Sharon Anderson, of Iola, was recently commissioned to complete a painting for the Wisconsin State Firefighters Memorial (WSFFM).
The original print titled “The Trumpet Sounded – A Call to Duty” can be seen at the Firefighters Memorial in Wisconsin Rapids. The painting depicts a waterous pumper pulled by a three-horse team and led by a Dalmatian bursting out of the old fire station. The memorial wall with the names of 198 fallen firefighters and “The Fallen Firefighter” statue appear in the clouds above as a firefighter sounds the trumpet below.
All proceeds from the sale of first edition limited prints will go toward the continual operation and care of Memorial Park, which honors all Wisconsin firefighters and those who gave the ultimate sacrifice in the line of duty. The 7.5-acre park is located along the Wisconsin River in Wisconsin Rapids.
Signed limited edition prints can be ordered from the artist by calling her at 715-445-4287. Cost is $100 for first edition prints and $125 for artist’s proof prints. Checks should be made out to the Wisconsin State Firefighters Memorial. All donations are tax-deductible.
Representatives from WSFFM contacted Anderson after seeing her artwork. They commissioned her to do an original painting they could use as a fundraiser. Some of the things they wanted included on the painting were the memorial and statue, a Dalmatian, the fire station located at WSFFM, and a firefighter sounding the trumpet.
“Combining everything they wanted in the painting was a real challenge, but it all came together,” Anderson stated. “It was probably one of my biggest challenges.”
The painting took about a year to complete. The Iola Historical Society’s (IHS’s) 1912 waterous pumper was used as a model for the firefighting apparatus and IHS president Lyle Mork was the model for the trumpeter.
Originally from Clintonville, Anderson moved to Iola in 1987. She started her career in 1979 and became a professional wildlife artist in 1989. She has received national acclaim through such organizations as Whitetails Unlimited and the National Turkey Federation, creating wildlife paintings exclusively as fundraisers for their organizations. She has also completed a series of collectable wildlife mirrors and steins, distributed nationwide by the G. Heileman Brewing Co. as a special fundraising project for wildlife.
Her artwork has graced the covers of many fine sporting magazines including Wisconsin Sportsman, Michigan Sportsman, Minnesota Sportsman, The Outdoor Journal, Musky Hunter and Fur, Fish and Game.
Her frame shop and gallery is located two miles north of Iola off State Highway 49 at N8071 Tresness Road. Gallery hours are 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday.