Home Arts Painters bring color, imagination to College Avenue

Painters bring color, imagination to College Avenue


Friday’s competitors required more than paints, brushes and creativity.

They had to account for the eyes of passersby, plenty of conversations and don’t forget that pesky clock.

It was 5 p.m. and Samantha Wanner was ever aware there was one hour until it was time to put the brush down — ready or not.

“I’m getting a little panicked, but I’m locked in,” she said. “I know where I’m going.”

Samantha Wanner paints at Houdini Plaza

Artists lined College Avenue on Friday as part of Downtown Appleton’s Paint-Out competition.  It was part of Appleton Downtown Inc’s “Downtown Creates” event series.

Painters could start as early as 9 a.m. Judging took place at 6 p.m.

The event had a class for amateurs out to have some fun and catch a little sunshine. Those with more refined skills went to work in hopes of a $500 cash prize.

Wanner is a professional chalk artist, so Friday’s event was a bit out of her element. She took her painting to ground level for a time to create her more typical environment.

Todd Schabel recently moved from Appleton to Horicon, but had to come home for a day of doing what he loves among the downtown bustle.

As for the stream of folks, “I’m used to it,” he said.

Anyone who’s painted their share of landscapes knows to expect some conversation and admiration. On Friday, his muse was the south side of the 100 block of East College.

“It’s nice, actually,” Schabel said. “It’s nice to not be by yourself.”

Painters in the “Just for Fun” class will have first and second place People’s Choice awards of $50 to be selected by the public. Voting will take place on the Appleton Downtown Inc. Facebook page from Aug. 24 to Aug. 29.

“In It to Win It” competitors  Second- and third-place finishers in the “In It to Win It” class will receive awards of $250 and $100, respectfully. 

“In It to Win It” participants will also go to a public vote for a People’s Choice award of  $75. 

If you like what you can see, you can make it your own.

Appleton Downtown Inc. will hold an online auction for pieces created by “In It to Win It” painters. The artists will receive full price. The auction opens on Tuesday and final bids need to be submitted by 9 a.m. on Sept. 1.

Leave a Reply