VITAL Features

  • Gallery Night, Summer 2010

    A personal photo essay

    Photo Editor Brian Jacobson finds that against his own Gallery Night seeking sensibilities, he can't manage to leave the Marshall Building.

  • Heartbeat City

    Photos by Erin Landry “If you were standing in this spot 150 years ago, you might have been run over by a train.” On a cul-de-sac on the Hank Aaron State Trail – fish leaping in the Menomonee River below, the breeze carrying the scent of summer wildflowers – this interpretive sign is hard to […]

  • Dead Man’s Carnival

    Photos by Kat Berger + Lynn Allen (Black Sheep Photography) The circus has a long, romantic history in Wisconsin. The seven dashing Ringling brothers held their first circus in Baraboo in 1884, and the town remained their headquarters and wintering grounds until 1917. The site is now the Circus World Museum. Fast forward to 2008: […]

  • Fire in the Disco

    Photos by Brian Jacobson + Eric Walton “Everyone calls me a magician. I don’t mind it so much, but – at least get it right.” If you’ve lived through a summer in Milwaukee and you’re not a total shut-in, you’ve probably seen Marcus Monroe – he’s hard to miss on his eight-foot unicycle, juggling knives […]

  • Summer days, summer nights with De La Buena

    By Amy Elliott and Amber Herzog De La Buena is: David Wake, Cecilio Negron Jr., Andy Noble, Julio Pabon, Aaron Gardner, Eric Jacobson, Mike Pauers, Jesse Sheehan, Holly Haebig, Elladia Regina James Wake (De La Baby). Not pictured: Jeremy Kuzniar, Jamie Breiwick. Ready for festival season? We sure are, especially because it inevitably means the […]

  • Pygmies in Chimayo

    By Justin Burke Long before they filed for divorce late in 2004, Mr. and Mrs. Bourbon had lost their hankering for the Corriente cattle ranch. Over the last decade they had made the venture successful and had profited greatly from the growing rodeo market. In March of the following year they auctioned off the stock, […]

  • The smell of fresh water

    This short story was a finalist in VITAL Source's 2008 fiction contest.

  • The Phreaks

    By Ken Brosky I knew this guy, babe, he could do things with his mouth you ain’t never seen. And I ain’t talking about sex here, all right? All right? Get your head out of the gutter and listen to me, because this is a story that’s gonna blow your mind. There was a guy […]

  • VITAL’s 2008 Farmer’s Market Guide

    By Amy Elliott & Lindsey Huster The big city grind is tough in the summer. It’s hot, smoggy and crowded. Whole city blocks are periodically shut down for sticky parties and loud, smelly rock shows. Most of us keep our day jobs for the season and then act like we don’t have anywhere to be […]


    More than just a ride

    By Rebecca Cook Photos by Harvey Opgenorth + Photo of Harvey by Rebecca Cook Milwaukee artist Harvey Opgenorth looks to his surroundings for inspiration and the ever-present possibility of an art experience. A man with an eye for detail, Harvey constantly surveys his environment, savoring details as simple as a crack in the sidewalk. Examining […]

  • Exercising Ideals

    “Give a man a fish, he eats for a day, teach man to fish, he eats for a lifetime.” Dave Casillas, of the newly founded Echo Base Collective, is not only familiar with this proverb; he is actively trying to live by it. “People don’t appreciate what they have. They’ve got cars, but don’t treat […]

  • The new film coast?

    By Matt LevinePhotos by Jeff Kenney With local film icons as disparate as experimental luminary James Benning and the ubiquitous Mark Borchardt, Milwaukee’s cinematic offerings have always been eclectic and fruitful. But in the last several years, our film scene has seen rapid development — the onset, perhaps, of a new period of national exposure […]