Stoughton's Heritage Plaque was mounted on Thursday, April 2 to recognize the history of the mural on Main Street.

Stoughton’s Heritage Plaque was mounted on Thursday, April 2 to recognize the history of the mural on Main Street.

When it comes to remembering the Stoughton Historical Mural painter, Melvin Butor, his former assistant has a story to tell.

Nathan Reinhold told the Hub he helped to make a significant contribution to the iconic Stoughton landmark. Even though Reinhold now lives in Pennsylvania, he recalled being an art student at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in the late 1990s.

It was then he was recruited as an assistant painter for Butor. Helping him remember those times, his father, Richard, gave Nathan a signed print of the mural gifted to him from Butor himself.

Nathan then answered some questions about his experience with Butor.

His responses have been edited for brevity and clarity.

How did you end up working with Melvin Butor on the historical mural?

Reinhold: I was a senior at the University of Wisconsin and doing my Bachelor of Fine Arts and I was basically focusing mostly on painting. And I had a teacher there, one of my professors, last name Lazarro, he was my painting professor for basically my independent painting work. And he told me of this project, and he was looking for assistant painters for this mural project.

What went into the process of painting the mural?

The painting was already started; there was a lot of work already done because it was, of course, a really big project done on these large concrete panels, and they had built these movable dollies and put the paintings on horizontally so they laid flat and painted them upright. They had three of them, and we could move them around so we could match them up, and then move them apart and so forth.

Did working with Butor give you any insight on his ideas behind the mural design?

It was largely planned out already, when I came on board and he definitely wanted to include important things about and from Stoughton’s history. There’s the skiing reference there, certain buildings, sort of, the dress and appearance. He definitely wanted to include a little bit of that kind of rosemåling feel in some areas.