GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) – During Sunday night’s Packers game, after Mason Crosby’s final field goal, those watching the broadcast got a glimpse of the artistic instead of athletic side of Green Bay.Tucked in a back alley, just off the 300 block of South Broadway in Green Bay sits an artistic enclave. “We’re in a bit of a sketchier spot back here, the back alley on Broadway. But, we did a lot of work back here to brighten things up and make it nice so once you do get back here you’ll find the love,” says mural artist Beau Thomas. The centerpiece of the alley is a mural — “King of the North”. Beau Thomas, a Green Bay native (and UW-Green Bay grad, Art ’16), painted the pro bono piece of a crowned Aaron Rodgers more than eight months ago.
Inspired one night, using rollers and spray paint, Thomas said the tribute took him about eight hours to complete, adding, “I think I painted it last April, right before all of the drama started. So I kinda felt like I jinxed things with this, but luckily Aaron stuck around and it’s been a great year so far and this is kind of my way to say thank you to him and celebrate one of our heroes of the area.”
For him, it was a bit of shock when the game broadcast went to commercial break near the end of the third quarter. Thomas, like millions watching the TV across the country, saw his work.
“I was stunned. By the time I grabbed my phone to take a picture it had already faded away. The moment was gone, but then my phone starts ringing and friends and family were sending me pictures of it and it was really special,” he says.
Thomas, who’s painted about 200 murals — many around Green Bay — since starting his business eight years ago, has no idea how the Sunday Night Football broadcast learned about his mural. And while he was thrilled to see his work on TV, there’s one more recognition he’s hoping to get, from the “King of the North” himself.
“I know he knows,” says Thomas about Rodgers. He adds, “Just waiting to see a picture of him back here, posing with the wall.”
Thomas got his start on a mural in instructional services, and outside the Studio Arts building, on the Green Bay Campus. while he was still a UW-Green Bay student. He created an additional one at the Weidner Center.