EagleHerald/Wes Beyer
Students from Josh Jones’ 5th grade class look on as a crew from MJB Industries Inc. installs the first of three public sculptures designed by Rusty Wolfe Friday next to Stephenson National Bank in Menominee. 
EagleHerald/Wes Beyer

Students from Josh Jones’ 5th grade class look on as a crew from MJB Industries Inc. installs the first of three public sculptures designed by Rusty Wolfe Friday next to Stephenson National Bank in Menominee. 

MENOMINEE — The first of three public sculptures created by local artist Rusty Wolfe was installed Friday morning at the Stephenson National Bank site on 10th Street in Menominee. 

A small crew from MJB Industries Inc., Marinette, lifted the large red walleye onto its new pedestal while city officials, community leaders and Blesch Intermediate school students in Josh Jones’ 5th grade class looked on. According to Nancy Douglas, executive director of the Menominee Business Development Corporation, the sculptures were made possible by a grant awarded to the MBDC by ArtPlace of America. She said the grant opportunity is administered by the regional planning commission (CUPPAD), and is intended to promote economic development through enhancement of the arts in the central six counties of the Upper Peninsula.

She said the sculpture was designed by Wolfe, a local and nationally recognized artist, who was commissioned by a committee formed by the MBDC. Douglas said the committee was made up of community and business leaders, members of the arts community, members of the Downtown Development Authority (DDA) and the downtown merchants committee, as well as city and county officials. 

“We are grateful to CUPPAD, ArtPlace and to Rusty Wolfe for his generous donation of time and expertise, over and above the grant amount which made this project possible,” she said.

Douglas said this sculpture is only the first of three sculptures Wolfe has designed, and the rest will be installed over the next few weeks; one sculpture will be installed on the Menominee County Courthouse lawn, and the other will be placed in the downtown historic district near Swings and Things Park. She said all of the sculptures feature artistic representations of local fish to promote fishing in the Menominee area. 

Douglas also said the newly installed red walleye sculpture isn’t fully complete, however. She said there will be tall grasses planted around the base of the sculpture, giving the impression of the walleye jumping out of the water.