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Bottle Cap Garland Created for Antigo Public Library
APL garland Dominic Frandrup (left), Director of the Antigo Public Library, Will Wissbroecker (center), and his mother, Carol Philips, stand beneath the plastic cap garland Wisbocker and his mother created for the library.

AVA's Student Services Director Danna Gabriel calls it, "Another fabulous suggestion from Dominic Frandrup."

The bottle cap project originated when Antigo Visual Arts partnered with the library to raise awareness of waste. The project also encourages community involvement in the arts.

Close to the garland, just inside the Clermont Street entrance to the library, there is a receptacle for community members to donate clean plastic bottle caps for AVA's bottle cap projects. Artists continue to create art projects with the caps. You can also see towers of caps hanging on the light poles downtown in the 800 & 900 blocks of 5th Avenue.

Through the cooperation and partnership of AVA, the library, Antigo Parks and Recreation Department, the Antigo Street Department, and the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Northwoods, this project has been successful, not only for the artists, but the children in the community.

Antigo Boys & Girls Club Working on Bottle Cap Projects
Antigo Boys and Girls Club 1st (top), 2nd (middle), & 3rd (bottom) grades with their bottle cap projects.

Antigo Visual Arts, Antigo Public Library, Antigo Parks and Recreation, and Antigo Street Department have all been involved in a Plastic Bottle Cap Project. There is a receptacle inside the Clermont Street entrance of the Antigo Public Library where community members collect clean plastic bottle caps for recycled art projects. The project raises awareness of waste and creates opportunities for artists and crafters in the area to create.

Recently, AVA Artists Danna Gabriel and Laura Spencer visited the Boys and Girls Club in Antigo and worked with the First through Third grades on creating plastic bottle cap columns that the group plans to display outside the building this fall.

“We plan to work with the 4th and 5th grades next on towers, and the older grades with a more technical project with the caps.” Gabriel commented. “I'm so honored to have had the opportunity to work with these incredible children. Their ability to work together and create beautiful art is something they should be proud of."

Spencer was also impressed with the effort the children put into the project. "I look forward to raising plastic waste awareness and creating more bottle cap art with club members in the near future,” she quipped.

"AVA encourages evereyone to continue to save plastic caps for our bottle cap projects. "Clean them, and drop off in the receptacle at the Library just inside the Clermont Street entrance so we can continue to work with the artists, crafters, and youth of the community," Gabriel concluded..

Paul Gregurich and Mark Beer (background) hang the first of Antigo Visual Arts murals on the Busche building, 701 Fifth Ave., downtown Antigo. AVA artists Fran Brown (left) and Camille Converse-Smith, proudly show-off the sandwich board they had placed in front of the building throughout the six weeks it took them to finish the project. Several more murals are in the planning stages. You will be seeing them in downtown Antigo soon.      Murals Brighten Downtown Antigo
   On a blustery day in late May, Mark Beer and Paul Gregurich (top) hang mural panels above the windows on the Busche building (old Gruber Hardware store) on the corner of Fifth Avenue and Superior Street, downtown Antigo.
   The panels were designed and painted by AVA artists Fran Brown and Camille Converse-Smith (left). Gregurich is also an award-winning AVA artist. The idea for a mural on the Busche building has hatched back in February when AVA artist Danna Gabriel contacted the Busches about the murals.
   "Danna and I met with them," Converse-Smith remembers, "and they liked my drawings of plants and animals - flora and fauna - of Langlade County. They also liked the light green background and the fact the murals would include a map of the main rivers in Langlade County. I used the Internet for references. Everything was drawn to scale," she continued, "on several sheets of heavy 12" x 18" paper. Each sheet represented a 4'x8' panel. We used 8 panels."
   Using the drawings as a guide, Converse-Smith, along with Brown transfered the art by hand onto MDO board panels. MDO, or Medium Density Overlay is basically weatherproof and has a very smooth surface. It was selected following the advice of Sue Martinsen who is the person incharge of the murals in and around Ashland.
   It took about six weeks for the two artists to complete panels which were created using a mixture of acrylic paints for all of the artwork. Then a special marine coating was applied as an anti graffiti protectant.

