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. 

2024 Scherbarth Residents

Hilda Demuth-Lutze

Nina Kissinger

Janet Vetter

While in residence, Hilda will be working on her novel-in-progress Dreams of Stone and Glass. Join her Sunday February 25 at 4pm for a reading & talk at Republic of Letters Books (151 High St.).

Hilda Demuth-Lutze is a Midwestern author of historical fiction. Her novel Kingdom of the Birds is set in sixteenth-century Germany during the time of Martin Luther. She and her sister Emily co-authored three books set in nineteenth-century Wisconsin. Plank Road Summer and Plank Road Winter take place in rural Racine County, where the Demuth sisters grew up, and Hattie’s War takes place in Milwaukee during the Civil War. At home on Hil-Mar Farm near Valparaiso, Indiana, she and her husband Mark raise sheep and sell wool products. Their extensive garden includes everlastings for floral arrangements and Japanese indigo for dyeing. Hilda and Mark are musicians and members of a contra dance band.

An alum of the Alley Stage Reading Series, Nina returns to work on a new play I Wasn’t Planning on Saying Anything. Join her for a table read & workshop Tuesday March 5 at 6pm at the Lind Pavilion (411 Commerce St.) with local actors.

Nina Kissinger is a playwright originally from San Francisco and currently based in Brooklyn. Her short play The Exit Interview was a winner of Vertigo Production’s 2022 10-Minute Play Festival, the Over Our Head Players’ 2023 Snowdance 10-Minute Comedy Festival, and the South Street Players’ 13th Annual Tri-State Theatre Festival. Her full-length work, This Is Government, was a winner of the 2022 Agnes Nixon Playwriting Festival, a Semi-Finalist for the 2023 O’Neill National Playwrights Conference, the 2023 Ashland New Plays Festival, and the 2023 Morgan-Wixson Theatre New Works Festival, and received readings as a part of the Shake Rag Alley Center for the Arts’ 2023 Alley Stage Reading Series and the 2023 National High School Institute’s Theatre Arts Division Reading Series at Northwestern University. She is a graduate of Northwestern University, where she studied playwriting under Laura Schellhardt and Julie Marie Myatt.

During her residency, Janet will continue working on her portfolio of Rocky Mountain wildflowers. Janet will present about the history of botanical art to the Fitchburg Active Women’s group during her residency.

Janet is an avid gardener and lover of flowers. That love drew her into the world of botanical art. A member of the American Society of Botanical Artists and the Rocky Mountain Society of Botanical Artists, she shares her watercolor compositions by entering regional shows and exhibits. A passionate hiker, Janet captures images of mountain wildflowers that make their way to her brush. Flowers in the garden and exotic orchid varieties are other favorite subjects for her botanical compositions.

Applications currently closed. Please check back in fall 2024 for the next application period.



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.

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

Submission materials include an application form, a portfolio, and a non-refundable application fee. For additional information about the Scherbarth Residency Program, contact Executive Director Christina Kubasta at or call (608) 987-3292.

2023 Scherbarth Residents

Dillinger headshot

Suzi Dillinger

Sharon Evans

Claire Jussel