Art Hits Home

Posted on August 1, 2017 by Grace Reif

Home design and local art unite at HBA Fox Cities’ Summer Parade of Homes


Created by Stephen Wysocki

For more than 50 years, the Parade of Homes has showcased the work of local home builders and provided potential home buyers with a way to keep up on the latest home trends. This summer, attendees to the 2017 Summer Parade of Homes will see trends unfold in a new way through the work of eight visual artists from Wisconsin.

The Home Builders Association of the Fox Cities (HBA Fox Cities) is partnering with Take Me to the River, a creative initiative that brings art to unexpected places in the Fox Cities, to incorporate original artwork into the parade homes’ decor. This allows attendees to get a wider view of local talent, both from builders and artists.

Megan Schlimm, director of marketing and events for HBA Fox Cities, explains that the addition of local art is a win-win for both artists and homebuilders because it draws new attendees to the event.


Created by Stephen Wysocki

“It allows the artists to have that exposure to a group of people that wouldn’t have otherwise seen their work and vice versa,” she says. “It might bring in a few people who are very interested in the artist concept, but have never been to a Parade of Homes.”

Beyond seeing work from local home builders and artists, attendees can get a taste of national home trends that are especially popular in the Fox Cities. Schlimm says the biggest trend this summer is the modern farmhouse look which emerged during the 2017 Winter Parade of Homes. Modern farmhouse design is a mix of classic country charm (think wood beams and big kitchen islands) and urban-inspired decor (like exposed brick walls and iron pipes). It makes perfect sense that this style is popular in the Fox Cities – the area is a perfect blend of the urban and the not-so-urban.


Created by Stephen Wysocki

Modern farmhouse style is exemplified in one such parade home by Steckling Builders of Neenah. When designer and co-owner Tracy Steckling describes the modern farmhouse concept, it is easy to see the appeal. “It’s comfortable yet elegant. The layout is very open, with a large kitchen, dining area, and living room all melding into one space,” she says. “There’s chalkboard details on the walls and shiplap ceilings for a more rustic feel, but with modern light fixtures.”

The Steckling Builders’ home is being outfitted with half a dozen bucolic works by painter Stephen Wysocki, a UW-Green Bay graduate residing in Armstrong Creek. Wysocki’s Americana-style acrylic paintings pair perfectly with the home’s modern farmhouse aesthetic. The featured paintings will be a mix of large, statement pieces and smaller works depicting tractors, barns, chickens and other rural essentials. While the subjects depicted are staples of country living, Wysocki’s highly-textured painting style meshes with the home’s urban details.

Wysocki, who learned of the Parade of Homes art initiative on Take Me to the River’s Facebook page, says as a working Wisconsin-based artist, opportunities like these are vital.

“It means survival basically, that’s how I look at it,” he says. “Every show you can get into means more sales, and that means you can make art another day.”

To experience this marriage of art and home design in the Fox Cities, attend the 2017 Summer Parade of Homes, taking place August 12-13 and August 17-20. For more information, visit

With the Wind

Created by Stephen Wysocki

More Info

2017 Summer Parade of Homes
August 12-13 & 17-20
11 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekends, 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. weekdays
Addresses for the Parade of Homes are available online during the event dates. View the map and buy tickets at or purchase them in-person at parade homes during event hours.

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