Color Rendering of Proposed Mural

Color Rendering of Proposed Mural
by Chris Vincent

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

"Where we've been ... where we're going"

In Good Friend's quarterly newsletter, we acknowledge what communities have had us come in to present our autism awareness-acceptance-empathy message and which ones have chosen to contract with us for services in the upcoming weeks.  We think it's important to acknowledge what has happened and bring that forward into what will be.

And in a beautiful symbolic sense, that is precisely what will happen with Chris Vincent's mural.  She has worked with local historians to uncover details about the history of our community.  Buildings, landmarks, and concepts associated with Waukesha's heritage will be incorporated in the art.  You'll see Waukesha referred to as Prairieville, Spring City, and Cow County.  The Fox River, Fox Head Brewery, local legend Les Paul, and early 20th century transportation (small airplanes and the steam engine) are also represented in the mural.  Architectural landmarks such as the Waukesha Public Library, Carroll University, and Spence's Observation Tower point to early dedication to education, while Silurian Spring, the Fountain Spring House, and the Woolen Mill pay tribute to early commercial endeavors.  Churches such as St. Joseph's Catholic Church and the 1st United Methodist Church stand out with the Rotunda and the Waukesha County Historical Society & Museum (formerly the Court House and county jail) as examples of religious and civic architecture.

So with all this history, what moves us forward?  For one, this artwork will likely be a hot spot for the School District of Waukesha's elementary school curriculum on local geography.  Third grade students take a bus tour of the city and this will reinforce what they learn.  Second, the team of junior artists who work on the mural on August 7th will reflect the care we take with our younger residents of all abilities, that they might contribute to the city's future in a meaningful way.  Finally, this work of art is a bridge, spanning divides of time and culture. New generations will have an artistic rendering of what generations passed have accomplished and experienced.  And a vibrant downtown emerging as an arts district can celebrate its other layers.

Families and businesses with ties to the past are encouraged to help move this project forward.  Do you know of a connection that might lead to the sponsorship of an aspect of the mural?  If so, feel free to contact Chris through the Waukesha Mural website (click on the photo header of the blog to link) or donate through Good Friend's website (type "Waukesha Mural" in the Purpose field).  Call 414-510-0385 for more information.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Your donation is now TAX-DEDUCTIBLE!

... to the extent permissible by law.  I find it amusing that nonprofit entities have to say this now, as if they have been trying to give tax advice on such matters.  So I am not an attorney and don't play one on TV, but Good Friend, Inc., is a 501(c)(3) public charity, and if you make a donation to the Waukesha Historical Mural Project via Good Friend's website,, you will get an e-receipt you can print and give to your trusted accountant who helps prepare your taxes (unless of course that helper is yourself -- then file it along with all those other goodies).

Here's how this works.  On Good Friend's website, there's a Donate button in the upper right corner of the home page.  Upon clicking there, you will be re-directed to our PayPal donor site.  Note that you DO NOT need a PayPal account to donate!  You may use the digits on your favorite plastic, where available.  This is the important part: To designate your donation for the mural project, you MUST type "Waukesha Historical Mural Project" in the Purpose field.

If you're more of a check-writing kind of person, you're welcome to make your check payable to Good Friend, Inc., and mail it Attn: Waukesha Mural, 808 Cavalier Dr., Waukesha, WI 53186.   A receipt will be issued by mail.  Checks made payable to the Waukesha Historical Mural Project are NOT tax-deductible.

This is a time sensitive issue: Only donations accepted through Good Friend, Inc., by August 7 for this project will be eligible for this tax benefit!  So please make a decision today to support this wonderful collaboration!

Monday, June 7, 2010

This is going to be BIG!

And I mean that literally.  Chris Vincent's mural is going to be HUGE.  I can't help my (almost) 9-year-old daughter make a horse on a regular sheet of paper without getting some dimension terribly wrong.  That's why I'm the "behind the scenes" lady on this collaboration.  I'll help Chris and Denise, Good Friend's co-founder and an artist in her own right, get the team of junior artists squared away, along with all the funding they need to get this project going.

Which brings up two more important points: This is going to be BIG in other ways.  First, it's a big cooperative effort.  We at Good Friend, Inc., are looking at identifying two elementary school students from each of Waukesha's 17 elementary schools to help paint the bottom leaf border.  When you consider that there are only two days of school left, and we only have seven schools' kids confirmed, you see wherein our problem lies.  Further complicating the issue is that Hillcrest, Randall, and Saratoga as we've known them will cease to function as they have this month (with Hillcrest merging into Pleasant Hill and the latter two becoming Waukesha STEM Academy buildings for the '10-'11 school year).  Still, we want this mural to be a reflection of what has been as well as an acknowledgement of where we're going.

The other BIG aspect of this project is the funding.  Chris has spent hundreds of dollars already to prepare for the kickoff.  She needs $13K in all to cover the costs associated.  To date, more than $5K has come in.  That leaves more than half that needs to be raised by July 10, when Chris is hoping to start the mural.  The really cool part is that business and/or individuals who donate $100 or more get their name in a leaf on the mural, and those who donate $500 or more get an art-quality print.

We all have an opportunity to be part of something BIG here.  Whether you're going to be a junior artist (contact Denise at 262-391-1369 for more info), a financial contributor (mail checks payable to Waukesha Historical Mural Project , c/o Waukesha State Bank, 151 E. St. Paul Ave., PO Box 648, Waukesha, WI  53187-0648; or drop them off at any Waukesha State Bank location), and/or an appreciative community member proud of Waukesha's past and excited about it's future, you don't want to miss out.  So spread the word about this blog.  It's going to be a really BIG summer!