New sculpture on Main
Work symbolizes Waupaca’s river connection
By James Card
A large metal sculpture was bolted into the sidewalk on Main Street during ARTicipation week so it was ready for the Arts on the Square festival.
The sculpture is titled; “Cresting Canoe Atop the Great Wave of Waupaca” and it emphasizes the Waupaca River that flows through the city’s downtown and other neighborhoods.
Artist Luke Achterberg from Onalaska and Faye Wilson, the donor, were present for an informal dedication ceremony.
Wilson, of Faye Wilson Realty, donated $25,000 in 2018 for a “unique art project” in the downtown area.
After a nationwide search for an appropriate artist and vision for the project, Achterberg was selected. He had an insider’s knowledge for the project: he grew up paddling here during family trips.
“My brother and I and my extended family back in ‘90s would always come to the Waupaca and Crystal Rivers. We always had a lot of fun – mischievous fun perhaps – a lot of laughs, a lot of sunken canoes, a lot of splashes, a lot of play and a lot of joy and jubilee,” said Achterberg.
“When I think of Waupaca, that’s the first thing that pops in my head: all of my cousins and friends and uncles and aunts and parents playing around in the water. How can I put all of that in physical form? I thought for a while and had some drawings and then I had this pop into my head and thought, ‘That’s just whacky enough for me to want to do.’ I made this model and submitted it. There it is in stainless steel and automotive acrylic paint. It’s been a long ride but I’m happy with it,” he said.
“It was the first project like this in Waupaca. There was a lot of groundwork that had to be laid and then sending it out to artists – and then Luke responded. It’s been a really neat project to see come to fruition. I want to thank the committee and the city of Waupaca for graciously accepting my donation. And my family for understanding that my work schedule is so crazy but it is because of that I can make this donation. And Cindy Jaeckle, my broker associate, for all of her support and all of our clients. It’s what makes all this happen,” said Wilson.