By: Laura Schulte at Wausau Daily Herald
Downtown Wausau got a little more colorful over the weekend thanks to the addition of 18 new murals.
The murals, which were created by local artists participating in the Art Lives Here competition, were completed during Artrageous Weekend. In addition to murals already in downtown Wausau, the new works of art are helping to create a new "arts" district on Third Street, said Liz Brodek, the executive director of downtown nonprofit the Wausau River District.
The River District helped bring the murals to life by partnering with Gisy Marks, the owner of the Glass Hat. It has long been Marks' dream to create a haven for artists.
At the end of the weekend, the public was able to vote on the top three murals, which were in turn rewarded with prize money. In first place was Caylea Sather, with her painting of a man wandering into space on the southern side of the Glass Hat. In second place was Stephanie Kohli, with her smaller mural of a woman, also on the southern side of the Glass Hat. In third place was Raechel Schultz and Bec Heart, with their black and white mural on the side of the Pollack Inn.
Brodek said that the murals are already having an effect on the northern end of Wausau, with increased foot traffic as people stop to look at the murals.
"To see this art along Third Street, revitalizing the area, is so incredibly cool and humbling," she said. "The amount of time, effort and talent these artists shared with the community has more value than words can convey. They poured so much into their work, and we are so grateful for each contribution that has given new life to the area."