Neenah Art[works]: Uncovered is a new community art project presented by Neenah Foundry and Future Neenah to celebrate art in unexpected places, in particular the manhole covers made famous by Neenah Foundry. As part of the project, local and regional artists will turn 18 manhole covers into original works of art.
“It’s a community art project that we created in partnership with Neenah Foundry, who obviously are one of our community leaders here in Neenah. It’s similar to projects they do in other communities, but for Neenah, manhole covers are sort of an iconic visual for us,” says Future Neenah Executive Director Nikki Hessel.
The main goal of the project is to provide visibility for Neenah Foundry’s history and cultural impact on its community, while also bringing attention to local artistic talents and highlighting area businesses.
The selected manhole cover designs honor the Neenah community and reflect the theme of finding beauty in unexpected places. The artists, who each received a $500 stipend, were provided a poly board material with the same shape and dimensions of a manhole cover. They were allowed to use the tools and mediums of their choosing to create their piece, as long as the final outcome was recognizable as a manhole cover.
Neenah Foundry will be presenting the final pieces at a pop-up gallery night on October 2 from 6-9 p.m. at the Masonic Lodge, where the selected submissions will be up for viewing in one room. There will be food, drinks and live entertainment. The Neenah Foundry will also be demonstrating live metal casting. The selected manhole covers will be displayed in downtown businesses during Downtown Neenah Gallery Walk on October 3 from 12-7 p.m.
For the latest information on the pop-up gallery night, please visit neenah.org or the Future Neenah Facebook page. –By Jelissa Burns