De Pere residents and visitors may have noticed that downtown got a little more colorful recently. Five murals were completed this summer as part of Definitely De Pere’s Downtown De Pere Mural Project.
The project’s goal is to create public art that celebrates the city’s history, reflects its current culture or points to its future aspirations, says Definitely De Pere Executive Director Tina Quigley. Definitely De Pere issued a call for mural proposals last spring.
“We kept the criteria pretty broad,” Quigley says. “We really wanted to be able to receive a variety of artistic styles.”
From more than 70 site-specific proposals submitted by 38 artists, a public art committee and the property owners selected five murals based on relevance, quality and creativity. The five mural locations and artists include: Northwestern Building by James Barany; Broadway Theatre by Andrew Linskens; Paintin’ Pottery by Carli Ihde; artlessBastard by Natalie Halverson; Jenstar Movement Studio by Danny Lemke.
“When you look at them together they are so different, but they work together which is so cool,” Quigley says.
The murals were funded by a $100,000 share of excess Lambeau Field stadium tax funds. Remaining funds will be used for another round of murals as well as a sculpture installation this spring.
While it still needs to go through the formal approval process, the proposed sculpture was created by De Pere artist Ned Cain. It consists of three stainless steel pieces that work together as a grouping and range from 12- to 14-feet tall.
Quigley says the murals and sculpture support the kind of public art initiatives that the community has requested through various visioning sessions.
“The impacts of public art are well documented as far as creating a sense of place and an identity in a community,” she says. “People want to be in an environment that’s interesting and vibrant and that’s what public art adds to a streetscape.”
For more information, visit definitelydepere.org. –ACW