We found beauty on both sides of the river path during an excellent Sunday walk yesterday, so we breathed in some good clean air and thought, once again, how lucky we are to be living here.
We chatted about what a good sign of health it was to see pelicans return to the Fox River, then turned the corner and found artist Chad Brady working on a piece of public art that celebrated the same.
I’d seen Brad’s piece develop over the fall as I jogged past it on my morning runs. He took a break during winter when it was too cold to paint outside, and returned now to complete the project.
The piece winds along the Fox River Trail from Ole Oneida halfway to the Lawe Street Locks Tender House, and sends an optimistic message about river life and all the species of birds that flourish there.
“Ducks, Geese, Eagles, Pelicans…I didn’t want to leave anyone out,” Brady said.
Brady, a professional muralist who moved to the area in 2009 “to pursue his two muses, the woods and a woman,” has been a strong advocate for public art in the area. He has both painted murals and worked with people to create public art. Last year, he helped students develop a three-story mural at Columbus Elementary that honored the Wisconsin woods.
Just as a cleaner river has brought more life (both fleshed and feathered) to the area, so too has public art added depth and beauty. Blank walls become lively messages of hope, friendship, beauty and joy.
We appreciated the opportunity to catch Brady at work, to thank him for his contribution to the area art scene and to add another reason to an extremely long checklist of why we enjoy living here in the Fox Cities.