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Water skiing hodag mural coming to Hodag Park

Tom's Drawing Board Facebook

For Rhinelander artist Tom Barnett, the brick wall of a concession stand in Hodag Park is a blank canvas.

It’s one he wants to paint.

“The idea is to have a boat pulling a skier, which happens to be the hodag," Barnett says. "I’m going somewhere in between artsy, but also kid-friendly and fun to look at."

Barnett will paint the mural over the next couple of weeks in support of Rhinelander’s water ski team.

The wall mural is the latest art project to go through Rhinelander’s newly created Public Arts Commission, which was created to bring more art to public spaces.

Barnett was a big proponent of getting that commission started. Now, he’s excited to see it put to use.

“Looking at art, it brightens up your day, it makes you feel good,” he says. “Any community can benefit from having art to look it.”

Barnett wants to make Rhinelander the art capital of the Northwoods. And his vision doesn’t end with a mural in Hodag Park.

He envisions wall murals throughout the city, temporary sculptures in public parks and decorated flowerpots in downtown streets.

Erin Gottsacker worked at WXPR as a Morning Edition host and reporter from December 2020 to January 2023. During her time at the station, Erin reported on the issues that matter most in the Northwoods.
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