Annie Hermes is currently undertaking an exciting project in Kenosha and is grateful for any assistance you may be able to offer.  She is in need of funding to help her complete a mural on the Kenosha Lighthouse, the total costs of which will end up being a minimum $2,500.  There is no amount to small--anything will make an impact.  Thank you so very much for considering donating.

You can learn more about the project at WTMJ 4 Milwaukee News, Kenosha News, and WISN Channel 12.  Here is an excerpt of the article in the Kenosha News regarding the project:

"For someone with a deep appreciation of Kenosha and its beautiful lakefront, Annie Hermes had to pinch herself when she took the keys to the city’s most iconic landmark.

Hermes, 38, is the first person selected to participate in the Artist in Residence Program at the Kenosha North Pier lighthouse. The Dixon, Ill., resident will spend the next two weeks painting an abstract mural around the bottom of the lighthouse with hopes of completing the project in time for Kenosha’s Fourth of July celebration.

Hermes is one of five artists chosen this summer. Artists applied for the free residency program and were vetted before being invited to stay at the privately owned, bright-red lighthouse.

The lighthouse, previously owned by the U.S. Coast Guard, was purchased in 2011 by Kenosha native John Burhani and his wife, Heather McGee. Shortly after closing on the property, Burhani was diagnosed with a rare form of non-Hodgkins lymphoma. He died on May 5, 2015.

Artists have access to the first three floors and all of the inspiration needed inside the unique property.

“I could not ask for a better place to work,” said Hermes, a 2001 University of Wisconsin-Parkside graduate. “It’s mind-blowing. It’s just gorgeous.”

Career change

Hermes graduated from UW-Parkside with a degree in psychology and worked 11 years as a mental health professional. Looking to pursue her love for art, Hermes quit her career to open her own studio in Dixon, Ill..

She was chosen as a contributing artist in Art For Life Chicago and is featured regularly in a variety of exhibits from Milwaukee to Chicago.

Hermes’ art is being used in the upcoming Season 2 of “Easy” on Netflix.

“(Hermes) is delightful, engaging, funny, charming ... so, she’s a really cool chick with depth,” McGee said. “Her art is a mixture, I’d say, of postmodern and deconstruction-ish-style work, although she works in many genres and mediums.

“She’s an interesting mix of carefree-obsessiveness. I simply love her. She is treating us to a graphic mural that will incorporate things we Kenoshans are proud of.”

The program wouldn’t be possible without support of many local businesses. Rust-Oleum donated dozens of cans of spray paint, tubes of acrylic paint, primers and top coating, Culver’s supplies daily lunches and the Wyndam Garden hotel offers free overnight stays. Because the lighthouse does not have access to running water, Hermes is taking advantage of the Wyndam’s accommodations.

Battling the elements

On Monday, Hermes struggled with using spray paint in gusty, 30 mph wind. Her original design, covering nearly the entire lower 6 feet of the lighthouse, might be scaled down due to inclement weather. Rain is also in the forecast throughout the week, according to

“I came up with a much more definitive plan, but the winds are making me change some things up,” Hermes said. “But that’s fine. That’s how I work. I’m an abstract artist. Things are very fluid. I want something visually beautiful from far away and from close up.”

The mural will feature geometric shapes and large blocks of color, according to Hermes.

“I have a very ambitious idea,” Hermes said. “We’ll see if it’s going to be possible.”

Cultivating the arts

McGee said she hopes to someday add a collapsible Murphy bed and a bathroom, allowing artists to stay in the lighthouse during the residency.

Her focus of the program is to beautify the community, cultivate an interest in the arts and make the lighthouse a valued and accessible resource.

The program was created in honor of Burhani, a local artist who practiced inside the lighthouse.

“I hope many people go down to the lighthouse and cheer on (Hermes) and our other artists,” McGee said. “We have such a vibrant and burgeoning art community. I am excited and hope our community members are inspired and excited as well.

Kenosha Lighthouse mural and 2017 project donations