WOLCOTT — Two new murals were officially unveiled Saturday during a special dedication ceremony in downtown Wolcott.
It was all part of an effort by the Tippecanoe Arts Federation (TAF), which partnered with Wolcott Main Street Committee and other organizations — Wabash Heartland Innovation Network, Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs, White County Community Foundation, National Endowment for the Arts and the Indiana Arts Commission — to spruce up downtown Wolcott.
Dozens of residents came with their families to the dedication and listened to the lineup of speakers that presented on behalf of their organizations. After the presentation the Wolcott Main Street Committee presented the artists with gifts and gratitude for their work and dedication to make their vision become a reality.
“It is nice to see the town be inspired by art, and beauty and the history of Wolcott,” said George Blissett, president of the Wolcott Main Street Committee. “We are grateful for all the support from the residents and the organizations we worked with. We hope that people come out and enjoy these murals for years to come and we are excited for more things that will be happening in Wolcott the rest of the year.”
The murals were created by Janson Rapisarda — also known as CERA — and Nicole Salgar.
“It is a long process, but it’s super fun and we enjoy it,” Rapisarda said. “But what really makes it the best is when you all come out and watch us work. When we make up these mock images, we are given a set of words that we can reflect on. This was what I envisioned.
“Then when I began painting in town, the very first day I saw a young boy riding his bike with his Radio Flyer wagon and his fishing poles. I think it was that moment when I felt like this mural was meant to be here.”
Rapisarda, an artist based in Chicago who work adorns the side of the Dye and Son Lumber Co. building, said his mural has a deep connection with the town of Wolcott.
The story of “Bobbie the Wonderdog” is about a dog who walked 2,500 miles to reunite with its family almost 100 years ago.
As the story goes, Frank and Elizabeth Brazier came from Oregon to Indiana to visit family. When stopping to refuel in Wolcott, a pack of stray dogs chased Bobbie away. At first the family wasn’t concerned but after visiting several towns, they came back to Wolcott in hopes of finding their beloved dog, only to become disappointed when they could not find him.
As they started their nine-day-long trip home, they expected never to see Bobbie again. Six months later, Bobbie wandered back into their Oregon town, sick and ragged, but alive. The dog walked more than 2,500 miles to get home.
The book can be found at the Wolcott Public Library for the full story.
Salgar’s mural is featured on the Timeless Treasures building owned by Lowell and Linda Farney. She is a Latina painter and street artist based in South Florida who has worked in several towns and cities around the globe.