This site is about photography and the inner thoughts of photographer Andrew Plath.

Posts from the ‘Public Murals’ category

Building Art

One of the oddest looking buildings in Wausau is the Black Purl knitting store on 3rd Street just north of the downtown district.  If you take a walk  on Wausau’s River Edge Parkway or pass by on 3rd Street, you cannot help but notice the stark overtones  of this building.  To the naked eye, it looks like it could have been in a fire with its blackened siding.  It must seem odd to the railroad locomotive operators to see these colorful chairs sitting as if they were waiting for a train to come by on the main line.  It is outdoor art!

Art comes in all forms and shapes and in all colors including black.   Take a walk with me through my hometown, and you will see all of it and wonder why.

One of the most distinctive buildings in the Wausau area.

One of the most distinctive buildings in the Wausau area.

Enter My Lightroom!

The Quarry in Black and White.

Uncle Harry's Lamp-7

Carriage pull competition at the Draft Horse Invitational in the 2011 Wisconsin Valley Fair

Adobe is known as the premier producer of imaging software.   CS and Photoshop are their best known brands of photo editing software.   Add to that the Lightroom series and they have cornered the market.

I once took in Photoshop 7 on a trial basis.   It opened up like a Hollywood production with all the names of the software developers who worked to put it all together.   It works in layers (for those of you who remember film) each color is in a layer and how you expose it or under expose it affects the outcome.   I loved the software.  I just could not afford it.

Lightroom  is a different kind of imaging software.  Because it has its own separate folder, it has separate storage for the images that were worked on with it.  It does not exactly replace a regular editor software, but it can enhance the images and, if wisely used, improve workflow.

I am just beginning to learn how to use it.  Watch this blog and see what I learned.

I am learning a lot in Lightroom.   I will be able to add on Color Efex 4 to the software.  That is something I could not do with just Capture NX2 which is no longer in production.

Can We Really Paint The Town?

Artistry Can Be on Public Bulidings Too

This Building which houses a well for the Marathon City Water Utility is decorated with murals showing the people and things that once existed here.

How Do We Draw People Into A Vacant Area
The Villiage of Wittenberg wanted to spruce up its downtown, so they called in artists.

I normally do not talk political in this blog, but this is an opportunity I could not miss.   There is a plan for a neglected part of Wausau’s River District in the works.    The near-west side part of the River District is a gateway to the main part of downtown.  The smaller village of Wittenberg has a possible solution: murals.

A couple of years ago, community leaders in the Village of Wittenberg, WI decided that they needed something to attract people into the business district.   Wise thought.  After all, once passenger rail service stopped, nothing brought people into the downtown.   After all, State Highway 29 and US Highway 45 passed through on the edges of the village, and not really going through it as the railroad once did.   Visitors stayed on the edges or did not stop at all.   There had to be something special that would draw them in to visit the downtown.

Another reason was that Wittenberg sits on the Wiowash State Trail corridor.   This rail-trail brings in bicycle peddling tourists.   The murals work to get people to stop, go into the cafes and shops and generally look around and enjoy the view.

While the near west-side area of the River District is not the Village of Wittenberg, the idea of using artwork such as murals  in this gateway area really is not all that bad.   In a way, like Wittenberg’s downtown,  it  gets by-passed by people following the Business 51 and State Highway 52 into and through the downtown area.   The city is taking an interest in this because it is a blighted area, and blighted areas are like a cancer.  They are a distraction to the economic viability of a community and they downgrade a city’s tax-base causing city assessors to raise up the anti and put on an increased tax burden in other areas to make up for the revenue difference.   This once was a viable  area.   Locals will remember  Mickeys Beer Depot.  Some in my generation will remember the Kings Knight discotheque,    Still others might think of the original M&J Store.

The idea of having major public art work in this area is nothing new.   Ed Schoenberger’s “Pinery”, designed as a reminder of Wausau’s logging past was nearby for sometime after Stewart Avenue was rebuilt as a four lane highway connecting directly to Scott and Washington Streets on Clark Island.  The Pinery sculpture was disassembled  because it stood in the way when the eastbound lanes of Stewart Avenue (Highway 52) were re-aligned  to connect with a new eastbound span across the west channel of the Wisconsin River.

The point is, Wausau just needs to have this area cleaned up and be a blessed addition to our local economy and environment.

Artists at Work

These are two of the artists that were doing this work on the hardware store in Wittenberg.

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