Community Effort Result of Unique Collaboration Between the Arts and the Parks
A new mosaic mural, the product of a unique collaboration between the Dane County Cultural Affairs Commission and the Dane County Parks, is complete and ready for the public to enjoy at the Jenni and Kyle Preserve, Dane County Executive Joe Parisi announced today.
“The Jenni and Kyle Preserve is truly a special place that connects people with disabilities to all nature has to offer,” said Parisi. “Those who had a hand in building this new mural have created another treasure that the public can enjoy for generations to come.”
The mural will be a permanent fixture of the Jenni and Kyle Preserve shelter, and depicts the changing of the seasons in Dane County. Local students with disabilities from Walbridge School in Madison and adults with disabilities from Madison Area Rehabilitation Center - South completed the mosaic through two artist residencies coordinated by VSA Wisconsin, an organization dedicated to expanding the capabilities, confidence, and quality of life for children and adults with disabilities through the arts.
Kathie Wagner, VSA Wisconsin President said, “To have been chosen to lead this mural project is a great honor. The project aligns perfectly with our mission, promotes the artistic talents of individuals with disabilities and celebrates their contribution to our community.”
The Jenni and Kyle Preserve was created in 1989 with a donation from Harvey and Patricia Wilmeth, given as a memorial to their two grandchildren, Jenni and Kyle, who both died at the age of 4 due to a degenerative neurological disorder.
The Wilmeth’s goal was to provide universal access to nature. As such, the park is unique in that it serves children and persons with disabilities, and provides accessible fishing and picnic areas, trails, wheelchair swings, and a shelter building around two spring-fed ponds containing trout and panfish.
The mural is a continuation of the Wilmeth’s vision, realized through a generous donation by Sally Wilmeth and Terry Guerkink, the parents of Jenni and Kyle. Several community partners matched their donation, including Endres Manufacturing Co. Foundation, Brittingham Madison Trust, M3 – Insurance Solutions for Business, Madison Rotary Foundation, the Pleasant T. Rowland Foundation, and VSA, the international organization on arts and disability under an award from the US Department of Education.
“The Jenni and Kyle Preserve continues to grow by leaps and bounds thanks to the generous donations from the Wilmeth family and others,” said Dane County Parks Commission Chair Bill Lunney. “The ability to offer something for everyone year after year is what makes the preserve, and all of our county parks, true gems in our communities.”
A photo of the mural is attached. More information about the Jenni and Kyle Preserve can be found online at http://www.countyofdane.com/lwrd/parks/jenni.aspx.
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