Busy Intersection Will Promote Kindness
Artist Fred Kaems partnering with North Shore Bank on effort.
People coming and going from downtown Milwaukee will soon have some artistic encouragement to be nice.
Artist Fred Kaems is installing seven-foot-tall, painted letters near the intersection of N. Water St. and E. Pleasant St. that spell out “BE KIND.” The artwork is scheduled to debut in June.
Kaems will also paint the windows on the banks as part of a kindness-themed installation.
“We hope this new art installation serves as a reminder to all to spread kindness, and we invite the community to come and take photos, say hi, and engage with us during our events this summer,” said bank district manager and vice president Cristen Baumann in a statement.
Kaems has painted a number of murals in Milwaukee, including the city’s first Giannis Antetokounmpo mural in 2018, the two-story tall “Dream Library” in 2020 and “Greetings from MKE” in 2021.
North Shore launched its Bank of Kindness program in 2020 and reports donating $42,000 to nonprofit organizations as part of the ongoing effort.
Beyond repurposing the existing house, the new branch takes advantage of the sloped site and offers a patio overlooking The North End apartment complex and Milwaukee River.
A grass-covered lot remains at the western edge of the site overlooking the intersection and provides a space for Kaems’ art as well as future programming.
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