Art students recently gave the front desk of the Iola-Scandinavia Community Fitness & Aquatic Center a facelift by painting a mural along its front.
“This project came about because part of my vision for the facility is to be as welcoming as it can,” said Tim Welch the center’ new director. “I knew that Tony Holz was a great artist and when we spoke during the late summer, he was excited to give it a try. Tony put together some digital graphics and the idea was his to develop.”
“Tony is a serious art student who plans to attend the Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design next year,” Iola-Scandinavia High School art teacher Peggy Olsen said. “His design abilities are excellent and this is his original work.”
Holz and Art Crew members Hana Buttles, Shianna Linjer, Emily Wogsland and Amelia Weber painted the mural.
“I like to be able to communicate a message visually,” Holz said. “We are an elite group and we want people to see just what we can do.”
“We want to get Art Crew and art students’ work out for people to see,” Weber said.
Art Crew is part of enrichment opportunities for artists and some are unable to fit art classes in their busy academic schedules.
According to Olsen, the Art Crew has evolved over the past year into an organization of collaborators who meet Tuesdays after school to create art to showcase in local shows and a team that competes in the Visual Arts Classic Competition, a regional and statewide art competition.
“I am excited for these students got to showcase their talents in a public space,” Olsen said. “A goal of ours for the upcoming year is to take art out of the art room and feature it publicly in our community and state. This is a great first step toward that goal.
“Engaging the community in art is important because public art affects all of us,” she added. “It inspires us to create and it enriches our lives. Art has a way of connecting people together in profound ways. It enriches our spirit, our lives and our community.”
“It is important to me that I always reach out to all students, not just student-athletes,” Welch said. “When we can have participation from many different individuals from the high school, it is something all students can take pride in. The Art Crew members really are proud of what they accomplished. They have tremendous ability.
“The work they did is awesome,” he said. “Patrons have stopped to look at it and enjoy that there is some great images depicting some of the various sports that individuals can participate in at the ISCFAC and the Iola-Scandinavia School District.”
The artists are also proud of the project.
“We hope to do more projects of this type in the future,” Buttles said.
“It brightens the community,” Linjer said. “I am proud that I had this opportunity.”