Brandon Anderegg

Wisconsin Ave. Will Get 10 Murals

But small ones. On utility boxes. Made by artists. Paid by Downtown BID.

By - Feb 8th, 2017 03:22 pm
Looking east down E. Wisconsin Avenue from Jefferson St. Photo by Jeramey Jannene.

Looking east down E. Wisconsin Avenue from Jefferson St. Photo by Jeramey Jannene.

Milwaukee Downtown recently published a request for creativity (RFC) for mural installations on 10 Wisconsin Avenue utility boxes. The RFC is a creative variation, you might say, on the standard request for proposals or RFP process, inviting artists to propose new design concepts for an overlooked part of the civic infrastructure.

“This is the year of Wisconsin Avenue,” said Beth Weirick, CEO of Milwaukee Downtown, BID #21. “There is so much momentum along the avenue and the utility box project is just one of the many developments adding vibrancy to our historic main street.”

Utility box located at the southeast corner of N. Jackson St. and E. Wisconsin Ave..

Utility box located at the southeast corner of N. Jackson St. and E. Wisconsin Ave..

This project is intended to bring awareness of Milwaukee’s creative community as well as establish Wisconsin Avenue as the city’s historic main street. The organization hopes that the final designs will reflect Wisconsin Avenue’s rich history of architecture, commerce, diversity, people and the city’s bright future.

Milwaukee Downtown has allocated $1,500 for each utility box to cover the artist’s time and materials. The project is sponsored by the business improvement district as well as community partners.

The utility box mural installations will serve as the pilot initiative for the new Arts on Wisconsin Avenue program. The program seeks to build Downtown’s identity by enhancing places with a variety of art installments.

The RFC gives artists flexibility. They may submit mural idea(s) for one utility box, several, or all ten. They can submit ideas individually or as a team of artists.

The designs are expected to be installed in June 2017.

All design inquiries must be submitted no later than Wednesday, Feb. 15 to Gabriel Yeager, Final submissions are due Wednesday, March 1. The RFC is available online.

Location of Boxes

  • 800 E. Wisconsin Ave. at NE Wis/Cass (NM Bus Stop)
  • 650 N. Jackson Street SE Corner Jackson/Wisconsin (Across from Fed Courthouse)
  • 401 E. Wisconsin Ave. SW Corner Wis/Jefferson
  • 411 E. Wisconsin Ave. SE Corner Wis/Milwaukee
  • 200 E. Wisconsin Ave NE Corner Wis/Water
  • 707 N. Plankinton Ave. NW Corner Wis/Plankington (At MO’s Irish Pub)
  • 703 N. 2nd St. NW Corner Wis/2nd
  • 300 W. Wisconsin Ave. NW Corner Wis/3rd
  • 700 N. 6th St. NE Corner Wis/6th (at convention center)
  • 706 N/ 9th NE Corner Wis/9th

Boxes Today


Categories: Real Estate

8 thoughts on “Wisconsin Ave. Will Get 10 Murals”

  1. Michael Carriere says:

    I didn’t realize Wisconsin Avenue stops at 9th Street. Who knew?

  2. Brad says:

    @Michael Carriere Milwaukee Downtown is funding and organizing this. Downtown ends around 9th Street.

  3. Dennis Lemahieu says:

    Yes it does end at 9th street. Actually 6th and Wisconsin. When u get to 6th and Wisconsin head toward WALKERS POINT. 😉😉😉

  4. 9th is probably where BID #21 stops.

  5. Sean says:

    Glad to see this project wasn’t just willed to Newaukee. Money is being allocated from the beginning, this will turn out to be a great installation. Cheers to BID #21

  6. Virginia says:

    This sounds like a creative way to make some boring, but necessary, streetscape fixtures interesting.

    Of course, the proof will be in the pudding.

  7. judith moriarty says:

    VirginiaL These are utility boxes for heaven’s sake. they were never interesting, and it’s distressing that they now are art-making boxes. who is deciding what’s worth putting on a utility box? names please. author author of article.

  8. Virginia says:

    Judith, I agree that the “jury is still out.” And yes, the article does not say who will jury the entries.

    In any case, it’s dismaying that Milwaukee’s powers-that-be continue to promote “art” of some sort to make welcoming public spaces–while generally ignoring comfort and other basics that make public spaces appealing. It”s not even always hugely expensive to improve public spaces. Food carts and benches will draw more people than art. Let’s hope they are on BID’s to-do list as well.

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