To be an artist in New Ulm, MN is to be part of a great creative heritage. Some obvious examples are the many monuments around this fine city. New Ulm also has a strong musical heritage harking back to Polka Days and Heritage Fest (and now housing the Minnesota Music Hall of Fame).
The story of Wanda Gag and her Bohemian family also resonate with New Ulmers. I've thought for years that there should be a Wanda Gag monument to help future generations understand and remember this significant artist and illustrator. I've recently had a discussion that may lead to just such a sculpture. After doing a few sketches here is my favorite concept showing a teenage Wanda fulfilling her father's dying wish and becoming an artist. She is looking intently at a cat and drawing. The cat looks right back at her. Later in life Wanda would become famous for her book "Millions of Cats".
I have an exciting idea that could correspond with this sculpture. What if there were sculptures of cats all around New Ulm? They could be in shops, on window sills, perched on lamp posts, napping on front stoops, and prowling the stacks at the library. Each cat sculpture could be sponsored by the business where it is to be placed. Then there could be a brochure-driven scavenger hunt for children or tourists made available at the Chamber of Commerce. It could also be run by GPS/geocaching. New Ulm gets some new furry friends and businesses get some new traffic. How fun!
Charis Carmichael-Braun, another New Ulm artist in NYC, gets credit for the brilliant sponsorship angle. Thanks Charis!
See more artwork from Jason Jaspersen at jjjaspersen.com, and on social networks such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.