Fort Chamber Tourism Creates Rain-Activated Sidewalk Art

    Many people use a rainy day for hunkering down inside: cozying up with a good book, working on indoor home projects, or taking a quick nap on the couch. With rain in the forecast, the Fort Atkinson Area Chamber of Commerce Tourism Department is hoping to influence people to change their plans and explore Fort Atkinson’s downtown, instead. Using water-repellant paint, the department has applied artistic stencils at various spots on the pavement throughout the downtown area.
    The goal surrounding this project is ultimately to encourage residents and visitors to adventure outside and explore Fort Atkinson, even on rainy days. This rain-activated artwork is completely invisible when the ground is dry, but any water or rain will activate the artwork to appear temporarily until it dries again. The paint is water-based, eco-friendly, contains no flammable solvents, and has no smell. Only two other communities in Wisconsin have these amazing works of art, making the project unique to this area.
    The locations include more than 20 spots along the Main Street bridge and sidewalks, the Riverwalk path, and the Glacial River Bike Trail pedestrian bridge. These locations were chosen based on the type of pavement, foot traffic, and ideality on rainy days. Examples of artwork include 12 different design combinations, from hopscotch to flowers to smiley faces. The paint is temporary and is expected to last from now up until the end of August.
    Katie Carey, Tourism Manager at the Fort Atkinson Chamber shared, “I think finding the rain-activated artwork will be an activity for people of all ages to enjoy. We’re right in Wisconsin’s rainy season, and this is something that will hopefully create a little joy for everyone who is adventuring out in the rain. It’s also a way to increase foot traffic for our businesses.”
    Carey hopes people will consider stopping into a local shop, trying a new restaurant, and exploring the area while also taking a little break from the rain outside.
    A map of all artwork locations will be available online at the Fort Atkinson Area Chamber of Commerce’s Facebook page (www.facebook.com/fortchamber).