Local artist brings creative energy to city
By Taylor Hale
STEVENS POINT – A local artist is showcasing how literature can captivate the imagination at Worzalla Publishing, 3535 Jefferson St.
Stephon Kiba Freeman of Kiba Freeman Art, painted a 20 foot high by 90 foot wide mural on the side of Worzalla, showcasing the publisher’s focus on encouraging creativity in the youth.
“The image of the little girl who is reading, these are an expression of what she is taking in while she reads. The outer space scene, or the beach, these are concepts that her imagination has put together,” said Worzalla CEO Jim Fetherston.
Freeman designed the mural, gaining inspiration from his daughter Soraiya, who loves to listen to stories. Freeman said that the little girl in the mural represents his daughter and the magical freedom that books offer to readers.
“This is kind of my take on her love of reading and how it’s not bound by anything. This one book could be anything she wants, as she is experiencing the story and the world, she interprets them,” Freeman said.
Freeman has done other murals around the state, including a mural for a private residence in Milwaukee. Though he has worked on murals before, Freeman said this is his biggest project, both in terms of size and public reach.
“This is my biggest project, yet,” Freeman explained. “Energy-wise, creativity-wise, this is the most creative venture I’ve done so far. I am not sure how I am going to top it.”
Fetherston sees the project as a way to bring art to the community and Worzalla employees.
“Projects like this make the town more vibrant and fun to be in,” Fetherston said. “But to turn the corner on the way to work and see this, we hope it’s inspiring.”
The piece is part of the CREATE Portage County’ “Paint the County” program. The program is intended to help support area artists during COVID-19.
Freeman started the piece on June 1 and said it should be completed by the week of June 21. To learn more about Kiba Freeman Art, visit: kibafreemanart.com.