CREATE Portage County launched a program called Paint the County. The program allows local artists to tell visual stories like the colorful octopus creature Dondi Bueno created on the side of Zest Bakery. Get the inside scoop on the artist and his go-with-the-flow style with our Meet the Artist series. 

Header image by Nikki Carriveau


Moving from the big city of Los Angeles, Dondi Bueno has made Stevens Point his home since 2016. Bueno has been an artist for over 30 years now, and one thing you may not know about his work is that he's making it all up as he goes - he has never really mastered any of the media he works with and is still continuously learning. Dondi draws inspiration for his art through many different people - his parents, teachers, friends, and even complete and total strangers. 

One of Bueno's favorite things is to travel and eat. With a job that allows him to travel to many interesting places, one of his favorite spots will always be Los Angeles and all the great food he grew up with. Looking for something to be great at? Bueno says that you should aspire to be a great hugger as it's often overlooked but always appreciated. 


Zest Bakery Mural

Bueno's mural that was done through CREATE Portage County's "Paint the County" initiative is located on the side of Zest Bakery near UWSP. The mural is full of bright colors and a crazy cool octopus creature. His favorite thing about the mural, that it was based on nonsense. He was just hoping to create something that would put a smile on someone's face as they walked past it.

Another cool part about the mural was the fact that his kids helped him paint - you can even see their handprints in the lower lefthand corner. 


Zest, Zest, Zest

Wondering where Dondi's favorite local spot is? You probably guessed it, it's Zest. He states that he can't go two days without picking up an iced Vietnamese coffee from the bakery and he and his wife often grab lunch there as she works right across the street at the University. Dondi and his family have also become friends with the owners. 

Want More? 

Find additional works from Dondi on his Instagram @dondibueno or on his website. Get inspired with other local art like all the 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