Ken DeWaard Fine Art



About the Artist



Ken DeWaard


Temple Theatre Mural Project 2005-2007 Complete

Unveiling celebration of murals will be held on

July 8, 2007 Open to the public at 6:00 pm


At the May board meeting ARTT directors voted unanimously to award Ken De Waard the contract to paint eight murals to adorn the Temple Theatre lobby. Each mural, depicting a significant scene in Vernon County, will be painted on archival quality canvas and attached to alternating panels the length of the lobby. De Waard is currently sketching and creating preliminary small oil paintings to be approved by the ARTT Mural Committee. After approval he will paint the large murals needed to fill the already framed panels. De Waard is a nationally known artist who now makes his home in rural Viroqua. After receiving his Bachelor of Arts with honors, Ken began working in a commercial art studio in Chicago. He continued his studies at the American Academy of Art, where he was mentored by nationally recognized watercolorist Irving Shapiro. Upon Shapiro's recommendation he joined the acclaimed Palette and Chisel Academy of Fine Art, where he began studying with Scott Burdick as well as Dan Gerhartz. It is here that Ken adopted his direct and pure approach as well as his bravura brush style that he achieves by painting from life. Stongly inspired by John Singer Sargent and other master impressionists, De Waard's goal in his paintings is to depict the excitement and passion he feels while capturing the fleeting effects of light as well as color nuances and harmonies. Ken and his family moved to Viroqua because the natural beauty of the driftless region gives him lots of subject matter for his paintings. His works are currently in galleries across the nation, including galleries in Chicago; Taos, New Mexico; Minneapolis; Germanton, North Carolina; Greenville, Deleware; as well as several galleries in Wisconsin. He has received many awards for his work, including Best of Show in the Odin Gallery's 2003 competition. The Temple Theatre lobby was adorned with murals painted by Odin Oyen when it was built in 1922. Oyen's murals currently may be seen in the Masonic Lodge above the theatre and in the Vernon County Courthouse. The theatre murals as well as other Classical Revival decorations vanished in the 1930's when the interior was changed to reflect the then popular Art Deco style interior design. ARTT's restoration project completed in 2002 returned the theatre to its original Classical Revival décor. The orignal murals depicted scenes featuring the classical muses. ARTT's thorough research was unable to find any pictures of the the murals or descriptions that help in recreating them. Thus attempting to copy Oyen's subject matter was impossible. The ARTT directors decided to commission murals that would serve as a legacy of the restoration and the theatre mission to serve as a cultural and civic center for our surrounding communities. A mural committee was formed, chaired by Fred Nelson. Other members include Karen Hankee, Pat Martin, Paula Menn, and Sharon Stoleson. The committee searched for an artist whose work would meet the high standards they felt were important for murals that will be a significant part of the theatre décor and be viewed by theatre patrons for at least fifty or more years. The committee also concluded that the subject matter should reflect scenes around Vernon County and pay tribute to the beauty and heritage of our rural area. De Waard was chosen by the committee and recommended to the Board of Directors. He met with the board in a special session held in the theatre lobby where he displayed samples of his work and computer illustrations of how the finished lobby will look. The mural contract was signed at the regular May board meeting. De Waard estimates the project will take two years. When two murals are completed, they will be adhered with acid-free glue to the framed panels opposite from each other. This process will be continued until all eight murals are completed. The mural committee is currently arranging sponsors for each of the murals. Several area businesses and individuals have already commtted to sponsorship. A placque with the sponsor's name will be installed with each mural. All eight mural sponsors will be announced when ARTT has received binding commitments. Article was written by Sharon Stoleson.

S 4750 Sidie Hollow Rd. Viroqua, WI. 54665

 Harness Racing Mural

 Snowflake Ski Jump

 Monument Rock Mural

 Tobacco 3 Chimney Mural

 Kickapoo Reserve Mural

 Dairy Contour Mural

 Mississippi Mural

 Round Barn Mural

 Historic Fortney Hotel Mural

 Temple Theatre Web Site


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