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Color Block Brings Murals to Altoona Public Library

Wednesday, August 24, 2022
McKenna Scherer, photos by Andrea Paulseth | VolumeOne

the public art project's palette is now all over the local library

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ONE ART COOKIE. Color Block returned for another year, this time focusing its murals over in Altoona.

The Color Block project has been spilling whimsical art around the 600 block of South Barstow Street and Graham Avenue in downtown Eau Claire for several years now, with local artists applying to create the vibrant span of murals in an effort to support and encourage visual art, as well as revitalize the area.

The same folks who bring the Sculpture Tour Eau Claire to town - which just snagged the title as the number one largest outdoor sculpture tour in the country - put on Color Block. This year, Color Block came to Altoona, with 20 artists creating murals of the outer walls of the Altoona Public Library, 1303 Lynn Ave.

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One local artist, Jori Viana, is among the artists chosen to participate in this year's Color Block project. While an accomplished artist, she favors watercolor, and it was her first time creating a mural. "I love the concept (of Color Block) and am very honored to be part of it," Viana said.

"As a little girl growing up in rural Wisconsin, it was very clear to me that art wasn't valued as much as, say, sports, and to be an artist was a fun, but impractical talent," she recalled. "Luckily, I grew up in a home where my talent was nurtured and supported, and I never hear these sentiments from my parents."

Viana said she thinks the growing art scene in the Valley is promising but wants to see it grow, so others know their talent is valued from the get-go.

"I would love to see it grow more bountiful and accessible, so one day when young artists look around, they can feel that their talent is valued," she said.

Her mural captures four dairy cows grazing on a bowl of sugary goodness, and it totally captures Viana's knack for whimsy.

The Altoona Public Library murals finished up on Aug. 14, so take a swing by to check out its new look.

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GOT ART? Jori Viana's first mural now covers part of the Altoona Public Library's outer walls, displaying her staple style.

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