Wolfpack Logo Provides Big Challange For Faragher

While he would never put himself in the same category as Rembrandt, Monet, Picasso or van Gogh, one Minnesota painter is busy creating masterpieces – of sorts – on gymnasium courts across the nation including several school gyms located here in Northeast Nebraska.
While Michelangelo’s canvas at the Sistine Chapel was a ceiling, this artist’s canvas is wooden floors. Fans of EPPJ sports and Elgin Public School activities will get to enjoy this work of art for years to come.
This past week, Steve Faragher spent three days in Elgin, beginning with the prep work on Thurssday and finishing the painting of the Wolfpack mascot logo Saturday morning at the center of the court on Elgin Public School’s new gymnasium floor. Faragher is the go-to guy when it comes to graphics at Anderson Ladd, the flooring company contractor located in Minneapolis.
The Elgin Review was able to visit with Faragher on a few occasions during his stay.
“I’m usually in the office, creating the computer graphics that our painters use on site,” Faragher said on Friday. But when the job demands a little more detail work, Faragher gets to pack his bags, toothbrush and paint brushes and take a road trip.
“I’ve done several gyms that required more detail work here in Nebraska. I worked on the Creighton Bulldog, Orchard’s Cyclone, O’Neill’s Eagle and the Palmer Tiger”.
According to Faragher, while all these mascots required some fairly complicated detail work, the Wolfpack logo is by far the most detailed due to the trio of wolves and background around the ‘pack.
He explained the process to us: prep work begins on the raw wood floor. The wood is seal coated and then the “sander” (person working the project) applies the computer vinyl cutout (similar to a stencil) after carefully measuring to be sure everything is centered and in its proper position. Once it is attached, the sander takes an X-acto knife and carefully cuts out sections that will be used for a particular color.  For instance, all the areas that were to be painted gray were cut out at the same time, painted and allowed time to dry. In observing Faragher as he worked, most of this time is spent either on his kneels or sitting down, bent over the project with a brush or knife in his hands.
At this time in the project, it’s crucial that the painted areas be left alone. The painted areas will receive two coats of polyureathane over them at the same time that the entire court is coated.
Surprisingly, of all the artwork he has worked on, the one that caused him the most frustration was a staining job on the gymnasium floor in Friend, Nebraska.
“The Superintendent wanted the area inside the three point line to be stained as a gradient. The wood was hickory which doesn’t take stain well. I knew she wasn’t going to be happy but I did it anyway and she wasn’t,” he said. After one week of working on that and then coming back for another week to try to make the stain better, everyone was happy – except for the Superintendent. “I knew it wasn’t going to work but she wanted what she wanted and I wasn’t going to change her mind,” Faragher says with some regret.
No one likes to have their name attached to a project that is destined to fail and he is no exception.
Like everything, these works of art have a lifespan.
“Wear varies with care and maintenance,” he said. “Most big schools re-sand about every ten years, the design can be repainted any time it’s needed”.
The painting on the logo and around the perimeter of the court is finished but work continues. Several “bump size rises” have occurred around the perimeter of the court.
Superintendent Dan Polk said Complete Floors Inc. of Norfolk plans to complete the repair work and apply the final finishes this week.