Port to receive another coat of paint this year

Students get to work on retaining wall; three other murals planned for city as part of Paint on Port initiative

RETIRED ART TEACHER Sherri Kultgen, the lead artist for Port Washington’s Community Wall project, held a rendering showing what the retaining wall just north of the Port Police Station will look like when it is completed. Press file photo
Ozaukee Press staff

PORT WASHINGTON - Port Washington is getting a lot more colorful.

Not only are students in the Port Washington-Saukville School District and St. John XXIII Catholic School working on their mural for Port Main Street’s Paint on Port program, but plans for three other murals in the city are being finalized in preparation for Paint Week from June 21 to 28.

Those murals will be on the north end of the building at 1000 N. Wisconsin St., across from Dollar General, the wall on the southeast end of Duluth Trading Co. and the pump house in front of the Newport Shores building.

The students’ art will be this year’s Community Wall and grace 1,000 feet of the retaining wall on Jackson Street west of Franklin Street. It is a landscape scene titled “Branching Out.”

Students have been working on the mural for some time, Paint on Port Project Manager Eileen Grace said. Every Wednesday through mid-June, weather permitting, students are on site to work on the scene.

When the painting is done, animals created by students in their classrooms will be installed, with a mosaic tree added in mid to late June, Grace said. Adults will grout it after it’s installed, she said.

“Our goal is to have it all completed by the 28th of June,” she said. “It’s really beautiful.”

The wall, created with the help of lead artist Sherri Kultgen, a retired Thomas Jefferson Middle School art teacher, will be dedicated on Saturday, June 29.

“The kids can come and show mom and dad the work they put in,” Grace said. “The schools were great to support us and make this happen.”

Last year’s three murals followed the theme of the flora and fauna of the area.

“This year it’s a little of the same, but it’s focused more on the lake, at least for two of the murals,” Grace said.

The exceptions are the student’s work and the pump house at Newport Shores, which will follow a historical theme, she said, leading into the 2025 project that will focus on history.

The pump house mural, which will wrap around all four sides of the structure, will be created by students from the Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design.

This year’s Paint on Port will also have a bit of an international theme. Grace said the Wisconsin Street mural will be done by an artist from Australia and the Duluth Trading Co. wall will be painted by an artist from Mexico.

The international theme wasn’t “intentional. It just happened that way,” Grace said, noting the design committee reviewed designs submitted by artists from last year as well as a small group of new submittals.

The Duluth Trading Co. mural will have another unique touch. The mural, on a 12-by-16-foot wall, will feature an augmented reality piece, Grace said.

After the wall is completed, a QR code will be installed that will create an interactive experience that will show aspects of the mural moving.

Paint on Port Week will kick off with music at Heart of the Harbor on June 20 and end on June 29 with a street festival and dedication of the community mural.

Artists will be working on their pieces throughout the week, and there will also be a number of other activities, such as paint-and-sip events, art-inspired food and drink specials at downtown restaurants and sidewalk sales.

This is the second year of the three-year Paint on Port program, sponsored by Port Main Street and the City of Port.


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Ozaukee Press

Wisconsin’s largest paid circulation community weekly newspaper. Serving Port Washington, Saukville, Grafton, Fredonia, Belgium, as well as Ozaukee County government. Locally owned and printed in Port Washington, Wisconsin.

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