Members of two local Brownie troops are working with Studio 84 to create a 3D sculpture of downtown Whitewater’s Main Street that will depict the city’s past and present for the community-wide “Our Voices, Our Town Art Walk” slated for April 5 and 28.

By Dave Fidlin


While art in its many forms has long been celebrated in Whitewater, a number of community businesses and organizations are banding together in the months ahead to create a series of events. The collaborative effort is the largest in scale in recent history.

The first event, a workshop known as Paint the Town, will be held Saturday at Studio 84. Participants can bring in a photo of a Whitewater building or landscape and paint a portrait of the image.

Paint the Town is a primer for what will become a busy art month in April. Five organizations – including nonprofit groups and for-profit businesses – are teaming up to provide a series of events aimed at depicting Whitewater’s past, present and future.

Deborah Blackwell, founder and director of Studio 84, said the collaborative events were an outgrowth of discussions between different groups last fall. She said the collaboration honors the Big Read events coordinated by the Young Auditorium, which will be centered on Thornton Wilder’s “Our Town.”

Preliminary interest had been expressed in holding at least one exhibition.

“All of a sudden, all of these people came together,” Blackwell said. “It just happened like that.”

The Whitewater Historical Society’s Depot Museum, Hamilton House Bed and Breakfast, The SweetSpot, Studio 84 and the Whitewater Art Alliance’s Cultural Arts Center are banding together to present a joint effort in April known as “Our Voices, Our Town, Art Walk.”

“There’s been so much collaboration between different groups in Whitewater, and this is the result of it,” Blackwell said.

The shows kick off Friday, April 5 and concludes Sunday, April 28. As part of the art walk, the five organizations will host a series of exhibitions and will include the following themed showings:

· “A Day in Whitewater” at the Cultural Arts Center, 402 W. Main St.

· “Artists of Whitewater” at Hamilton House, 328 W. Main St.

· “Our Town: Past and Present” at Studio 84, 121 W. Center St.

· “Visions of the Past” at the Depot Museum, 301 W. Whitewater St.

· “Voices of the Future” at SweetSpot, 226 W. Whitewater St.

A number of community organizers have put significant planning into this year’s art walk and have worked toward giving residents an avenue to express their artistic talents through the medium they know best.

Alan Luckett, media services manager with Whitewater Community TV, is among the organizers. Luckett has been giving residents an opportunity to share their stories of the city through a weekly digital storytelling class he has held at the Starin Park Community Building.

Luckett’s class came to fruition after a grant from the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater and the National Endowment of the Arts.

For his part, Luckett is aiming to bring the past alive with cutting-edge 21st Century technology. Some of the digital videos produced will provide information on the history of Whitewater’s buildings, and there will be an interactive feature for people with Smart Phones.

Residents can still submit materials to most of the five exhibits included in the upcoming art walk. The Whitewater Arts Alliance, in particular, is seeking photo submissions for its “A Day in Whitewater” exhibit.

Submissions can be dropped off at the alliance’s Cultural Arts Center from Friday, March 8 to Sunday, March 24. Full details are available on the organization’s website,

While this year’s event has yet to take place, organizers are already setting their sights on next year. The goal is to make the event even more grandiose in 2014.

“We’ll see how it goes from here,” Luckett said. “We’ll have to see what degree we can take this in the future.”

Stay current

Up-to-date details on the Whitewater Art Walk are available on a Facebook page devoted to the event. It can be accessed at



WHAT: Paint the Town workshop; participants can bring in a photo of a Whitewater building or landscape and paint a portrait of the image.

WHEN: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, March 2

WHERE: Studio 84, 121 W. Center St.

COST: $10

INFO: visit, call (262) 812-7560 or email



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