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Street Canvas Brightens Bay View with Eye-catching Murals

Jul. 25, 2017
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Photo Credit: Jean-Gabriel Fernandez

You could say it’s the summer of public art in the city. The Sculpture Milwaukee project, with 22 pieces by local and international artists, lines Wisconsin Avenue. At the Hilton Milwaukee City Center Downtown, Joel Pfeiffer has installed 16 sculptures in the courtyard as a Secret Garden project. In Bay View, five artists have created murals placed throughout the Kinnickinnic Avenue corridor. Only the latter of these endeavors is permanent, and it contributes to the ever-evolving character of Bay View.

Collectively titled Street Canvas, the murals originated as a plan by the Kinnickinnic Avenue Business District as a means of adding more visual interest to the area. Potential sites were located, essentially, by knocking on doors and asking if building owners would be interested in having large-scale art decorate their exterior.

The styles of the murals vary, from the purely abstract and playful design of Dena Nord’s work above Mr. P’s Tires, to atmospheric figures like Jenny Anderson’s amorphous faces that flicker in patches of color at the Shape-Up Shoppe. Nova Czarnecki’s Witness to the Wild at Rusty Sprocket Antiques, as well as murals by Jenny Jo Kristan and Rozalia Hernandez-Singh paired together in the alley between District 14 Brewery and LuLu Café, represent figures of women as emblems of strength and inspiration.

The fact that the five artists in the project are all female was a guiding principle of the project. Stacey Williams-Ng of Wallpapered City, an organization that helped guide the project, notes that, in this way, “We’re celebrating women in Bay View this year.” 

Street Canvas follows in the footsteps of other street art projects like Black Cat Alley on the East Side and is part of a public art zeitgeist with other new murals now on view in Walker’s Point and two upcoming murals commissioned by Radio Milwaukee. Keep your eyes on the street; there’s even more to come.

Locations for Street Canvas in Bay View: Mr. P’s Tires (2366 S. Howell), Shape Up Shoppe (2697 S. Kinnickinnic), Rusty Sprocket Antiques (3383-3391 S. Kinnickinnic Ave.), District 14 Brewery & Pub (2273 S. Howell Ave.), LuLu Café & Bar (2265 S. Howell). 


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