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Ho-Chunk mural to be unveiled along Great Sauk Trail this weekend

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SAUK COUNTY (WKOW) -- A new public art installation by the Ho-Chunk Nation is being officially unveiled this weekend in Sauk County.

The ceramic tile mural, called, "Earth, Sky, Water," is located along the Great Sauk Trail near the Badger Ammunition plant.

Lead artist, Melanie Tallmadge Sainz says it showcases the connection of the Ho-Chunk people to Maa Wakacak, which translates to "Sacred Land."

"Our goal as Little Eagle Arts Foundation (LEAF) is to build bridges through the arts," said Tallmadge Sainz, who is the foundation's director. "We have too many walls being built and it's time for us to come together as a community.

About 50 Ho-Chunk families, artists, and tile makers from across the state helped with this project, including Lenore Sweet.

"Each individual did their own artwork and designed their own pictures and it came out just's an amazing sight," said Sweet.

The mural is set to be unveiled on Sunday, Oct. 4 at 1 p.m. during Fermentation Fest in Sauk County.

"Some of our elders and children will share their experience [creating the mural]," said Tallmadge Sainz. "This is our gift, and hopefully that will be reciprocated as we build community."

There is also a celebration of Native arts at LEAF's Maa Wakacak ceramic studio, which is located at the former firehouse at Badger Ordnance across Highway 12 from the village of Bluffview.

Artists will demonstrate and sell some of their work between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. on Oct. 3 and 4 at the ceramic studio. No more than ten people will be allowed inside at a time and attendees are required to wear a mask.

To learn more about Fermentation Fest, visit their website.

Nick Buffo

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