By Faith Huey, UW Stout Harvey Hall News
With his recent interest and work with murals, the owner of Vintage Sign Shop, Wade Lambrigsten, has begun to teach students at UW-Stout how to design and paint murals.
Originally from Northfield, Wisconsin, and previously a Stout student in the graphic design program, Lambrigsten moved his business from Eau Claire to Menomonie with his wife in 2006.
Lambrigsten was invited to teach last year. UW-Stout’s Chancellor Katherine Frank and art history professor Dr. Cynthia Bland wanted to see student-designed mural work on campus. After teaching and assisting with last year’s campus mural, Lambrigsten was invited back to Stout this year for the second student mural that is currently in the works.
Lambrigsten expresses his gratitude for the opportunity to teach at Stout, mentioning how he’s looking forward to the next mural on campus being painted.
“It actually went very smooth the first time, but now we have that first one under our belt so now we know how to do this and be efficient,” Lambrisgten said.
He also said he appreciates that the classes involved with the mural work are open to the whole University and not just to art students.
“I’ve always believed that if you know the steps and have the tools and direction, anyone can paint a mural,” Lambrigsten said. “The hard part is over, the design, that’s the tough part. So now we got this class of 16 students and they’re going to paint that mural, which will be something they can be proud of, and bring their friends and family here and say ‘Yeah, we did that.’”
He said students with the chance to design and paint murals on campus was all Bland’s idea. The process is broken up between two classes, one class where students come up with the design, and the other where the students get to paint the mural. Lambrigsten collaborates with Bland and design Professor Erik Evensen between these two classes to assist students with coming up with the design, as well as teaching students how to paint the mural after the design is selected.
Lambrigsten also discussed his involvement with the other murals and signage around Menomonie, one of his works being the C&J’s Candy mural, which he selected four Stout students to help paint.
Their work painting the C&J’s mural gained positive attention, leading to the owner of Ted’s Pizza requesting a mural from Lambrigsten as well. He used this opportunity to allow Camile Lemm, a Stout student in the game design program, to come up with the pizza shop’s mural design.
“It was her concept, her idea, her design, and I just facilitated paints and scaffolding and getting it painted,” Lambrigsten said. “It’s just that whole idea of giving back. Of all the things I’ve helped with in Menomonie, that’s one of my most proud ones.”
Lambrigsten further highlights his gratefulness towards the community. He said he moved to Menomonie not knowing anyone and has gained all of these good opportunities, close friends, and good business relationships.
“I get to do what I love to do and work with students,” Lambrigsten said. “I really enjoy teaching and helping students learn how to paint. It feels like I’ve come full circle.”