A Little Time and a Keyboard: Creativity Flourishes at Janesville's Art Infusion

Wednesday, September 16, 2020

Creativity Flourishes at Janesville's Art Infusion

Creativity Flourishes at Janesville's Art Infusion

Creativity Flourishes at Janesville's Art Infusion

** Disclosure: Thank you to the Janesville Area Convention & Visitors Bureau for hosting us and accommodating our visit. All opinions are 100% my own.

Creativity swirled around us as we explored Janesville during the annual art celebration Art Infusion! With five new murals added to Janesville's downtown landscape right before our eyes, art certainly was infused into the city. In addition to the murals, amazing chalk artists competed in a chalk drawing competition. Beloit Janesville Symphony Orchestra added musical charm to the event one afternoon. The weekend truly proved to be an art explosion!

Votes for Women  by Artist Stephanie Ng. Image credit Nicodemas Nimmo of Full Spectrum Photography.

Chalk art is fleeting, so the opportunity to see chalk creations at Art Infusion was a splendid one-of-a-kind opportunity. Throughout our stay, we witnessed chalk artists hard at work at their craft. Votes for Women  by Milwaukee Artist Stephanie Ng honored the 100th anniversary of the 19th amendment giving women the right to vote by featuring three Wisconsin suffragettes: Frances Willard, Lavinia Goodell and Theodora Winton. Such a powerful mural!

Lovely succulent chalk drawing at Art Infusion.
Lovely succulent chalk drawing at Art Infusion.

Chalk artists navigated bouts of rain yet still crafted magnificently intricate designs! I am totally amazed by these artists. I am not sure that I would have been able to meet the challenge of the rain storms!

Vibrant and adorable duck chalk drawing!
Vibrant and adorable duck chalk drawing!

Watching New Murals Emerge

Art Infusion launched as an annual festival of the arts in 2011. Since then, Art Infusion has sought to weave more art experiences into the celebration. This year's live mural painting represents a new addition that not only added fantastic works of imagination and inspiration to downtown Janesville but also amazed visitors with a behind-the-scenes look at invention in process.

Artist Jeff Henriquez in action creating a stunning  new  mural in Janesville.
Artist Jeff Henriquez in action creating a stunning  new  mural in Janesville.

The first mural we discovered is currently still being crafted by full-time artist Jeff Henriquez. Above, take a peek at the creation developing during our visit. I marveled at how Henriquez plotted his design. Over the course of our visit, we observed how he pieced together the elements of his mural. I look forward to returning to see the finished artwork!

Both stunning and powerful, the Black Hawk Mural in Janesville is a must see.
Both stunning and powerful, Henriquez's Black Hawk Mural in Janesville is a must see.

Henriquez also crafted Janesville's magnificent Black Hawk Mural in 2019. Black Hawk was a prominent leader and warrior of the Sauk American Indian tribe in what is now Wisconsin, Illinois and Iowa. A Native American ceremony marked completion of the mural. A visit to the remarkable Black Hawk Mural is a must in Janesville! 


Festive and fun "Two Horses" Jessie Willyerd and Tim Cahill delights all.
Festive and fun Two Horses Mural Jessie Willyerd and Tim Cahill delights all.

Each piece unique and awe-inspiring, we reveled in the magic unfolding before us. The Two Horses Mural has a special story and was crafted in honor of the local shop Carousel Consignments by Janesville's Craig High School 2003 graduates Jessie Willyerd and Tim Cahill. The charming piece will certainly lift spirits year round.

"Waves of Giving" by Jaime Brown and Karim Jabbari consists of a fusion of symbols representing Janesville.
The Waves of Giving Mural by Jaime Brown and Karim Jabbari consists of a fusion of symbols representing Janesville.

The Waves of Giving Mural immediately stands out while strolling around Janesville. Artists Jaime Brown and Karim Jabbari crafted the mural representing the heartbeat and story of Janesville. The arrows represent the forward thinking of the city while the zigzags represent the river running through. The diamond-filled blade of wheat represents early Janesville establishing itself as an agricultural community. The horizontal bars at the bottom reflect the city's logging past while the vertical bars represent the railroad. The figure represents a woman, the heartbeat of the home, also reflecting upon families as the heartbeat of the city. The piece is pretty interesting and really blends Janesville into one.

David Mark Zimmerman working on the Dog Bone Mural in Janesville.
David Mark Zimmerman working on the Dog Bone Mural in Janesville.

We watched Dog Bone Mural artist David Mark Zimmerman aka Bigshot Robot create the fabulous and vibrant Dog Bone Mural! The spirited whimsy of Dog Bone definitely invites visitors to  smile and click a fun selfie! I love how this mural wraps around a building. Such a fun piece!

David Mark Zimmerman with his mural Blue Dog.  Image credit Nicodemas Nimmo of Full Spectrum Photography.
David Mark Zimmerman with his mural Dog Bone.  Image credit Nicodemas Nimmo of Full Spectrum Photography.

The Origami Birds Mural outside of the Lark has a special meaning to me. Years ago when my daughter's piano teacher was suffering from cancer, a student dazzled her by creating as many paper swans as she could. She had huge jars full of the brilliant creations! Art connects to each of us in unique ways. It conveys and draws out unexpected emotions as this mural did for me. Origami Birds by Stephanie Krellwitz displays a delicate balance evoking a certain airiness. The beautiful piece is even more meaningful as the Lark sports paper cranes in its window!

Origami Birds by Stephanie Krellwitz awes with a unique delicate balance portrayed with paint.
Origami Birds by Stephanie Krellwitz awes with a uniquely delicate balance portrayed with paint.

Revel in Creative Wonderment Exploring Janesville's Public Art

While this year's Art Infusion has concluded, Janesville welcomes visitors to explore public art all year round. Using the Selfie Scavenger Hunt, visitors can easily locate murals, sculptures, monuments and plaques throughout Janesville. Among my all time favorites is the Janesville mural featuring so many elements of Janesville life and history. This popular selfie spot is known as the Doty Mill Alley Janesville Mural. How can one not stop for for a picture with this spectacular mural?

Selfie fun at the Doty Mill Alley Janesville Mural.
Selfie fun at the Doty Mill Alley Janesville Mural.

With this year marking the 100th anniversary of the 19th amendment giving women the right to vote, viewing the Janesville's Women's History Mural was particularly meaningful. The mural recognizes the important contributions of women to Janesville. I liked the spot of this mural and was able to step away to frame it with trees.

Marking the 100th anniversary of the 19th amendment giving women the right to vote, viewing Women's History Mural is particularly meaningful.
 Viewing Women's History Mural was particularly meaningful while marking the 100th anniversary of the 19th amendment giving women the right to vote.

Additional murals, monuments, sculptures and more dot Janesville making a tour of the city's public art a wonderful creative adventure. While discovering art throughout the city, we learned more about the history and fabric of Janesville. Additionally, touring public art can be done safely and at a social distance during these times. Touring public art adds a meaningful experience to a Janesville getaway. We were charmed by the art Janesville has spread throughout!

For more on Janesville, see my post: A Weekend Full of Art, History, Nature and Foodie Discoveries in Janesville, WI: A Complete Getaway for Couples 


Art Infusion and Exploring  Public Art  in Janesville, Wisconsin


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