gallery01-northeast wallsThe Three Lakes Center for the Arts Marie Moore Gallery is open Thursday – Saturday, 10AM to 3PM

Sam Mulé, August Artist of the Month

The carved wooden sign above the garage door displays the residents’ first names, “Bud” and Kathy. For a moment, I think I have the wrong house but then see Mulé – rhymes with Buble” (as in Michael Buble’.) This is the home of Sam Mulé and is nestled on an idyllic property on Anvil Lake.

The garage door is open to Mulé’s workshop and gives the first clue that this is a meticulous fellow. He may have just straightened it but the sawdust one expects with a woodworker is missing and many pieces of local and exotic wood are stacked in orderly fashion.

Mulé greets me and shows me inside. Turns out “Bud” is a nickname he got as a kid, being one of six boys and named Sam, Jr. The home is Northwoods’ perfection, with hand finished maple paneling, a large stone fireplace, windows framing picturesque lake scenes and warmth, comfort and creativity all around. A large canvas photo of the family presents Sam, his wife, Kathy, their two married sons with wives and four grandchildren, and their 3rd son with his fiance’e, soon to be an August bride.

A piece of Mulé’s “intarsia” woodworking is displayed on the rough hewn mantle. A wily fox with a mouse in its mouth has been created by using many different pieces and species of wood, in varying colors and shapes, all fitting together like an elegant puzzle.

Mulé was born in Waukegan, IL. After graduating from Northern Illinois University, he took a job at a state hospital to pay back the State for his education. Work brought him to Cadott, WI. where he taught Special Education for two years. The supervisor there asked Mulé if he would get a degree as Director of Special Education, which he did and ultimately supervised 25 districts. He retired in 2001, after 28 years as a Director of Special Education in WI. including Northland Pines and Three Lakes.

“After retiring,” Mulé said, “ my wife and I decided to spend some time in the warm Arizona weather. A local friend, Al Geiger, encouraged me to find a hobby and after some resistance, I took an introduction to wood art class called “ INTARSIA.” Ultimately, Mulé converted half his garage into a woodshop and spends hours working on ways to breathe life into 3-D depictions of flowers and animals in the form of natural wood designs.

All of his art is natural wood color enhanced by the use of clear satin finish which fully brings out the grains. Mulé explained “I try to find unusual grains and colors from throw away pieces most artists would rather not use. I use the knots of various wood to give the animals a more life like feel and attitude. Some pictures are framed with barn wood to stress a more rustic look.”

Mulé starts his projects by finding pictures of birds, animals and flowers. “Part of the fun,” he said, “is to visualize how I can turn a head, add a background, or present a subject in such a way as to create the feeling that the subject is alive. When I get near the end of the project, I can’t wait to apply the finish to see what grains it will illuminate and what colors will emerge.” Mulé’s work will be featured in the gallery at the Three Lakes Center for the Arts for the month of August. There will be a reception, free and open to the public, with wine and appetizers from 5 to 7 on Fri. Aug. 2. Come and meet the artist and enjoy seeing his work.

gallery-marie dedicationThe Marie Moore Gallery

Marie joined our Board soon after it’s inception and took charge of operating the art gallery. She was magic in finding volunteers and artists to become involved with us. She gained the respect of members, artists, and customers with her quiet, humble, and professional commitment.

Her dry humor and positive attitude were uplifting. Some people are born to try and save the world, but Marie saved the day, over and over gain, with her simple, sensible, and sane approach to problem solving and advancing the TLCA’s mission. These traits made her a wonderful president and once she took the job, we wouldn’t let her quit.

She had a great sense of style, artistic flair, and creativity that led to many themes for parties, titles for events, and clever decorations. She also made great deviled eggs and never failed to bring them to many “Meet the Artist” receptions, along with hundreds of other snacks.

We honor Marie by naming our newly remodeled gallery that she so loved and managed, “The Marie Moore Gallery.”

Marie was – above all – a very humble person, so there was no gala or big celebration. The plaque on the wall in her cherished gallery is where she can be appreciated and remembered by all who visit and are missed. Thanks for the memories and all you did for us, Marie.


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Three Lakes Center for the Arts

1760 Superior Street
P.O. Box 126
Three Lakes, WI 54562

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