River Arts Alliance has been working with Hiawatha Band Communications to install artwork on their fence. RAA received a $10,000 Legacy grant from SEMAC to do the first 60 feet of the fence. The intention is to finish the entire fence in stages over a two-three year period. The total length of the fence along Main St is 120 feet and along Front St. facing the river 160 feet. In addition to this public artwork standing on its own it can also be seen as a welcoming entrance to Levee Park.
Local artists have designed a plan to install three different components to the fence. The first are 4’h x 6’w murals designed by Julia Crozier & Mary Singer depicting the history of communication. The second are large flowers and animals to be place between the murals designed by Bernadette Mahfood. The material for the flowers consists of composite laminate, fiberglass and Kevlar donated by Wenonah Canoe. The third are stone & glass mosaic columns 16”w x 8’h designed by Monta May.
The mural component will have community involvement in painting the background. One of the more popular activities at Family Art Day the past few years has been the painting of the murals which is easily worked on by all ages. Julia and Mary, with the assistance of volunteers, will manage the painting of the first murals 10am – 2pm June 27 at Hiawatha Valley Marine Shelter on the West Lake. We invite the community, young, old, experienced or not, to this one day Mural Paint-In. Julia will finish the murals with her recognizable black lines to illustrate the communication images. Many of the materials the artists will use represents examples of creative use of materials traditionally used in other ways, and in some cases up-cycling materials, as with the composites.
Each of the artists has over 30 years experience as working artists. They will engage the public as they each have in numerous other public art events over the years. With its highly visible central location this entire public art project adds a new element for the enjoyment of the entire community as well as a contribution and dimension in the ongoing movement toward Winona as an arts destination.
Bernadette Mahfood, Project Coordinator