Parties in the photo include: Mayor Emily Durand and Lead Artist Sue Mundy cutting the ribbon. Posed to the left and behind Sue are the Wabasha Main Street Board and steering committee, local artists and volunteers. To the right of Mayor Durand is the Food Share Board and directors. We also invited stakeholders/funders to the photoshoot which included: WKACF- Wabasha Kellogg Area Community Foundation , SHIP – Wabasha Public Health, Wabasha Main Street and RETHOS Project Funds and Artist on Main Initiative, SMIF- Southeastern MN Initiative Foundation, Durand Dentistry and Blandin Foundation. All logos are on the wall, along with the individuals who volunteered at Sue Mundy’s Studio to paint the Mural. Over 400 hours were put into this endeavor including both Lead Artist and community volunteers.
When the Food Share moved to its current location on 142 2nd St, some people in the community, including Sue Mundy saw its long blank western wall as the perfect spot for a mural. This had the protentional to connect several ongoing challenges, food insecurity, revitalization of the downtown on this block, and a message of health and wellness. This idea became a reality with the generous support from the Wabasha Main Street and their Artist on Main funds to create a Capstone Event. These funds were used annually to support local artists with events, programs, and permanent installations.
Local Wabasha Main Street Director Mary Flicek was quoted “This was the perfect project to create a final permanent Artist installation that would send a message of healthy community.” Both Mary and Sue Mundy found multiple grants that could assist in this endeavor in a timely matter. SMIF provided the paint with their “Paint the Town” grant. SHIP provided funds to bring attention to the Food Share location and send a healthy message. WKACF provided funds to support the Mural and supplies that helped fund the project and Blandin gave a generous Community grant to the local Wabasha Cohorts that assisted in this project, along with Wabasha Main Street RETHOS funds.
The photo on the right is of Artist, Sue Mundy and Poet, Pamela Larson- who wrote the poem – Community Roots. She was inspired by the giant vegetables and interconnected roots system, bugs, and multiple sponsors. It takes a community to pull off such a large endeavor. The Mural measures 110′ x 8′ and was painted on 28 4′ x 8′ sheets of Poly metal which then were attached to the wall. The boards needed to be primed before painted, then sealed for weather protection.
Sue started to dream this dream early spring and worked for the next 4 months along with her installation team to place it on the wall of 142 2nd Street for all to enjoy. The Food Share is located at this location and highlighted on the wall, along with the Farmers Market for all to enjoy.
The project was made possible through Artist on Main Street 2021, a partnership between Wabasha Main Street, RETHOS, Springboard for the Arts with support from the Bush Foundation.