The Wisconsin Veterans Museum chose to be a part of the Art Bikes program this year to bridge the civilian-military divide by meeting people where they are at. Art is not the first idea that comes to mind when a person thinks of the military, and yet the design of the bike comes directly from a painting of Camp Randall in a Corporal John Gaddis’ watercolor diary from the U.S. Civil War.
People may not realize that before football fans cheered at Camp Randall, Union soldiers trained there. Nearly every regiment that fought in the U.S. Civil War passed through Camp Randall. It is a truly historic place in Madison and in the context of our nation's history. By placing Gaddis' painting of Camp Randall on the bike, we hope riders will more fully understand the origin of that landmark and pause to consider the humanity behind the history.
See more of John Gaddis' work here.