CREATE Portage County launched a program called Paint the County. The program allows local artists to tell visual stories as Jessie Fritsch so colorfully did with her Ruth Bader Ginsberg mural. Get the inside scoop on the lifelong artist herself with our Meet the Artist series.
A Creative Since the Start
When it comes to being an artist, it has been in Jessie Fritsch's genes since day one. Growing up in a creative family, Jessie's artistic ambitions and talents were always supported. Art was what eventually brought her to the area as well. Fritsch transferred to UWSP in 2002 to finish her fine art degree and has since then made the Stevens Point Area her home where she tends to her pets, house plants, and gardens.
One thing you might not know about Fritsch is that she does not like starting a painting or project. Knowing all that has to go into a project beforehand in order for it to become a finished piece can be a lot to think about.
From a first glance the big, bright mural downtown may look like it just pays homage to RBG. But, get a closer look and you'll see many other aspects that relate to the women's equality movement as a whole. For instance, on the left-hand side of the mural, you will see 101 names painted. Those names celebrate the 101 years that women have had the right to vote.
One of Fritsch's favorite parts about creating the mural was the connection she created with the community. Whether it was through the assistance of community members on the mural or the in-depth conversations about RBG and women's equality, Jessie was able to create more than just a pretty image.
When it comes to other local art, Jessie's favorite muralist in the area is Bernise Dombroski - the artist responsible for enlivening the public square with Polish folk art.
Want the low down on a few of Jessie's local favorites? Here it is. When it comes to food, her favorite spot is Guus on Main as during the 5 weeks it took to create the mural, she ate chili and drank Central Waters Octoberfest at the restaurant. As for a favorite thing about the area, it is all about the water for Fritsch. She will visit any place with water and loves the region's vast amount of rivers and lakes.
Wonder where you might find Jessie on a given day? Starting in May of 2022, she'll be at her new teaching space - Buzz in Art Studios - teaching fine art workshops with other artists. Her trailblazer merch will be available for purchase there, as well as on her website.
Keep up with Jessie on social media @jessie.fritsch.encaustics or on her website. Looking for more on local art? Take a look at must-see murals or public art in plain view. Then while you're out viewing the art, share your photos with us @stevenspointarea on Instagram or use #stevenspointarea!