   The Busches allowed the artists to work in their building, so when the time came to install the panels they were already at the site.
   "Creating the mural was a great experience," Converse-Smith concluded. "Working with assistant artist Frances Brown was a joy. We had a lot of fun. Fran is very creative and a great partner. Overall, from beginning to end, the project exceeded my expectations."

AVA Artists Create Mural
At Sober Living Facility

   AVA Artists Mackenzie Teal and Mary Hayes work on a mural at the Sober Living Facility in Antigo. The facility was purchased jointly by the City of Antigo and Langlade County. It is being managed by North Central Health Care with Toni Kellner  supervising the start-up.
   The mural project is the brain-child of Antigo City Administrator Mark Desotell who asked Marie Benes, chair of the AVA mural committee, if AVA could paint murals on two walls of the facility.  Hayes, who is also the AVA secretary, suggested a single mural and a wall of art provided by many different AVA artists.
   The mural is based on a Carrol Lake photograph taken by Hayes' son Nathan. Coincidentally, both Teal and Hayes have camped frequently at Carrol Lake.

photos by Danna Gabriel (left) & Jim Martinsen (top)

City of Antigo and Antigo Visual Arts Downtown Mural Project
AVA Artist Brian Ponshock's mural for the Neve's building

AVA Places its First Lawn Art at the Antigo Public Library
Antigo Visual Arts (AVA) and the Antigo Public Library have started a program to raise awareness for recycling art with a large bottle cap assemblage placed at the entrance to the library Thursday. They are the brainchild of AVA members Greg Koeppel, Danna Gabriel, and Camille Converse-Smith.

"The goal of this particular project," according to project coordinator Gabriel, "is to foster community involvement by inviting area residents to save their clean plastic bottle caps for additional assemblages that can be displayed around town. We have a container at the library entrance to accept donations for future projects."

Gabriel has a Facebook page, "BottleCap Mosaics by Danna." Converse-Smith is AVA's Art in the Library coordinator. Koeppel is a native of Phlox that has years of experience creating recycled art. His work can be seen in the gardens outside his home on Highway 47. "Greg Koeppel Arts" is also on YouTube.

“This is the second AVA and Antigo Library collaboration. The Library Foundation installed a picture hanging system in 2018 to allow local artists and the middle school art show to be easily displayed at the library” said Dominic Frandrup library director. AVA artwork is changed on a quarterly basis and the Antigo Middle School art show is in the spring.

The AVA Art Gallery is located in the Langlade County Historical Society Museum. You will also find art by AVA artists in the library and the Langlade Area Senior Center. AVA is also working with Parks and Recreation Director Sarah Repp to place art along the city's Springbrook trail and other locations in the city.   additional pictures & information
View of the Lawn Art as you approach the Library View of the Lawn Art as you leave the Library
AVA Artists Danna Gabriel, Greg Koeppel, and Camille Converse-Smith create the assemblage.
You are invited to join AVA
All area artists are welcome to join AVA - If you're interested, stop by the AVA Gallery at the Langlade County Historical Museum, 404 Superior St. Antigo and pick-up an application form. Membership forms can also be downloaded here. Questions? check out our Join AVA page.

AVA membership offers all area artists several benefits. Funds generated through membership dues has allowed AVA to:

    Provide an identity to area artists
    Provide a learning experience for artists at all levels
    Host judged shows with cash awards
    Provide funds for meeting speakers, and workshops

Dues are $25 annually for an individual, $35 for a family, or $15 for a full-time student. Scholarships for full time students are available. Email AVA's Student Services Director Danna Gabriel.

AVA shows and exhibits - Judged shows are open to everyone, and offer cash awards, so artists will have an opportunity to earn back their show fees and more. Some judged shows may also include an art raffle and/or a people's choice award. AVA art exhibits feature the artwork of AVA members only. AVA offers four shows a year. The Spring, Summer & Fall shows are all judged shows, while the Holiday gift shop is open to AVA members only.

Our mission is simple . . . "We envision an arts-based community partnership in which every citizen has opportunities to explore, experience, and develop an appreciation for the visual arts in order to maximize their potential."

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