Sophie Bolich

Cathedral Square Now Features Ice Bar, Immersive Art Exhibit

Milwaukee Downtown plans additional activities, including Broadway-themed ice skating, in coming months.

By - Jan 19th, 2023 09:07 pm
“Lightfield” by HYBYCOZO at Cathedral Square Park. Photo by Sophie Bolich.

“Lightfield” by HYBYCOZO at Cathedral Square Park. Photo by Sophie Bolich.

Now that the shine of the holidays has begun to fade, the reality of the winter season is beginning to sink in. As an answer to the months of dreary days ahead, Milwaukee Downtown has organized a full slate of activities to lift the mood with interactive art experiences, Broadway-themed ice skating and more.

On Thursday evening, BID members, local leaders, neighbors and a handful of local food trucks braved the cold drizzle at Cathedral Square Park to celebrate the opening of “Lightfield” by HYBYCOZO, an immersive art installation featuring eight, glowing ground sculptures and 16 hanging lanterns suspended from trees.

“Our latest roster of events demonstrates that Downtown Milwaukee is a year-round hot spot with entertainment for everyone, even during the chilly months,” said Beth Weirick, CEO of Milwaukee Downtown, BID #21, at the installation’s ribbon cutting. “Whether families decide to embrace the cold weather or stay cozy indoors, Downtown has something for everyone.”

The intricate, geometric ground sculptures are arranged diagonally in a line across the middle of the park while the much smaller lanterns are strung in groups of two and three in surrounding trees. As the daylight faded, the multicolored lights of the display grew more visible and striking.

“I’m so excited to be here and enjoy this beautiful display at Cathedral Square Park,” said Guy Smith, executive director of Milwaukee County Parks. “This day reminds me that we should enjoy our beautiful county parks throughout all four seasons.”

“Lightfield” is presented by Johnson Financial Group and coordinated by Milwaukee Downtown. The large-scale display is free and open to the public until May 5, 2023.

The premiere of “Lightfield” is also a kickoff to Gallery Night MKE, which will feature 30 galleries, museums, boutiques, and restaurants throughout downtown on Friday, Jan. 20 and Saturday, Jan. 21. A complete list of participants is available online.

After a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the installation, attendees were invited to embrace the chill at an ice bar located on the south side of the park. The approximately six-foot-long bar was carved by Art Below Zero and operated by Oak Barrel Public House.

The festivities are set to continue on Friday from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Both Thursday and Friday, attendees are invited to keep the party going at Taylor’s, 795 N. Jefferson St., starting at 8 p.m.

For those who would rather glide on the ice than belly up to it, “Broadway Skates” at Red Arrow Park‘s “Slice of Ice” rink allows families to skate alongside professional figure skaters, backed by tunes from musicals such as “HAIRSPRAY” (Friday, Jan. 20 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.) and “Disney’s FROZEN” (Saturday, Feb. 18 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.).

The series, coordinated by the newly formed Milwaukee Theater District, will also feature figure skating performances by Ice Theatre MKE and Wisconsin Figure Skating Club, “show globe” photo-ops, ice sculptures, DJs, specialty lighting and giveaways.

More area happenings will be listed in calendar form and posted to the Milwaukee Downtown website. For a complete list of downtown tours and events, including a map of the city’s temperature-controlled skywalk system and downtown’s public art, visit the organization’s “Winter in the City” page.

HYBYCOZO is the studio name for artists Yelena Filipchuk and Serge Beaulieu. “Their works celebrate the inherent beauty of geometric form and pattern, and compose them in ways that harmonize the experience of sculpture, light, and shadow. HYBYCOZO is short for The Hyperspace Bypass Construction Zone and represents the artists ongoing journey investigating the myriad dimensions of geometry,” says the duo’s website.


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One thought on “Cathedral Square Now Features Ice Bar, Immersive Art Exhibit”

  1. Polaris says:

    What a gorgeous exhibition! When will Urban Milwaukee be hosting it’s members happy hour at the ice bar??? 😉

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