Wisconsin Center District
Press Release

Diverse Milwaukee-Based Panel to Select Art Pieces for the $456 million Wisconsin Center Expansion Project


By - Sep 14th, 2022 01:00 pm

MILWAUKEE– (Sept. 14, 2022) – As part of the $456 million Wisconsin Center expansion, third-party art consultant Public Art Services has issued an RFQ for artists and assembled a highly diverse voting panel to identify the art which will go into the north and south buildings of the Wisconsin Center in 2024.

In January, the project owner’s representative CAA ICON released a request for proposal (RFP) in search of a qualified art consultant for the project. Public Art Services, a Colorado-based firm, was awarded the bid in April. Public Art Services began the panel selection process shortly after. The organization worked with its local liaison from Milwaukee Artist Resource Network (MARN) and WCD representatives to write a robust RFQ statement, focused on representing the city of Milwaukee and its diverse and rich history.

“Having a multi-faceted panel select art pieces for the $456 million Wisconsin Center expansion is a pivotal and necessary part of the project. We must accurately represent the city of Milwaukee through works of art selected. Showcasing art pieces that resonate will give Milwaukee residents a chance to connect with their convention center, and it will show visitors from all over the world what our city is all about,” said Wisconsin Center District president and CEO Marty Brooks.

Creative design and project manager John Grant, along with the District, led the charge for assembling the voting committee who will judge the submitted works and ultimately identify the pieces which will move into the newly expanded Wisconsin Center.

“While searching for qualified candidates to join the panel, we looked to identify people from diverse backgrounds and from the visual arts and poetry community that have really made a difference in shaping the way Milwaukee talks about itself.” said Grant. “Having a highly engaged and unique group of panelists will help make the art that will go into the north and south buildings of the Wisconsin Center cohesive, distinctive and indicative of the city’s culture.”

The selection panel consists of seven voting members and three non-voting members. Voting members include author and Wisconsin Poet Laureate Dasha Kelly Hamilton; Meg Strobel of Sculpture Milwaukee; Gabriel Yeager of Milwaukee Downtown Bid #21; director, producer and owner of Red Crane Films Laj Waghray; Frank Juarez of Art Dose Magazine; Grady Crosby of Northwestern Mutual, and Sarah Maio; vice president of marketing and communications for the WCD.

Non-voting members include EUA senior interior designer Jackie Posselt, WCD graphic design manager Jana Michaelis and WCD vice president and general manager Brian Rutkowski.

Some art pieces are already in the works and are outside of the public art scope of work, including a ballroom-level sculpture, ‘Rays Over Wisconsin.’ The sculpture is meant to capture the varying colors and moods reflected in the sky. Milwaukee-based art studio Design Fugitives is constructing the piece.

Milwaukee-based sculptor Marc Sijan has been engaged to create a female companion piece to Sil, the iconic security guard positioned inside the convention center’s main entrance on the corner of Vel R Phillips Ave. and Wisconsin Ave.

Madison-based artist Tommy Sweeney, along with his wife and business partner are also creating a 4-story monumental stair graphic. The graphic will reside at the north expansion grand staircase.

The WCD and Public Art Services released a Request for Qualifications (RFQ) in August, and the panel is inviting artists or artist teams to apply now. The deadline to apply is September 16.

The link to the RFQ can be found here.

The link to apply can be found here.

NOTE: This press release was submitted to Urban Milwaukee and was not written by an Urban Milwaukee writer. While it is believed to be reliable, Urban Milwaukee does not guarantee its accuracy or completeness.

Recent Press Releases by Wisconsin Center District

Beyond Monet: The Immersive Experience Nears Final Week

Last chance to visit exhibit before completing run at Wisconsin Center on Jan. 8

Beyond Monet: The Immersive Experience Offers Free Admission to Veterans

Veterans and active-duty service members are welcomed to the exhibit on Veteran’s Day at no cost

Leave a Reply

You must be an Urban Milwaukee member to leave a comment. Membership, which includes a host of perks, including an ad-free website, tickets to marquee events like Summerfest, the Wisconsin State Fair and the Florentine Opera, a better photo browser and access to members-only, behind-the-scenes tours, starts at $9/month. Learn more.

Join now and cancel anytime.

If you are an existing member, sign-in to leave a comment.

Have questions? Need to report an error? Contact Us