More public art is coming to De Pere’s downtown

Local News

DE PERE, Wis. (WFRV) A call for artists to create public art for De Pere has been heard and soon artistic benches and unique sculptures will grace the city’s downtown district.

Tina Quigley says a movement is underway in downtown De Pere, to add pieces of public art to make this district a destination.

“Art and culture activity and elements really help define a community,” said Quigley, the executive director of Definitely De Pere.

In March Definitely De Pere put out a call to artists for submissions for its “Art Bench Project” with a goal of funding the creation and placement of 6 to 10 benches along George Street and Main Avenue in the downtown.

“It needs to be comfortable, but also needs to stand on its own as a public art display,” said Quigley.

Since that call went out 30 submissions have been received.

“We’re seeing artists from across the country, multiple state from coast to coast, which is really exciting,” Quigley said.

“It creates a feeling within the community, that we think will support the economic development downtown,” said Larry Delo, city administrator for De Pere.

Delo says De Pere is investing $30,000 in the effort because it fits the city’s masterplan for streetscaping in downtown and creating a cultural district.

“Our goal is obviously to have amenities that people both enjoy visually and physically throughout the downtown,” Delo said.

“The downtowns that do have really vibrant public spaces, they tend to do better economically,” Quigley added.

Last year, the city working with Quigley, had five murals painted in downtown. Now it is benches and a sculpture walk come summer. Public art projects further enhancing De Pere’s downtown.

Bench selections should be made by mid-June with installation in September.

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