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Oxbow Hotel artist-in-residency mural installation begins in downtown Eau Claire

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In collaboration with The Oxbow Hotel’s Artist in Residence Program, Pablo Group is pleased to announce that within the month, a new mural will be installed on the Graham Avenue side of the Fire House bar in downtown Eau Claire.

The landscape design created by Wisconsin artist Sylvia Annelise Hecht is titled Sanctuary, and was directly inspired by the city, says Hecht: “The Chippewa River and its ecology, as well as the design motifs and colors found in downtown Eau Claire, all influenced the mural design that I created. I believe that art should be an extension and expansion of life itself, and that design should always be in harmony with its setting.”

Sylvia Annelise Hecht is a multidisciplinary visual artist who is passionate about exploration of the planet, nature, divinity, and the human spirit. Inspired by her travels, Sylvia’s work illustrates the complex harmony between humanity and the natural world. She has large-scale murals and has headed various visual design projects in seven countries around the world. Sylvia’s recognition of art’s ability to connect and teach people fuels her creative process. She believes that a beautiful atmosphere holds magic in its ability to affect the human psyche, and loves using intentional art and design to foster the creation of engaging and enjoyable environments in both public and private spaces. She will continue to travel, create large-scale artwork and work to foster creative energy wherever she roams.

The Pablo Group hopes that the design, which features native wildlife and plant life scenery, welcomes people back to the heart of the city following the COVID-19 pandemic. Sylvia is The Oxbow’s first Artist in Residence since 2018, when the program’s inaugural mural & Eau Claire staple, Cascade, was installed on Galloway St. by artist Molly Z.

Sylvia and a team of community volunteers plan to collaborate on the mural 7 days a week, weather-permitting, to ensure the wall is completed before winter. The community is encouraged to stop by the site and watch during the installation.

When asked what she hopes the mural conveys to onlookers, Hecht said, “The reason I share the art that I create today is to help others to erase the boundaries between art and life. I believe that every space is an art space, and every single moment is a masterpiece. Creating art for free, unlimited, unending, public consumption destroys the notion that art and creativity are for a specific time/place or for a specific group of people. In reality, I don’t think that the process of appreciating beauty and creating art are truly any different. By bringing more aesthetic intrigue to a community, by creating something that makes people pause for a moment of presence/appreciation/awareness, I am able to help them to recognize their own artistic nature inherent within them. For me, art is not an escape from reality, but an extension of reality itself, and so my art is always created to improve the lived experience of those who engage with it.”

This project is made possible in part through a DECI Downtown Enhancement Grant.

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