You are beautiful, Appleton

People who care about art, care. This thought occurred to me late Wednesday afternoon as I took my camera for a little stroll through Downtown Appleton.

I wanted to document all the public art projects springing up through the city, and I saw plenty. You are beautiful, Appleton, and your splendor flows from within.

I saw a kind woman helping an elderly man to his car. A jolly bus driver sporting a Clay Matthews jersey struck a pose when he saw my camera. A grandma, mom and little girl crossing Houdini Plaza delighted in the art work they spotted there, and urged me to take a look.

Someone took the time to paint the hydrangeas in front of the Appleton Center. Student artists created wraps for all 16 traffic boxes along College Avenue.

Well-tended flower boxes still bloom, and yarn art adds even more color to the display. Big, bright murals cover whole walls and bring life to the cool old buildings standing there.

Anyone can dress up a street for a festival or two, and Appleton does a nice job of that. But, the real test of a city is the way it looks on an ordinary Wednesday afternoon and, if I may say so myself, Appleton is looking sharp.

I loved these wraps, designed by area students.
Downtown shopkeepers take the time to make the back of their buildings look as beautiful as the front.
You can see both sides of this beautiful floral display, and your friendly photographer, in this reflection.
A beautiful nod to Appleton’s Hmong community.
Magic hydrangeas in Houdini Plaza.
And, speaking of Houdini, this Houdini-themed lion has been maintained since the Lion King’s Wisconsin premier, right here in Appleton.
The city looks pretty sweet at night too.
Downtown Appleton is open for business.
This bus driver and Clay Matthews fan vogued a little when he saw me.
How cool is this mural, a nod to the Fox Cities paper industry?
I kind of want to live in this cool apartment.
A European tableau (and I liked the red umbrellas).
The river front development is coming along nicely.
Some of the world’s greatest authors and artists decorate this traffic control box.
A little fresh wall art makes cool old buildings look even spiffier.
Sometimes, you can find the beautiful right in your own downtown.
The yarn art makes the hearty floral displays even more colorful.


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