Abel Contemporary Gallery
Abel Contemporary Gallery opened in 1987 just southwest of Madison, in Paoli, WI as the Artisan Gallery under the direction of its original owner who converted a former creamery, into a showplace for the work of 30 local artists. In 1998, Theresa Abel became the Art Director and helped continue the growth of the gallery, both in quality and in reputation. In 2004, she and artist Tim O'Neill took over ownership, broadening the focus of the gallery by exhibiting artists with national reputations along with work of well-known local artists. In 2017, in conjunction with the gallery’s 30-year celebration, they changed the name to the Abel Contemporary Gallery, as it became important for the gallery to have a unique name to differentiate itself from other “artisan” galleries and businesses.
In 2019 Abel Contemporary made the move from Paoli to Stoughton, just a few miles to the east. Abel and O’Neill spent much of 2018 and the beginning of 2019 renovating the gallery’s new home, a historic tobacco warehouse originally constructed in 1891. This 8,000 square foot building is a spectacular backdrop for some of the most notable art and craft in the region. For Abel, a painter, and O’Neill, a woodworker and metalsmith, it is important to exhibit fine art and fine craft side by side. The gallery features notable artwork in many media, hosting three concurrent exhibits every six to seven weeks and maintains an alternative exhibit space which offers an opportunity for more evocative work such as installations and video art.