University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
Press Release

New Life for Empty Storefronts as Pop-Up Gallery Opens in the Historic Concordia Neighborhood​

​Featuring the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee School of Architecture and Urban Planning

By - Jan 19th, 2017 09:21 am

MILWAUKEENear West Side Partners, Inc. (NWSP) and the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee School of Architecture and Urban Planning (SARUP) will join community members on Friday, January 20 from 5 to 8 p.m. at 753 N. 27th St. for the grand opening of SARUP’s new Mobile Design Box (MBD) gallery. The opening is part of Milwaukee Gallery Night festivities.

This new pop-up gallery in Milwaukee’s Historic Concordia Neighborhood makes its home in an empty storefront donated by Wiegand Enterprises and will showcase research and design work from SARUP faculty, students and alumni, alongside the work of creative entrepreneurs from Milwaukee, including catering by local restaurant Amaranth Bakery & Cafe. This event highlights the new life coming to the commercial corridors of the Near West Side, and the opportunities available for unique business endeavors in this neighborhood of neighborhoods.

“This is a great chance to showcase the progress our neighborhoods have made in the last two years,” said Keith Stanley, Executive Director of NWSP. “It’s an opportunity to promote the unique opportunities that businesses can take advantage of in our neighborhoods.”

“Concordia neighborhood is the third home for Mobile Design Box since we launched in 2015 and we’re delighted to be here,” said gallery founder and SARUP Associate Dean Mo Zell. “The galleries allow us to physically transform vacant spaces into active community rooms where design thinking and pioneering research facilitate a dialogue with community stakeholders. The exhibition gives art lovers and Milwaukee enthusiasts new ways and places to explore our work – and new insights into our neighborhoods. Join us on Milwaukee Gallery Night or during other public events held in the space.”

Mobile Design Box’s Place Acts exhibition is curated by SARUP Associate Professor Arijit Sen and features the work of artist Muneer Bahauddeen and his students from the Express Yourself Milwaukee Program. The Place Acts exhibition will run Jan. 20 to March 31 in the Mobile Design Box. For more information, visit

About Near West Side Partners, Inc.
Near West Side Partners, Inc. is a non-profit organization with a mission to revitalize and sustain the Near West Side as a thriving business and residential corridor, through collaborative efforts to promote commercial corridor development, improved housing, unified neighborhood identity and branding, and greater safety for residents and businesses.  Near West Side Partners, Inc. is an organization of businesses and civic leaders from throughout the Near West Side, including the organization’s five anchor institutions – Aurora Health Care, Harley-Davidson, Marquette University, MillerCoors and Potawatomi Business Development Corp.

About UWM
Recognized as one of the nation’s 115 top research universities, UW-Milwaukee provides a world-class education to 26,000 students from 89 countries on a budget of $667 million. Its 14 schools and colleges include Wisconsin’s only schools of architecture, freshwater sciences and public health, and it is a leading educator of nurses and teachers. UW-Milwaukee partners with leading companies to conduct joint research, offer student internships and serve as an economic engine for southeastern Wisconsin. The Princeton Review named UW-Milwaukee a 2017 “Best Midwestern” university based on overall academic excellence and student reviews, as well as a top “Green College.”

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