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Editorial: By all means, let's show off local artistry in public buildings

Our library has showcased public art for years with rotating exhibits found on walls, tables and window ledges. The current one above features a series of acrylic paintings by noted River Falls area artist Cheryl Maplethorpe.

The City Council made it official last month: A procedure is being put in place for exhibiting works of art at City Hall. The procedure includes having a standing committee to select from submitted works of art for display.

One of the committee members is Jera Terreng, events coordinator at the public library. That's a smart choice. Terreng's job is to devise, recruit and set up exhibits in the library's lower level. And as regular library patrons know, the library's been displaying public art -- from sketches and photographs to glassware and sculptures -- since the facility opened 15 years ago.

All that rotating artwork brightens walls and constantly freshens the interior. It contributes to a stimulating, dynamic atmosphere. Not only that, it gives artists from the area some pretty decent exposure.

Our new City Hall is another beautifully designed building. Having regular artistic exhibits will enhance that architectural beauty. We think it will also promote a sense of civic pride for our community.

The council's new policy on art -- details are still being finalized for the public -- is expected to provide ample viewing space at five primary and five secondary sections on both floors of City Hall. Various art displays will be shown for periods of three to six months before making way for the next installation.

Good for our city officials and representative for taking the time to follow through on this task. We hope it works out and are eager to view the results.

Easy to flip for this team

By winning the sixth state gymnastics championship in school history March 2 in Wisconsin Rapids, first-year head coach Rachel Paulson and the Wildcat girls team added to a remarkable legacy with their storybook finish.

River Falls High School grew into a gymnastics dynasty under the leadership of Shelly Kahut-Loomis and assistant coach Brian Whipple. But when the pair stepped down last fall after 13 years coaching together, some wondered if the dynasty could live on.

In stepped a pair of former Wildcats -- Paulson and Lauren Brathol -- to take over the program. Both won state titles as student athletes under Kahut-Loomis and Whipple. Both learned the finer points of coaching from their mentors, as evidenced by this year's state title.

Since the inception of the WIAA State Gymnastics Tournament in 1971, River Falls has qualified 23 times, including the last 12 years in a row. In those dozen years they've won six state titles -- the most in Division 2 -- finished runner-up twice, and never placed lower than fourth.

Those are numbers that any team, in any sport, would be enviable of. We're proud to say they belong to River Falls.

Online Poll: Baseball loan: Split view

The Journal's online poll question this week asked: Do you agree with the city's decision to back a six-figure loan for the River Falls Baseball Council to be used for a new ball field at Hoffman Park? Early voting shows: YES and NO, both 50%. Break the tie and go vote at