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May 29, 2013

NEW BERLIN, WI May 29, 2013-


With a recent grant to 10-year-old oil painter from Boston, MA, the Gruenke Foundation for the Arts in New Berlin Wisconsin, has come full circle.


Joshua Chase, a gifted youth from Boston, Mass, was awarded a grant by the foundation's Board of Directors to study and paint with master artists from Conrad Schmitt Studios on a mural project for St. Peter's Catholic Church in Omaha, Nebraska.  


The young artist came to the attention of the foundation after he appeared on the Today Show's feature "Today's Stars of Tomorrow." You can see a video of the young painter meeting his role model, 91-year-old Ray Ellis in this clip:


Joshua's story is strikingly similar to that of the man who started the foundation. 


Back in 1930, Ms. Marie Kohler from the Kohler Bath Company honored young Bernard Otto Gruenke (later known as "Senior") from Sheboygan, WI with a grant to attend the Corcoran School of Art in Washington, DC. Gruenke went on to purchase and expand the world renowned Conrad Schmitt Studios.


For B. Gunar Gruenke and Heidi Gruenke Emery, grandchildren of the founder, this grant represents an opportunity to give back to the next generation of artists.


"It's an honor to be able to inspire our youth and to give them opportunities like those given to us and to our forefathers before us" B. Gunar Gruenke said.


Joshua and his family are very excited to have the opportunity to participate in such a grand and spiritual project.


"This will be my first time working on a mural and it will be really cool," said Joshua Chase. "I am so excited and honored to be learning something new.  Mom tells me the painting is way bigger than the ones I have done so far.  And I've never been to Wisconsin!"


About the Project

Joshua will be helping out with a massive mural project that will adorn the walls of the sanctuary of St. Peter's Catholic Church in Omaha, Nebraska.  He will be working with the artists from Conrad Schmitt Studios from July 1 to July 4, 2013.


Here is a trailer to a show that aired on EWTN on April 30th, 2013:


About the Gruenke Foundation

The Gruenke Foundation was established in 1991 for the "betterment of the community through the promotion of art", and hopes that the grant awarded to Josh will serve to further inspire his artistic endeavors going forward.


Accompanying the young artist to the studios will be his mother, Chantel Chase, who says she couldn't be more excited and grateful for all the recent opportunities and recognition of her son's newly discovered talent.  Examples of Josh's work can be seen here:


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