The city of Cedarburg is known for its strong local arts scene.
For example, it hosts one of the largest outdoor plein-air painting festivals in the state. And it is getting a new fine arts museum - the Cedarburg Art Museum.
Ironically, though, this new community institution opens only because another one closed. When the much loved Ozaukee Bank was sold to BMO Harris Bank, the directors wanted to give the community a not-so little parting gift.
They created a foundation that would continue to support community organizations. Additionally, it put aside funds to possibly create an art museum, the cornerstone of which would be the 49 works of local art collected by former bank president Mal Hepburn.
Director Jill Hepburn, his wife, found a perfect location in an old Victorian building in Cedarburg, and soon the community was behind the project. She says the museum's unusual origins fit in with the former bank's mission.
"It is a community museum," she says. "Our mission is to support not just the arts in Cedarburg, but it's also to support the Cedarburg community as a place that's vibrant and an interesting place to live."
The museum will also have upcoming exhibits by plein air painter Shelby Keefe and more. Its grand opening ice cream social is Sunday, Sept. 8th from 1 to 4 PM.