‘You belong in Waupaca’
Mural painted in downtown
By Angie Landsverk
Belonging is the theme of a new mural in downtown Waupaca.
Bob and Christine Faulks hired Chad Brady to design and paint the “You Belong in Waupaca” mural on the former Waupaca Chamber of Commerce building.
“Our message with the first mural of what I hope are many downtown is this: You belong and we embrace you whoever and whatever you visualize yourself to be. You are a valuable person and you are welcome in Waupaca,” she said.
They recently purchased the building to be the home of their Woodpile Foundation.
Faulks said they wanted to continue their vision of inclusivity.
She spoke to members of Waupaca’s arts community, including Marci Reynolds.
Reynolds is the president of the Waupaca Community Arts Board.
That board sponsored the Wautopia community art project last year and painted crosswalks this year.
Faulks asked her for ideas on how to coordinate a mural on their new building.
Reynolds was familiar with Brady and his work.
The muralist moved from the Washington, D.C. area to Appleton 10 years ago.
He has done about a dozen murals in Appleton, including one in early August during Mile of Music.
Reynolds introduced the Faulks to Brady when they attended the event.
Faulks said they “clicked” on many levels.
“We connected through music, wellness and most specifically the language of art to connect everyone,” she said.
She also talked to civic leaders about their vision for Waupaca’s downtown and the message of “you belong.”
Faulks said they wanted to be sure they were in line with the city’s vision.
They then reached out to the ToTo Board.
Its mission is to foster human wellness through the human/animal connection.
That resulted in the Tails and Trails Dog Park.
She said ToTo sponsored the mural in concert with the Woodpile Foundation.
“They wanted something that had to do with inclusion and acceptance,” Brady said of the Faulks.
Creating a mural
Brady’s process begins with an original sketch.
He then projects and traces it.
Brady projected it onto the side of the building on the evening of Sept 16.
The design includes Robert Indiana’s “love” font.
“He wanted to see love in every culture in the world,” Brady said. “We have three of the letters of ‘love’ in the word.”
Brady said the child in the mural represents innocence.
She is holding a crow, showing others to not be afraid of wildlife.
Brady also incorporated a coyote in the mural.
In most cultures, they are considered teachers, he said.
Coyotes are also an integral part of the ecostystem, Brady said.
The coyote has strawberries in his mouth, and is going to share them with the crow.
The mural was completed by the end of the weekend.
Community service for Chain students
Students from Waupaca’s Chain Exploration Center (CEC) helped paint on Sept. 18.
Dort De Wild, a retired Waupaca art teacher, and Laurie Wagner, a member of the center’s governance council, helped coordinate that aspect.
“They had a lot of fun,” De Wild said of the students.
Wagner said CEC students keep track of their community service hours.
“So this was part of their way to give back to the community,” she said.
Twenty years from now, students will be able to return with their own children and say, “I did that,” Brady said.
He appreciates the teachers who organized it.
Brady said several other downtown business owners are also interested in having murals painted on their buildings.
“Thanks for the people that sponsor this kind of work,” he said. “It’s great for the community. It helps when there’s a positive message.”