Waukesha Plan Commission approves revised Carroll mural

Jeff Fortin
The new Carroll University mural, the last in the 19 Waukesha GuitarTown project summer series, will be painted on the Main Street Plaza building, 234 W. Main St. It joins two others already on that building.
Published on: 8/20/2013

The final mural in Waukesha's summer-long GuitarTown project series was given the go-ahead last week.

The mural, which represents Carroll University, joins the 13 previously approved murals that were painted on downtown buildings two weeks ago as part of the second phase of the mural project.

The mural was the only one that was not approved at a July 24 Plan Commission meeting, because Commissioners said it didn't represent Carroll's rich history.

However, the Plan Commission liked the revisions the Carroll University artist team provided.

The new mural shows a black-and-white montage from the past on the left side that depicts the year, 1846, Carroll (formerly College) was established.

The mural then transitions to a modern, brighter look with a Carroll building and logo on the right side, along with students and the Carroll mascot. It also has the statement "We are Pioneers of Note" at the top.

"The mural now touches more on the history and has a lot more light than the original," said Kerry Mackay, the project spokesman. "It's still going to be a very difficult mural to put together."

Community Development Specialist Jeff Fortin said the Public Art Committee, which also approved it, thought it was "too busy."

Three of the four commissioners then approved the mural.

This mural will be painted on the Main Street Plaza Building, 234 W. Main St. It joins two others that were painted during the Aug. 3 art crawl weekend.

Originally, only two were planned at that location (the Carroll mural and one sponsored by ProHealth Care), but the "Building GuitarTown" mural sponsored by Spancrete that was supposed to be at Mainstream Bar & Grill, 404 W. Main St., switched to this location after an agreement couldn't be reached with the Mainstream owner.

Mackay said 12 of the 13 murals are finished with the mural at Gallery One, 507 Broadway, in the works.

Unlike murals that were painted on panels, the mural at Gallery One is being painted across an entire wall. Mackay said the artist was working 14 hours a day to get that mural finished.

The recent 14 murals make for 19 total murals painted this summer.

Five, representing music legend and Waukesha native Les Paul, were painted during the Waukesha GuitarTown festivities in June.

"We're doing what we promised we'd do," Mackay said, "and our artists are making it happen."