GREEN BAY, Wis. (WFRV) – If you look closely, art is all around us, especially here in Northeast Wisconsin.
Beau Thomas, artist and graphic designer, is leaving his mark around Green Bay one mural at a time.
Thomas, a former skateboarder, would frequently visit different skate parks around town, and that was his first introduction to the world of street art.
“Going to the skate park I would see graffiti on the wall. Skateboarding graphics are a huge subculture of street art, so graffiti was on my t-shirts and skateboards. Other people in town doing it really influenced me to pick up a can.”
Now, Thomas has turned his favorite childhood hobby into a full blown business, Trackside Design.
“My big turning point with my business was actually when I got in trouble. I was about 21-years-old and went to court for graffiti art.”
After this incident, Thomas’ college professor assigned him the task of running a business, and he decided to take it seriously.
Since then, Thomas has learned operating a business is no easy venture.
“It’s definitely tough. I’m learning as I go, kind of adjusting my policies and practices.”
If you were wondering, Thomas paints year round.
“Wisconsin weather can be tough. I’m usually painting from April through October. There are a few months I just have to stay inside and work on indoor projects.”
Thomas isn’t limiting his work to Green Bay–he’s already taking his talents out of state in Iowa, Miami, and Los Angeles.
“Travelling like that is really cool to leave your mark on a new place and experience a new city.”
Thomas’ latest project is right here in Green Bay.
The Astor Neighborhood Association (ANA) and Green Bay’s neighborhoods received a grant for a mural on the east side of the Monroe and Mason underpass. Thomas designed the mural, calling it the “Foxtrot.” It features a large “Welcome to Astor” greeting with a fox walking towards the neighborhood. The design highlights the name and Astor brand, references local wildlife, the Fox River, and the fur trade. The mural is expected to be finished soon.
Thomas’ work has been on display at the Neville Public Museum and UWGB’s Lawton Gallery. Thomas has painted about 150 murals, but one place he still hasn’t picked up a paintbrush is at Lambeau Field.
“I want to paint at Lambeau Field. I’ve been a lifelong Green Bay resident. We’ve got family seats on the first row in the end zone.”
If you ever happen to see Thomas while you’re out, don’t hesitate to say hello. He enjoys watching the moment happen when someone realizes he’s the artist behind many of the murals around town.
“It’s fun when you get to watch that moment happen and see somebody recognize you.”