Community arts project celebrates creativity in Oshkosh - November 4 2010

OSHKOSH, Wis. - Fifty life-size nutcrackers will be displayed this holiday season in advance of their transformation into artistic masterpieces, as CitizensFirst Credit Union launches "Nutcrackers on the Town" - a public art project to benefit the Paine Art Center and Gardens, The Grand Opera House and the Fund for the Arts at the Oshkosh Area Community Foundation.

Much like the "Pride of Oshkosh" lions project a few years ago, "Nutcrackers on the Town" will showcase Oshkosh's artist community while raising funds to support local arts initiatives.

Area artists will begin transforming the nutcracker statues in the spring of 2011, and they will unveil their creations next holiday season.

Beforehand, the unaltered nutcrackers will be shown in this year's Oshkosh Holiday Parade on Thursday, November 11 and then displayed this season at branches of CitizensFirst Credit Union, The Grand Opera House and the Paine Art Center and Gardens.

As the project begins, artists are invited to submit their imaginative ideas for transforming the nutcrackers.

One nutcracker statue has already been transformed to serve as an example of what is possible. Artists Hillary Quella and Nicci Martin created an extraordinary sculpture titled "Heaven and Nature Sings" that turned a nutcracker into a "nature sanctuary for birds," featuring a bird house, feeder, and perches, as well as many bird figurines. Their sculpture will be featured in the Holiday Parade, and then displayed at the CitizensFirst headquarters on Universal Drive throughout the holidays.

The project's partners are recruiting sponsorships of $1,750 for each of the fifty nutcrackers to support the transformation of the sculptures and their presentation. Sponsoring businesses will have the opportunity to display the creations during the 2011 holiday season.

At the conclusion of the project, the artistically transformed nutcrackers will be auctioned off to benefit the arts community. The ultimate goal is to raise more than $100,000!

The community may learn more about the project and follow the nutcrackers' transformation on the Web via the Oshkosh Northwestern's special page dedicated to the project: www.thenorthwestern.com/nutcrackers.

Donate now to the Fund for the Arts

Visit the Nutcrackers on the Town website

See photos of the launch event on Facebook


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