Approximately 35 signpainters visited Chippewa Falls, WI for the
Chippewa Brush Bash 2, which Kurt Gaber, owner of Chippewa Falls based
Gaber Signs, and Chippewa Falls Main Street Inc. co-hosted on August
4th, 5th and 6th. The meet's centerpiece focused on revitalizing a
courtyard in downtown Chippewa Falls that had been a vacant lot before
the city purchased the property and landscaped it and installed some
brick pavers in 2005. Several man hours were spent prepping the walls
from their dubious mortar spattered joints into a workable surface for
To beautify the area, Gaber and his team, which included project leaders
Dale Manor, owner of Studio in the Sky Mural Painting (Menomonie, WI),
Mattew Rolli, operator of Adcraft Custom Signs (Hudson, WI), Mike Meyer
(Mazeppa, MN) and Dave Petri from Flying Peach Signs (Green Bay, Wi)
designed a theme of eight historic murals that commemorate Chippewa
Falls’ history. We began with black-and-white designs for the oldest
images, and then progressed to sepia tones in the imagery before
progressing into color for modern depictions. Known as Harmony
Courtyard, a tragic event spurred its name. Last October, on the day
before a scheduled meeting with planning officials, the Chippewa Falls
High School band director, his wife, granddaughter, the bus driver and a
student band teacher died in a bus / semi accident. Appropriately, the
Main Street Design committee chose the name unanimously, and Gaber
worked with Dale Manor and developed a vibrant mural that celebrates the
Several other wall projects included renditions of pictorials that
featured local Chevrolet, Harley Davidson and Studebaker dealerships, as
well as a mural replicating a 1916 poster of “Buffalo Bill” Cody’s visit
to the Chippewa Falls fairgrounds. Steve and Dawn Lane from Toronto,
Canada and Carole Bersin were the mainstays on the Buffalo Bill project.
Another component of the Brush Bash’s wall projects graces a black-bear
exhibit at Irvine Park. Andy and Lauri Goretski, proprietors of Custom
Murals & Signs (Tomahawk, Wi) developed a faux-rock mural that adds a
more natural look to the concrete wall that envelops the viewing area.
The Chippewa Woolen mural and Mt. Cabin Soda murals depicted now defunt
business from the early 1900's in downtown Chippewa Falls.
Several local sponsors helped with the meet by providing meals for the
painters, free camping, refreshments during the mural painting and
entertainment as well. The entire community was very supportive of the
sign painters and the mural projects, the same as they were at the first
meet held here in 2002. We had painters from Toronto, Canada, Minnesota,
Iowa and from around the entire state of Wisconsin.
The meet had a very aggressive agenda, and there were a few projects
left incomplete, but Dale Manor and Kurt Gaber and a few others put in
some overtime and finished up the rest of the projects. A special thanks
to Dale Manor for his superb talent in helping with some of the mural
concepts before the meet and his hard work during and after the meet.
The 2006 Brush Bash wouldn't have been a smash hit without Dale!
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