3/10/17 – One of the painters who will be part of this summer’s ‘Decorate the Dam’ festival recently spoke with us about what it means to be a ‘Walldog.’ That’s the name of the international group of roughly 200 artists who will converge on Beaver Dam this summer to paint over a dozen murals in the city’s downtown. During a recent appearance on WBEV’s Community Comment program, Jessalyn Braun of the Beaver Dam Area Arts Association says she became a Walldog in preparation for this summer’s festival. When she took her position with BDAAA, Braun says the city had already been selected as a host city for one of these festivals, which take place around the world. In preparation for this summer, Braun says she has traveled to festivals in Delavan, Wisconsin, Marshall, Illinois, and Butler, Pennsylvania. In Delavan, she was primarily responsible for a portrait of Frank Lloyd Wright on an architectural history mural. Braun says she took on multiple smaller roles in the Marshall festival since she was not there the entire time. In Butler, she worked on a mural depicting local brewery history. Braun says there are no set criteria to be a Walldog. She says people who specialize in sign making typically do the lettering while she focuses more on pictures. While the Walldogs do the outlining and shading, Braun says members of the community are often invited to help paint some of the larger spaces. ‘Decorate the Dam’ will run from June 28 through July 2. The murals are intended to bolster tourism and also beautify the downtown area.