For those that knew and loved Paul Yank, this fundraiser has been set up by the Wisconsin Fine Arts Association - Ozaukee Art Center in partnership with The City of Cedarburg's Public Art's Commission to purchase Paul's sculpture titled "Tree of Life" (seen in above photo) to be dedicated for the permanent outdoor collection of The City of Cedarburg to memorialize Paul's significant contribution over the past 30 years to the arts in Cedarburg. To anyone interested in donating, we encourage you to do so here or contact the art center directly. 100% of your donations are tax deductible and will, not only, help to purchase Paul's sculpture for the City of Cedarburg, but continue to support the Wisconsin Fine Arts Association - Ozaukee Art Center with their general operating fund to continue the important educational work that Paul oversaw for nearly 30 years. Due to the pandemic, this dedication will be delayed temporarily until a time when people can all safely gather to celebrate Paul's life together. Thanks in advance for your contribution to this cause that means so much to us.
More information about Wisconsin Fine Arts Association - Ozaukee Art Center: The Ozaukee Art Center was founded by Paul and Marian Yank and several other local artists in 1971 for the purpose of education through classes and exhibitions of fine art. Over the last 30 years the art center has aspired to enrich the lives of all ages in our community and elsewhere through the power of art. The Ozaukee Art Center is a totally volunteer run organization.
Read thoughts and memories from former students, family and communities members:
Conspiring with Paul in his studio was an adventure – a unique, exciting adventure. While most artists plan their projects in advance, more times than not, I’d arrive at the Ozaukee Art Center not sure of what I’d be working on that day. Paul would say, “Take what it gives you.” He was referring to the process he’d taught us – placing stencils, textures, and other objects on inked plates, covering them with sheets of printmaking paper, then running them through a press. The results were tapestries of color and form that stimulated creativity. By taking what it gave me, via Paul’s artistic eye, I was able to see what I otherwise would not have seen. My art emerged from what was there, rather than being painstakingly planned.
My fellow artists, also mentored by Paul, made the environment much more than just a studio. It was an incubator of innovative art. We all had different artistic perspectives, but were united by a love of Paul’s process. The art that was produced was colorful, distinctive and a tribute to Paul’s mastery of his craft.
In a greater sense though, Paul was not only a teacher, but also a friend and an inspiration. Without working side by side with him, things can never be the same. I and my colleagues can only hope to carry on the tradition that he founded.
– Jack Pachuta
The City of Cedarburg is honored to have one of Paul Yank’s sculptures. He has left an everlasting impression on our community. As we look forward to the dedication of the sculpture this summer, we will continue to remember him through his many contributions to our City.
– Mikko Hilvo, City of Cedarburg Administrator
I grew up surrounded by fine arts and took multiple classes at the Art Center. One of my fondest memories is taking a stone-carving class more than 40 some years ago, one of many classes my father taught. I’ll never forget studying a limestone block with my dad, explaining to him how I could visualize the shape of an owl, and then going to work with our hammers and special stone chisels to make it appear. That was a special creative moment for us. Paul has always been an excellent educator, visionary, and mentor. A wonderful inspiration to us all. I hope we can all take a moment to share his vision and create a revitalized Ozaukee Art Center, under Karen's direction, and foster many more special creative moments for years to come.
– Brian Yank
I know Paul Yank as a brilliant artist, and a kind, creative, and caring mentor. I am honored and privileged to have worked with Paul for over 8 years. A quote from my Letter to the Editor published in summer of 2012 rings true, “One of the most exhilarating experiences of my life was … each Tuesday morning going to work with Paul Yank in his studio at the Ozaukee Art Center”. Over the years, there were several artists who joined the studio on Tuesdays and were mentored by Paul. We grew to love and respect his expertise and creativity—he brought the best out of each of us. I make art every day and every day I miss Paul.
– Jewell Riano
I served with Paul for several years on the Cedarburg Arts Commission. His decades of experience as a sculptor and printmaker were invaluable to the group as we tried to navigate the unfamiliar waters of sculptural mediums, durability, and care. On a visit to his studio a few years ago, I was staggered by the amount of work that Paul had produced, each piece more breathtaking than the last. Paul was definitely someone who never shut off his “art brain” and continued to explore ideas right up until the end. The hole that is left in the Arts Community is palpable.
— Deb Mortl, Cedarburg Arts Commission and Ozaukee Art Center Board Member