Jay Rath


Tommy Washbush

With workshops in graphic medicine and courses in comics, UW-Madison is becoming a hotbed for an art form that is growing in popularity. Jay Rath looks at the long history of cartooning in the city and state, and promising developments on campus. more

Isthmus Cover Stories

One of Madison’s most successful original productions is back for a new generation. Mercury Players Theatre is staging a revival of "Temps! The Musical!" more


UW-Madison boasts several murals by the late James Watrous, one of the university’s most well-known artists. While doing inventory in the lower level of Grainger Hall, Angela Richardson discovered a study the artist created for a major mural. more

Visual Arts


Darren Lee

After 19 years at the helm of Madison Ballet, W. Earle Smith will depart. The company’s final concert of the season, “Rise,” celebrates his prolific contributions. more

Stage 1 Comments

No one does opera quite like Fresco Opera Theatre. The troupe’s latest invention is a world premiere of “Queen of the Night,” a prequel to Mozart’s “The Magic Flute.” more



Madison Design Professionals

Flying vehicles and towering obelisks? Artists, designers and architects envision our future in “Future Possible: Imagining Madison,” a groundbreaking exhibit at the Wisconsin Academy’s James Watrous Gallery. more

Visual Arts

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Ross Zentner

Winning performances combine to boost Forward’s production of “Exit Strategy” into an instant audience favorite. more



Peter Jakubowski

Sound Out Loud, a new music chamber ensemble mostly made up of UW-Madison music students, wins the prestigious American Prize for chamber music in the college/university division. more


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Joan Marcus

Yes, the wildly popular “Hamilton” will finally come to Madison in 2019/20. We try to clear up some confusion on the hoops you need to jump through to be guaranteed a seat. more



WHS 88401

As the East Washington Ella’s Deli closes, we look back to the origins of Mad City’s fave deli. The original started as Rosen’s Delicatessen on State Street. more

FOOD & DRINK 7 Comments


Judy Pfaff and Tandem Press

Tandem Press has a stellar national reputation as a professional art press. But after three decades, the press will expand to open its own gallery on Commercial Avenue. more

Visual Arts 1 Comments


Jay Rath

Petrarch wrote “There is no lighter burden, nor more agreeable, than a pen. Other pleasures fail us or wound us while they charm…”. That sentiment is true at Spring Green’s Parus Pen, where Dan Ouimet handcrafts fine writing implements. more


Provenance Hotels proposes a high-end nine-story hotel with 110 to 120 rooms, two bars and restaurants and a rooftop terrace. But the facility would provide no parking and would need special city exceptions to zoning regulations. more

News 2 Comments

From fairytale illustrations to pulp magazine covers, the “Fantastic Illustration” exhibit at the Chazen Museum of Art explores the work of underappreciated and innovative artists. more

Visual Arts


Thomas DeVillers

Residents fear a Monopoly model — with developers accumulating several parcels in order to exchange green plastic houses for larger red “hotels” (in this case apartment buildings) — might become a prototype in Madison’s traditional neighborhoods. more

News 5 Comments

The art is real, even if the story is fake in Madison native Beauvais Lyons’ exhibit of lithographs, on display at Edgewood College through Oct. 8. more

Visual Arts

Amy Gilman, the new director of the Chazen Museum of Art, wants to help the museum stretch in new directions. more

A & E


WHS 70856

Millions of people have passed through Camp Randall, which celebrates its 100th birthday this year. It’s the oldest stadium in the Big Ten. more

Isthmus Cover Stories


Amy Kucharik

As it approaches a half-century of existence, Madison’s scrappy Broom Street Theater welcomes its fourth artistic director, playwright and novelist Doug Reed. more



Wisconsin Historical Society

Where did Monona come from? The town of Blooming Grove, of course. It was also once a center for bootlegging and prostitution. more

Isthmus Cover Stories

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    Jay Rath

    Back away from the Bic and opt for a more personalized pen.

  • Emphasis-pen-maker-OuimetDan-crJayRath-12212017.jpg

    Jay Rath

    Dan Ouimet makes ballpoints, rollerballs and fountain pens.

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    My beautiful picture

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    Jay Rath

    Nina’s packs a lot of merchandise into a modest space. Need marshmallow peanut candy? Check. House on the Rock postcard? Check.

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    Jay Rath

    Joel and Judy Marcus in front of the beloved store.