Artist in Residence Program

There’s so much to experience in a visit to the Oxbow Hotel in downtown Eau Claire, WI – thoughtfully-designed rooms and furniture, locally-curated food and drink, world-class local and national musicians, and so much more. But an equal part of the Oxbow experience is art. Our gallery, rooms, corridors, and walls inside and out are covered in original work from local artists both literary and visual. So art is important to us at the Oxbow. In fact it’s so important that we wanted to bring more of it into the community that surrounds us, for both locals and our traveling guests to enjoy. That’s what spurred the Oxbow’s Artist in Residence Program.

Below, explore the art that has been brought to life in our Downtown Eau Claire community in collaboration with Oxbow’s Artist in Residence Program.

Interested in becoming a future muralist? APPLY HERE!



Image Credit: Lori Giebel

Together with Sylvia and the Pablo Group, we could not be more delighted, or proud, to share this evocative work of art with our community; and to express our sincerest thanks to all who contributed, volunteered, photographed and delighted in this project with us!

“The reason I share the art that I create today is to help others to erase the boundaries between art and life. I believe that every space is an art space, and every single moment is a masterpiece. Creating art for free, unlimited, unending, public consumption destroys the notion that art and creativity are for a specific time/place or for a specific group of people. In reality, I don’t think that the process of appreciating beauty and creating art are truly any different. By bringing more aesthetic intrigue to a community, by creating something that makes people pause for a moment of presence/appreciation/awareness, I am able to help them to recognize their own artistic nature inherent within them. For me art is not an escape from reality, but an extension of reality itself, and so my art is always created to improve the lived experience of those who engage with it.” – Sylvia Annelise Hecht

Sylvia Annelise Hecht is a multidisciplinary visual artist from Osceola, Wisconsin, who is passionate about exploration of the planet, nature, divinity, and the human spirit. Inspired by her travels, Sylvia’s work illustrates the complex harmony between humanity and the natural world. She has large scale murals and has headed various visual design projects in seven countries around the world. Sylvia’s recognition of art’s ability to connect and teach people fuels her creative process. She believes that a beautiful atmosphere holds magic in its ability to affect the human psyche, and loves using intentional art and design to foster the creation of engaging and enjoyable environments in both public and private spaces. She will continue to travel, create large scale artwork and work to foster creative energy wherever she roams

You can find it on the side of Eau Claire’s Fire House, located downtown on the corners of Gibson Street and Graham Avenue.

Snap a pic while your there and tag us on instagram!
@oxbowhotel #sanctuarymural #eauclairemurals

The Sanctuary mural project is dedicated to fostering visual art and community partnerships, while enhancing the downtown area and overall experience of both locals and visitors.

This project is made possible in part through a DECI Downtown Enhancement Grant

Image Credit: Dronie Cronie

2018 Artist – Molly Z – Chicago, IL

Once a year the Oxbow Hotel and community partners host a talented visual artist from outside of the Chippewa Valley to stay, eat, and play with us for as long as two weeks. They create a permanent, large-scale mural on a hand-picked downtown building, all while experiencing the best of our community. The artists not only leave their mark on the canvas of our downtown, but interact and collaborate with local artists, students, and the public through events like panel discussions, workshops, receptions, and more. These visiting artists enjoy our city, meet our people, and take their reflections back into their own cities where they can spread the word about our local vibe. Conversely, our local artists and other individuals who take part are left with fresh, outside perspectives and a newfound connection in art scenes around the country. And of course the community is left with some new high-profile public art.

2018 Artist (inaugural season):

Molly Z – Chicago, IL

Molly Z. has worked many years as a finely detailed digital illustrator, contracting with agencies, product manufacturers, and many different clients. She is always looking for a way to make beautiful art that affects lives daily. The idea of permanence and experience gives Molly Z.’s work a deeper purpose; to transform whole places, to fill spaces with thoughtful, inspiring, lasting works of art. She has created many large-scale works of art, public art for museums, schools, and businesses and has produced live art murals for major industry conferences and special events.

2018 Funding & Program Partners:

Pablo Properties