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Arts & Culture

Students help create Rhinelander Public Art Commission’s first project

Katie Thoresen
Addison Fish and Lilly Leonard create rain art on the sidewalks in downtown Rhinelander.

Lilly Leonard holds down a large cardboard stencil of a hodag to the sidewalk on Brown Street while Addison Fish sprays a clear solution in the openings.

“I haven’t really done something like this before,” said Fish.

Mr. Carpenters 6th grade class at James Williams Middle School has been working on the stencils for the last couple of weeks.

“I think it’s fun and just getting to hang out with each other and work on something fun,” said Fish.

When the superhydrophobic solution they sprayed through the stencil dries, you won’t be able to tell it’s on the sidewalk until it rains.

Water reveals the work created by the artists.

Katie Thoresen
Mr. Carpenter directs his student down the sidewalk to create more pieces of the rain art.

It may be a fun project for students, but it goes beyond that says Ashley McLaughlin.

“It brings more beauty to our downtown and then also when youth create projects like this, it also has that pride building component of it as well. The kids were able to engage with their downtown. Hopefully that resonates with them,” she said.

McLaughlin is with the General Federation of Women’s Clubs in Rhinelander which collaborated with the Rhinelander School District on this project.

She also manages the City of Rhinelander’s recently created Public Arts Commission. This is the first art project the commission has approved.

“It’s such an easy project and engaging with the youth is always a great thing,” said McLaughlin.

Mr. Carpenter’s class created about 20 rain art hodag’s throughout downtown Rhinelander Wednesday morning. Mr. Calhoun’s high class went through in the afternoon with their own stencils.

The art will last about 2 to 4 months, just long enough to spread a little cheer on a rainy day and build a little pride in the students.

“I think it’s cool that everyone gets to see what we do, other than school,” said Fish.

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Ashley McLaughlin
What the rain art looks like when the sidewalk is wet.

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