Member Deborah Weik and the Wolcott Public Library Nature Mural
It followed suit that Debbie Weik would be the one. After all, it was 14 years prior that she had painted three murals about the state of Connecticut in the lower level of the Wolcott Public Library. And with more experience as a painter and naturalist under her belt, she began to imagine all that should be included in the massive 10-by-30-foot mural that the Friends of The Wolcott Public Library had commissioned her to create in the gathering space for young-adult patrons.
Debbie began putting her thoughts on paper during the Fall of 2017. There would be weeks of planning before any paint would touch the wall. In the end, the painting alone took six weeks to complete.
The mural evolved into a panorama of familiar Connecticut woodland creatures. But wait… there’s more! Each constituent of flora and fauna is documented by common and scientific names on a key that is available to those who wish to more deeply explore the mural’s subjects (click to download). What an enjoyable and entertaining way to expose the inquisitive to the breadth and beauty of wildlife in our state!
Targeted primarily to children and young adults, some whimsy has been integrated into the design. For example, the book drop is positioned on the mural wall and was disguised and incorporated into the woodland design. Library staff and patrons who witnessed the wall’s progression became sources of daily creative inspiration.
Debbie was also honored by the request to add Michaela Petit’s Four O’Clock flowers to the existing “Connecticut Signs and Symbols” mural she painted in 2004 at the library. Four O’Clocks were adopted as the Official State Children’s Flower in 2015; the first children’s state flower designation to have been made in the United States.
Debbie has always loved and been involved with nature and art. Growing up in Wisconsin, she was a Girl Scout and her family gardened and camped. Her family moved to New York when she was in High School. Her husband, Fred Weik, hails from Morris Conn. Fred worked under David Smith at White Flower Farm back in the 60s. The Weik’s Wolcott home includes a “Sustainable Homestead Backyard Vegetable Heaven” and Fred teaches others to do the same. He was quite instrumental in bringing an 1800’s farm in Wolcott back into cultivation. (The ornamentals are Debbie’s department.)
For her livelihood, Debbie’s career took her through advertising and publishing as an illustrator, production manager, layout and design artist and art director. In the 2000s, she turned her focus outdoors and began working as a landscape gardener and designer. She achieved her NOFA Accredited Organic Land Care Professional (AOLCP) accreditation in 2007. Debbie’s love of the natural world is unmistakable in her art and landscape design.