Members of DAMA helped Waunakee students finish painting the storm drain on May 17. They first made an outline of the design in chalk and paint, before students came out to finish the painting, which included messages on the sides of the structure.
In an effort to get people to stop throwing trash and pollutants into storm drains, where rain can carry such harmful materials out to area lakes, rivers and streams, a new program in Dane County has students painting murals on them to draw attention to the issue.
“Public art is an amazingly effective learning/teaching tool — students involved in the design will become natural advocates and informed stewards, and their vibrant artwork will draw attention and inspire action around this important effort to protect local waters,” a statement from DAMA to the city reads. “DAMA will be working with a total of 10 schools this spring to design and paint murals on storm drain inlets across the county.”
They believed creating art could create awareness of mental health at their school...and in the community beyond. Fellow senior Lexi Ricci said, "It kind of sparked me, and Kristen, and Taylor Roys to think about what we can do to bring light to this...to bring awareness, and also to help others while we're doing it. There are so many people who are suffering in silence with mental health disorders."
A high-school student stood near the door of a classroom in Hoyt School, observing quietly as his classmates painted. He appeared nervous to join in. Artist Sonya Sankaran calmly handed him a paint brush and reassured him that mistakes could always be fixed.
Dane Arts Mural Arts guided the village through the Main Street mural project last summer, and in 2018 will explore the possibility of murals around storm drains to remind residents to be mindful of stormwater runoff effects.
After the Dane Arts Mural Arts artists created the design, they brought it in pieces to Waunakee High School, where art students painted it on a fabric called polytab. The sections were then applied to the west facing façade of the Waunakee Furniture building, and a protective coating was then applied.
Beth Roberts, Waunakee High School art teacher, added that about 45 student arts participated in the painting.
Mayor Mary O’Connor welcomed the audience and then turned over the microphone to former Mayor Bob Miller, who instigated the project and gave a brief rundown of how “Water, Land, and Sky” came to be.
A 120-foot long mural measuring 8 feet tall and covering two walls of a city building will be dedicated Saturday. Ceremonies will begin at noon at Monona Well No. 3 at 6500 Raywood Road (across from South Towne Mall).
The mural celebrates the water and Native American heritage of the community.
“The fact that we’ve done as many murals as we have in such a short amount of time,” Kilfoy said, “we’ve been so focused on community building, partnership building, working with at-risk youth that we haven’t done as much infrastructure building as we need to.
Alicia Rheal is the lead artist on the project, and said she designed the mural from photographs of Waunakee at the time.
“It’s better than I could have ever thought,” Taylor said, adding later, “It’s beautiful. The faces are amazing.”
Overseeing the project will be Sharon Kilfoy, DAMA director, and DAMA lead artists Alicia Rheal and Emida Roller. The three have independently worked on several murals over the years, with joint projects in Madison, Sun Prairie, Waunakee and other communities.
A project at Waunakee Furniture ETC in partnership with the village and Dane Arts Mural Arts will bring Waunakee’s history to life.
Among the students painting the morning of Friday, Nov. 11, two were finishing up a collaborative project of a large bird, another was putting the final touches on her raven and Lea VanHook was discovering her talent for painting, which she said she didn’t know she had before.
“I’ve learned more about myself through this,” VanHook said. “I’ve been down here like every single hour of the day.”
“We are excited to be celebrating with Neighborhood House and very proud of the mural we have completed,” Dane Arts Mural Arts Director Sharon Kilfoy tells Madison365. “We had some just incredible students working on this mural over the summer.”
While we are helping DAMA document and photograph murals in Dane County, we think it would be very valuable to put them on the map so that people know where the murals are.
In 2013, SAIL West students began a mural project with the guidance of local artists Sharon Kilfoy. Sharon’s relationship with many of the students had already been forged at Centro Hispano, where SAIL West transition class had been volunteering time painting murals. The idea for SAIL West students to create a mural to be displayed at West High was born of this relationship, and gave students an opportunity to showcase their talents and give back to their school. This mural was dedicated in May of 2014.
We are all creative. Sometimes we just need a little push and a guiding hand. Get both at the Hands-On Art Experience, presented by Artful Escapes and Dane Arts Mural Arts.
Dane Arts' biggest new program is Dane Arts Mural Arts (DAMA). The program employs three artists part-time to work with youth, especially those at risk of falling through the cracks of the county’s educational system, on murals that brighten the walls of local schools.
Emida Roller is a Madison-based muralist, an art educator, and the founder of Wall Designs by Emida