Eight artists, all juniors at Merrill High School, are painting a historic mural on the west wall of the Blooming Wishes building on East First Street. The project came as a result of last year’s “For the Love of Merrill” program, which brought community members together to discuss ways to make Merrill a better place to live and visit.
The project is being coordinated by Art Lersch UW-Extension Lincoln County Community Resource Development Educator, who also coordinated the “For the Love of Merrill” sessions. Merrill Area Community Foundation and Church Mutual are providing the funding. Merrill ACE Hardware is donating some of the supplies and Skipper’s provided use of their water for washing the wall.
The students volunteered through the MHS Art Department to do the 20-by-10-foot mural that will depict Merrill’s trolley, circa 1920. Merrill was one of the first cities in the nation to have a trolley service. A contest is currently being conducted to find a dog that will be shown as Merrill’s legendary “trolley dog.”
Artists involved in the project are Nicole Seidler, Mathew Ruge, Tristen Prebeg, Mckenzie Broeking, Jeza Kleinschmidt, Kendyl Pettit, Emily Wegner and Madey Heimerl.
The artists are starting with an old black and white photo, scaling it to wall mural size, adding elements to it and painting it in color. Broeking said they hope to be done by this Friday, but the weather may push completion into next week. Once the winner of the trolley dog contest is announced, the winning dog will be added to the mural in late August or early September.