Chippewa Falls’ Markquart Motors names winner of first American flag mural competition

Local News

CHIPPEWA FALLS, Wis. (WLAX/WEUX) – A Chippewa Falls car dealership found a creative way to honor America and a help a student pay for school.

First News at Nine’s Leeann Stapleton explains what they did.

Markquart Motors in Chippewa Falls held an American flag mural competition over the winter. The idea came an employee who suggested an American flag be on display. That idea turned into a student competition with a $5,000 scholarship as the prize.

Contestants were tasked with creating a mural interpreting the American flag in their own way. Craig Geissler, internet sales and marketing manager at Markquart Motors, said this idea came from wanting show some spirit.

“We wanted show American values and support,” Geissler said.

Geissler says there were numerous submissions and they narrowed it down to pick the winner.

“We got a couple dozen applicates. We chose four and then the staff here at Markquart Motors voted and we chose a wonderful design by UW-Eau Claire student Jillian,” Geissler said.

Jillian Raschke is a sophomore at UW-Eau Claire majoring in psychology and double majoring in French and criminal justice. She paints in her free time and has been doing so since she was young.

The design she created is the American Flag overlaid on the United States constitution. She got the idea from a previous contest she entered. Raschke says winning the mural competition caught her by surprise.

“I wasn’t expecting to win and I didn’t know how many people were entering, but when I got that phone call it was pretty exciting,” Raschke said.

Raschke had entered a number of artistic contests in the past. She says she’s not in it for a reward, but for the art.

“I think just creating art and putting it out in the world is enough,” Raschke said.

The painting will blown up into a 12-foot canvas and hung in a spot where the most eyes can look at it.

“We had space available in our service lanes. It’s highly visible and a lot of people go through our service lanes everyday,” Geissler said.

In Chippewa Falls, Leann Stapelton, First News at Nine.

Markquart Motors hopes to have the mural up on display soon and it will stay up for about a year. It will then be auctioned off and new mural will go up.

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