3 D Art Depicts Regional Heritage and History

John Pugh created Confluence to celebrate the role of La Crosse as a sacred place. This sacred status arises from the interaction between the region’s rivers, landscape, and all the people who have called it home.

Confluence was envisioned by internationally renowned trompe l’oeil artist John Pugh and created by him with assistance from his staff, local artists, and apprentices. The brick wall of the Pump House Regional Arts Center was covered with a white plaster.  The mural was painted on strips of non-woven canvas that were applied to the plastered wall, similar to the way that wallpaper is hung.

This mural style is called trompe l’oeil, which means to deceive the eye into seeing three-dimensional illusions. Did you notice, for example, how the glaciers seem to jut out of the sides of the mural or that the painted bricks match the real bricks on the front of the building?

The 25-by-60-foot mural was dedicated June 14, 2014, during the first Artspire La Crosse celebration. The mural was funded by an Our Town grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, as well as State, County, City, corporate, foundation, and private support.

This mural on the Pump House Regional Arts Center in the heart of the La Crosse Arts District celebrates the spirit of this place and the importance of the arts, artists, and other creative people in forming and expressing our community’s identity. It also celebrates the convergence of many diverse peoples that have given La Crosse its unique culture.


Latitude: 43.810199 Longitude: -91.256145 Elevation: 653 ft

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