2023. Submission materials include an application form, and a portfolio. For additional information about the Scherbarth Residency Program, contact Christina Kubasta, Director of Education, at or call (608) 987-3292.

2023 Scherbarth Residents

Dillinger headshot

Suzi Dillinger

Sharon Evans

Claire Jussel

Having done many forms of traditional sewing and quilting, fiber artist Suzi Dillinger felt a need to move on to more challenging work that would spark her creativity. Now she often uses surface design techniques to create her own fabrics and uses them as a springboard for art quilt ideas. She adds mixed media elements to some of her pieces in the form of paints, papers, and photos. Favorite topics include the natural world, especially plant details. Her preference is to work abstractly and occasionally use colors that are not necessarily original to the subject. She likes the textural aspect of adding hand stitching and embroidery to pieces, lending a more personal touch, although most pieces are eventually machine quilted or embellished.

Suzi is excited to return to the Driftless Area and work improvisationally in a series, utilizing the area’s geography and topography for inspiration. Suzi will be reaching out to area schools and providing a hands-on workshop while in residence.

Playwright and graphic novelist Sharon Evans was artistic director of Live Bait Theater in Chicago from 1987 to 2008. During her tenure, Live Bait Theater created over 200 world premieres and was nominated for over 50 Jeff awards, predominantly in the area of new work. She has a degree from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and has taught at Chicago Dramatists and Goodman Theater and guest-lectured at the School of the Art Institute, North Park University, Loyola University, and Columbia College. In 2008, Evans was an Illinois Arts Council Artist Fellowship Finalist and in 2013 was a recipient for the Chicago City Arts Fund. Four of her plays have been awarded developmental support from the National Endowment for the Arts. Her community work includes “Police, Teen, Link,” a program designed to rebuild trust between police and teens through improv and acting. The PTL Program was featured on PBS’s ArtBeat, CNN, and in USA Today. In 1998 the Chicago Sun-Times cited Evans as one of 50 Community Leaders “who make Chicago a better place to live.” 

While in residence, Sharon will be working on her graphic novel in progress, “Escape from Canaryville.” The novel follows the life of an Irish-American Chicago cop Jim, and his upbringing in Canaryville. A psychological study of the personal lives of police officers, it explores how they process work-related stress and personal situations through fantasy, violence, and relationships with other officers. Social justice, storytelling, and community work are an important part of Sharon’s practice. During her time in Mineral Point she wishes to invite the community to engage with her imagery and writing, discuss themes, and be part of a conversation.

Claire Jussel is a poet, writer, and artist from Boise, Idaho, who has unwittingly lingered in the Midwest after studying history and English at St. Olaf College. She currently resides in Ames, Iowa, where she is pursuing her MFA in Creative Writing & Environment program at Iowa State University. Her previous places of work and fascination have included bookselling at Wild Rumpus in Minneapolis, park-rangering in Wyoming, and occasional lighthouse keeping. Her work gravitates toward themes of place, home, memory, and connection with the natural world. Her poems have appeared in West Trade Review, Wizards in Space, Split Rock Review, Black Fox Literary Magazine, and CP Quarterly. You can find her online @ClaireJussel on Twitter and @cmjussel on Instagram.

During her time in residence, Claire will be exploring how visual art works in tandem with writing and plans “to meditate on the ways in which these creative practices fuel the other medium.”