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Behind the Scenes

Artists Sue Martinsen and Kelly Meredith use Superior Quality Exterior Latex Sherwin-Williams house paint on each of the murals. Some of the murals are painted on boards in the indoor studios of Sue Martinsen/Kelly Meredith while some are painted directly on the buildings. Kelly Meredith always paints the faces to keep the murals consistent. Upon completion, they apply a sealer especially made for murals that was developed in California. The sealer forms a polyurethane surface. By the time they are ready to apply the sealer, the scaffolding is down. So, they use a lift for this final step in the process.

The Ashland community seems to be a conducive place for mural painting. For instance, there has never been a problem with graffiti on the murals. Also, the artists feel safe in just leaving their painting gear when they leave the various sites. It is always there and untouched when they return. Perhaps the murals are treated with respect because the community as a whole feels such a strong a sense of pride in them.

Meet the Artists

Sue MartinsenSusan Prentice Martinsen
Susan Martinsen of Ashland, Wisconsin has been painting murals in the Upper Great Lakes area since 1998.  In addition to her independent work, she and Kelly Meredith have produced 20 murals together, many of them the largest in the region.   Susan paints with fluid, painterly style that emphasizes drawing and powerful lighting, which works well for murals.

Kelly Meredith
Kelly MeredithKelly Meredith works out of a building in downtown Butternut, which was once the local heating and plumbing store.  The back of the building is used as her studio, and the front has been converted into Fanatical Fish Gallery, where she shows her work and the work of other area artists.  She has been a full time muralist since 2003 and continues to paint murals in the northland and beyond.  Fanatical Fish is located at 108 N Main Street in Butternut and is open whenever she is working in her studio.

Please also visit these Ashland Business Murals 

  • Chequamegon Food Co-op, 700 Main Street West
  • Ed Griffiths Pedestrian Pass to the Lake. Tunnel under Hwy 2. Access the tunnel by the 6th Ave West Beach or behind City Hall, 601 Main Street West
  • Chequamegon Theatre Association (CTA), 210 5th Street East
  • Marthaler Honda Toyota, 2301 Lake Shore Drive East, inside
  • Tastes of Wisconsin, 420 Lake Shore Drive West, inside
  • United Dreams, 411 Main Street West, back of building