New mural shows cultural values in Stevens Point
By Olivia De Valk
STEVENS POINT – A new mural on the side of the Point Market and Vietnamese Restaurant on Church St. is one of 15 new pieces of public art installed through CREATE Portage County’s Paint the County! project.
The mural titled, “Home,” was created by Xee Reiter, a first generation Hmong American based in the twin cities. The project was funded by CREATE as a way to offer artists stable revenue during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Home” honors the history of Hmong refugees, while also celebrating the 1,200 Hmong people who call Portage County home.
At the center of her mural is a quote from Kao Kalia Yang, author of The Latehomecomer. The quote reads, “Lasting change cannot be forced, only inspired.”
The quote was chosen in celebration of the 100th anniversary of women’s suffrage.
Reiter’s mural is one of eight murals that feature quotes by women from marginalized backgrounds.
These eight murals are being funded through CREATE in partnership with the Women’s Suffrage Centennial Commission, the National Endowment for the Arts, Arts Midwest, and the Wisconsin Arts Board.
The remaining art installations will continue to be started and completed through August and September, and will spread beyond Stevens Point to places like Amherst and Almond.
Greg Wright, Executive Director of CREATE Portage County, is excited about what this project means for Portage County.
“A well-designed project can have layers of impact beyond just beautifying a space,” Wright said. “In this particular project, we have an effort to make sure that members of our community that aren’t represented in public art are. So, our first Hmong piece of art is now in the community, our first Ho Chunk piece of art is going to be in the community.”