Conrad Schmitt Studios Hired by HWBT

Historic West Bend theatre, Inc. (HWBT) has selected Conrad Schmitt Studios, Inc., of New Berlin, along with renowned local artist Chuck Dwyer, as its contractor for reproduction and repainting of the artwork that decorated the original 1929 interior of the “house.”

A paint analysis discovered the elaborate artwork as the restoration process was initiated. Much of it was stenciled art that covers the pilasters, boxes below the urns, beams and ceiling.

The artwork was covered over sometime during its 90-year history with maroon paint.

Tracings of all the stencils’ patterns will guide the restoration artists in reproducing the bright and colorful artwork throughout the historic building.

The cost of the artwork reparation will be about $100,000. “We had not expected to discover that added historical element for the building,” said Nic Novaczyk, HWBT president.

“We did not budget for this expense, so we are asking our broad base of supporters in the community to raise this added amount,” he added.

There will be a community event July 18 to accomplish that raise. Conrad Schmitt president Gunar Gruenke said the firm has retained Dwyer, a well-know regional artist in the intricate project. Dwyer is a West Bend native and graduate of West Bend High School. He was Valedictorian from the Milwaukee School of Art and Design (now MIAD) and studied in Europe. His restoration assignments include the Cathedral of Notre Dame and the murals at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York City.

Dwyer said he went the theatre a boy and is excited to be a part of bringing it back to life.

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