Beth Koeppel, an artist from Wittenberg, Wisconsin, completed the mural in the Summer of 2009.
Artists message: My involvement in this mural began while I was at work at Lisa’s Bakery. Some members of WOW came in and were talking about what could be done with the wall of the post office.
Artist Alicia Rheal remembered my involvement as an art student in the mural on Hanke’s Super Valu and I was offered the opportunity to submit ideas for the post office. Something bright and
geometric was suggested.
Several other murals are visible from the post office so I had to be mindful of them. Taking color inspiration from “The Big Picture” on the grocery store, I began drafting everything from
geometric designs to large, bold flowers. All were rejected by the post office which requested something that would incorporate stamps or flags. I tried again.
The final design is the image of the most recent 44 cent stamp. It is simplified for a more geometric look and then repeated in varying colors, inspired by the style of Andy Warhol. The red,
white, and blue stamp is the only one to bear the 44 cents to signify that this is the actual stamp that the design is based on. This also dates the mural and reminds us when it was painted.
I began painting in mid-July, just one month from the day when I would have to return to school in MN. The brick wall was the most challenging part because it soaked up paint. A wall just 60 by 12
feet required 16 gallons of primer! Then came measuring, marking and finally painting. My face became very familiar at the hardware store as I was constantly stocking up on more paint. The final step
of outlining all the patterns proved very time-consuming, trying to make straight lines over a very rough surface. I finished the night before I had to return to school.
The bold colors of the mural give it a dramatic impact as you drive around the corner of Cherry Street to Vinal. The edge stamps are purposely only partial to make the design expand visually
beyond the actual size of the building. Its brightness and large shapes help it complement the grocery store mural which is next in view. My goal was to make it bright and fun and to introduce a
style of art not yet seen in any of the previous murals. And of course, as in all the others, EJ is hidden amidst the stamps.