Lisa Curry, Cali Stolpman, Maddi Holt, Syd Bents and artist TetraPAKMAN work on an installation at Mill Pond Park in Osceola.

The Osceola Main Street Organization hosted Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation’s (WEDC) spring Main Street Workshop on Public Art, Design, & Placemaking at the Discovery Center. Osceola was one of three statewide locations selected based on the town’s ability to complement local arts activities. The workshop is intended to help invigorate and inspire residents as the community embarks on their Downtown Streetscape Planning process. The workshop brought together a broad spectrum of local business owners, community leaders, arts professionals as well as a public artist, a filmmaker, a few landscape architects, and arts administrators for the day. They helped apply their talent and expertise to envisioning opportunities to incorporate more public art in Osceola.

“I’m so grateful to WEDC for choosing Osceola to hold the public art and placemaking workshop this year. It was a fun and inspirational day,” said Osceola Main Street and Chamber Director, Germaine Ross. “This workshop provided a deeper understanding of the public art planning process and a vision that helps guide our current Downtown Streetscape Planning process. We look forward to including more residents and stakeholders in the future- working together to create an even better place people want to be.”

Village Trustee Deb Rose said, “I see today as a spring board to thinking about how we honor our past and plan for our future.” 

She went on to say, “Incorporating public art as part of our Downtown Streetscape Planning Process will broaden the impact of our improvement projects and help create a welcoming destination for our residents and tourists alike.”

Artist TetraPAKMAN, a Mexican-born artist who has had an international career and now resides in Wisconsin, is one of the team members who visited Osceola for the workshop. He has created a purely temporary public art piece in Mill Pond Park intended to grab attention and inspire. The piece celebrates Osceola as as “a cool little river town.”  Participant’s ideas about possible locations for public art, what value the work should convey, who the stakeholders are, all helped guide the artists and designers as they worked to solve design problems and illustrate new ideas and artistic visions for Osceola.

The design teams focused on two predetermined site opportunities — The area around the Mill Pond Park Restrooms at N Cascade and First Avenue and the area around the new Osceola Discovery Center at 310 Chieftain St.

 Participants studied these sites, contributed sketches, inspirational images, and written ideas for these highly public locations. The workshop was presented by Arts Administrators Karin Wolf Meri Rose Ekberg, & Debra Alleyne. The primary goal of the workshop was to create an actionable, community-driven, artist-centered public placemaking plan in just one day demonstrating a process that the community can use as a model for future initiatives.

 Community members are welcome to stop by the Mill Pond Park in the next few days to see the result of the temporary public art project.

 A short video documenting the day’s activities, produced by video artist Aaron Granat, will be available through the Osceola Chamber & Wisconsin Main Street by the end of June. 

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