Jeramey Jannene
Eyes on Milwaukee

Sculpture Milwaukee Opens Second Season

See photos of the 21 sculptures, ribbon cutting ceremony

By - Jun 1st, 2018 04:02 pm
Stephen Marcus cutting the ribbon for the 2018 Sculpture Milwaukee exhibit. Photo by Jeramey Jannene.

Stephen Marcus cutting the ribbon for the 2018 Sculpture Milwaukee exhibit. Photo by Jeramey Jannene.

Milwaukee’s favorite art exhibit is back for another year.

Sculpture Milwaukee, a free exhibit of world-class sculptures along Wisconsin Ave., is officially open to the public following a ceremony at Northwestern Mutual Tower and Commons.

Hundreds of people attended the noon kickoff, the first public event held in the insurance company’s new front yard, to welcome the sculptures back for another year. Two sculptures bookend the gardens this year, a white version of Robert Indiana‘s LOVE sculpture is on the east end and Seer (Alice II) by Kiki Smith helps delineate the west end.

Nineteen other sculptures line Wisconsin Ave, running from the gleaming new tower west to N. 5th St. and W. Wisconsin Ave. The pieces line each side of the street.

The idea for the massive exhibit came from Marcus Corp. chairman Stephen Marcus. At the unconventional ribbon cutting ceremony for last year’s exhibition, Marcus boldly declared “this is the largest exhibit of museum quality monumental sculpture in the world.”

At Friday’s ribbon cutting Marcus joked that visitors should “get some love at the Love sculpture.”

All of the pieces are for sale, with prices ranging from $25,000 to $1 million. Marcus told a recent meeting of the Greater Milwaukee Committee that the organization received approximately $300,000 in commissions from sales last year.

The event is supported by 35 private donors. Northwestern Mutual is listed as a presenting sponsor this year, and Associated Bank sponsored the ribbon-cutting ceremony. “We are not a community without the arts,” said Associated Bank market president John Utz. Milwaukee Downtown provides substantial staffing support for the program.

A handful of pieces on Wisconsin Ave. are holdovers from last year’s exhibit, like Mood by Tony Tasset that is permanently installed outside the 411 Building or others like Tower (Gubbio) by Sol LeWitt whose stay was extended at the request of the curators.

The exhibit, which runs until October 21st, is curated by a partnership of Russell Bowman and Marilu Knode.

Sculpture Photos

Ceremony Photos

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