Image 1 of 1

622-19 Clearing Schoolhouse Mural.tif

This mural was painted by Door County artist, Ram Rojas, and was unveiled and dedicated on September 10, 2010, as part of The Clearing’s 75th anniversary celebration. It is a recreation of a mural that graced this wall many years ago. Sometime between the late 1930s and the mid-1940s, Clearing founder, Jens Jensen, commissioned Vladimir Rousseff to paint a mural in the<br />
Schoolhouse. A Bulgarian-born artist who had made a name for himself in Chicago, Rousseff came to Fish Creek in the 1930s, where he painted and taught art. He had the honor of being one of the depression-era Works Project Administration (WPA) muralists. His murals can be seen in post offices in Kaukauna and Edgerton, Wisconsin and in Ironwood, Michigan. The mural Rousseff painted at The Clearing portrayed a shepherd playing<br />
his flute next to a stream, with sheep grazing nearby. It had a distinct European style, which likely would have appealed to Jensen, who was born and raised in Denmark. For unknown reasons, the mural was painted over within a few years of Jensen’s death in 1951. The wall on which the hidden mural resided was then destroyed by a fire in 1981. In 2009, The Clearing obtained a color image of the original mural from<br />
the Milwaukee County Historical Society. Ram Rojas used this image as a guide to recreate the mural. <br />
Artist’s Statement: Ram Rojas: The mural has returned to life through my hands, using information found in archives. Historic references served as signposts for style and composition. The project had much personal appeal for me: the theme, the riangular shape and the fact that it was part of a place that has<br />
fascinated me since my arrival in Door County. The Clearing expresses so well my own beliefs concerning the use of nature as a model. I was born in South America, and have a great affinity for the natural environment. I also lived in Europe, where I enjoyed rural places similar to the one depicted in this painting. While I was a student and teacher in Italy, Franc