Growing up in a place like La Crosse.
it's easy to take a lot of what we see on a daily
basis for granted.
I had the chance to catch up with one man.
that's made a huge difference in the shaping of this
So much so that it just might surprise you.
Take a look around La Crosse.
and what do you notice.
A city cornerstone...
A riverside monument...
that make a city one of a kind.
All are related.
They were all done by one man.
ELMER That's just something I do, I'm a sculptor,
I make scuplture.
A current resident in Galesville...
Elmer was born in Racine.
and wasn't drawn to scuplting until college.
at the University of Wisconsin Madison.
ELMER I did okay in sculpture, nothing special.
He would move to Texas to become a teacher.
later decided to make the trip back to Wisconsin with
his wife and children.
ELMER She wanted to come up north and kind of in between
the grand parents in Racine and South dakota so I
had told her about this place because I had hitch
hiked up here when I was young
Elmer hoped he could do what he loved...
And after multiple sculpting jobs.
the rest was history.
For the next 39 years.
Elmer would fly under the radar
ELMER I know for a fact that I've gone by a lot of
art works and so forth and I never think about the
person that actually did it
But would continue to make his mark around the city
of La Crosse.
From the iconic La Crosse players statue
ELMER They said they wanted a sculpture for the city
and I read the histroy for the city and I decided
that would be a good subject.
To the Eagle in Riverside Park...
ELMER I saw that spot, all it was was that circle
at the end of state street and I thought thats the
perfect place for a sculpture, you can see it from
five blocks up.
Along everything in between...
This 86 years young sculptor has a long resume.
but isn't calling it quits yet.
Inside his studio.
at six feet high.
his next piece as part of the upcoming Poage park
And it's unlike anything he's done before.
ELMER If I made them into a sequence, it would almost
be like a movie but also I could hold them up above
So take another look around La Crosse.
And what you might now notice is the shaping of a
through the hard work and creativity of the simple
Wisconsin native sculptor.
ELMER Some people are singers, some people are whatever
they are, engineers so I consider myself an atrist,
Elmer continued to say he'd sculpt until he physically
He even said when that point came.
he'd continue after that.
creating the art on a lesser scale.
and then having someone else sculpt it in actual size.
ELMER PETERSEN WEBSITE
If you want to know more about Elmer or simply check
out the work that he's done.
just head to the website shown at the bottom of your