Chris Rommel
Chris Rommel

Chris Rommel is going to stretch people’s faces at their request.

The Eau Claire, Wisconsin, caricature artist will be at South Park on Sunday, Aug. 20, to stretch the likenesses of individuals across a sheet of paper, perhaps also drawing giggles out of people. He will be set up with an easel and paper by the pavilions at South Park from noon to 3 p.m. drawing caricatures free of charge.     

This is the first time a caricature artist has been part of Ag Days and sponsored by the Chamber, said Spring Valley Chamber of Commerce Secretary, Ann Keim, and she hopes that people who appreciate a different take on portraiture will visit Rommel’s booth at the pavilion. 

“It sounded like fun, and it is something new,” she said. 

Rommel is an award-winning caricaturist and nationally published illustrator who studied at the Academy of Art University in San Francisco, the University of Wisconsin-Stout and the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, learning graphic design, character animation, illustration and multimedia.

His interest began when caricaturist Steve Brodner was a guest speaker to UW-Eau Claire, where Rommel earned his bachelor of fine arts degree in 1999, according to his online biography.  After viewing Brodner’s caricatures, Rommel became inspired and, as fate would have it, saw a flyer seeking artists to draw caricatures at a nearby theme park.

Rommel’s resume includes time sketching at ValleyFair in Shakopee, among other places. While employed there, he received a hands-on training under the instruction of MAD Magazine illustrator Tom Richmond, manager of the caricature concession.

After he graduated from college in Eau Claire, he was contracted by entertainment agencies to draw caricatures for event entertainment, eventually drawing caricatures at fairs for Wildman Caricatures. He toured nationwide with Wildman for a brief period, drawing at the busiest and largest state fairs in the country.  Rommel even traveled across the world to draw caricatures.  In 2004, he was invited to Tokyo, Japan, by Central West, Inc., to help train rookie caricaturists. 

Determined to start a business for himself, Rommel experimented by operating a caricature kiosk inside a local shopping mall and also advertised his services for hire, eventually, establishing his own company, Exaggerated Entertainment, which manages a team of caricaturists to draw caricatures at events in Minnesota and Wisconsin.  

The artist is a member of the International Society of Caricature Artists ISCA) and has won the 2006 Golden Nosey Award for Caricaturist of the Year.  Rommel is also a nationally published illustrator and works as a freelance illustrator for clients worldwide. 

 “Although long-term goals may be undetermined,” his biography states, “his main career goal is to keep improving as an artist.  Rommel enjoys entertaining people with his talent and continues his dedication of making quality artwork, one drawing at a time.” 

For more information on his drawing career or to see his artwork, log onto www.chrisrommel.com