A few new faces will soon show up in Reedsburg City Park.
Texas-based artist Austen Weymueller is designing and building several 15-foot tall cowboy statues that will grace the park during the Reedikulus Art Crawl on July 29.
The Art Crawl, scheduled from 5-9 p.m., will be held in conjunction with Reedikulus Days. Maps are available now at the Blue Heron, 170 E. Main St., from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday.
Weymueller said they will remain on display through Fermentation Fest, which is scheduled Oct. 1-9 in Reedsburg.
The artist has trekked across the country for her craft and family. She said she lived in Portland for about 8 years but now travels back and forth between Wisconsin and Texas because she has relatives in both states.
She said she first visited Reedsburg when she accepted a residency with the Wormfarm Institute, the organization that hosts Fermentation Fest. Weymueller said she stuck around for the festival and plans to see this year’s event as well.
Weymueller said she chose cowboys because they’ve been her focus for the last 6 months. Her creations will be constructed from chicken wire, cement, bases and assorted other materials. Because of their size they will need to be assembled in pieces over the next few days.
She said it entails “a lot of heavy, sweaty work,” and has been putting in 13-hour days.
The final phase includes painting and sealing, and volunteers are welcome to stop out and help.
She added that the cowboys will be painted white to make them more visible within the park. She said the sculptures will appear to be interacting with trees and other features.
The exhibit will be named To Re-Wild, which pays tribute to the cowboy spirit. She said cowboys were known for their adventurous, almost wild streaks. They never settled for too long before moving on to the next drive, next homestead or next adventure.
Weymueller’s sculptures attempt to capture that energy.
“I find them to be a really spectacular image,” she said.
Weymueller is the only commissioned artist on the Art Crawl, said Joann Mundth Douglas, founder and director of Reedsburg ArtsLink, which organizes the walk. She said all other artists volunteered.
Mundth Douglas said Weymueller’s appearance was funded by grants. She completed and application process and was selected by a jury.
She added that she worked with Wormfarm Institute in the past, and that’s how she discovered Weymueller.
Mundth Douglas said artists working in numerous media will display their craft at locations around Reedsburg, with the final stop being City Park. She said ArtsLink chose City Park as the finale due to its proximity to downtown, which is the focal point of Reedikulus Days.
Mundth Douglas added that she’s grateful to the City of Reedsburg and the Reedsburg Revitalization Organization, the force behind Reedikulus Days. Even though the Art Walk is a separate event, the RRO allows ArtsLink to include the Reedikulus name to further bolster tourism. Both events run parallel to each other with the intent to draw traffic to the downtown.
For more information on how to volunteer to paint the sculptures contact Weymueller at firstname.lastname@example.org or (414) 902-3109.
For further details on Weymueller’s work visit her website at www.austencamille.com.