Non-Comm Radio Milwaukee Commissions Murals in Near West Side and Walker’s Point to Spark Dialogue, Bring Art to Neighborhoods
Radio Milwaukee Received Mary L. Nohl Fund Grant for Project
Milwaukee (July 21, 2017) – Two colorful, original murals aimed at spurring community conversations will be created by Milwaukee artists on large blank building walls in the Near West Side and Walker’s Point neighborhoods, as a result of an 88Nine Radio Milwaukee (88.9 WYMS-FM) initiative announced Friday.
Radio Milwaukee recently applied for and received a grant from the Mary L. Nohl Fund to pay artists for the project. The non-profit station launched the mural initiative and commissioned artists as a way to give back to Milwaukee as part of the station’s activities recognizing its 10th anniversary on air and in the community this year.
Work on the first mural is slated to take place from July 31 to Sept. 10 on the north wall of Penfield Children’s Center, 833 N. 26th St., in the Near West Side neighborhood. Artist Stacey Williams-Ng (http://staceywilliamsng.com/) created the mural, which at 122′ x 27′, will be exceptionally large. The mural concept plays on themes of rhythm, community and cohesion. It recognizes that music brings us all together and that differences disappear when we bind together as a community.
The second mural will be created on the north wall of Var Gallery at 643 S. 2nd St., in the Walker’s Point neighborhood. Artists Katie Mullen and Jordan Pintar of BlackPaint Studios (http://blackpaintstudios.com/) designed the mural. The idea for the mural follows the artists’ unique style of vibrant color and interconnected elements that will contain the word “listen.” Work on the Walker’s Point mural is planned to run from Sept. 1 through Oct. 6.
“We designed our mural program to create a long-lasting message from 88Nine to our community,” 88Nine Marketing Director Alyssa Feuerer said. “We want these pieces to propel dialogue. By seeding thought-provoking messages through the city, we hope to encourage people to be more accepting and empathetic with their neighbors.”
“Radio Milwaukee asked each artist to express the idea of ‘listening to others’ through their own artistic vision. The idea of having an open mind is a way we can start connecting more closely with each other.”
Empire Painting (http://www.empirepaintingwi.com/), a local professional painting company, has donated paint supplies to the project.
The murals are part of the celebration of 88Nine Radio Milwaukee’s 10 years on-air, online and in the community. The non-profit, non-commercial station launched on Feb. 26, 2007. It has become known for its unique mix of new and Milwaukee music and its Community Stories, which foster community engagement and positive change.
88Nine Radio Milwaukee (WYMS-FM 88.9) has been part of the Milwaukee community since launching in 2007. The station broadcasts and streams a unique blend of musical styles, including at least one song by a Milwaukee artist each hour, and short features about the community it serves. Award-winning 88Nine receives the great majority of its financial support from its 5,000 contributing members, more than 200 underwriters and 25 foundations. Learn more about 88Nine and stream the station at http://www.radiomilwaukee.org or via the 88Nine mobile app.
Penfield Children’s Center is a leader in child development, helping children with and without disabilities reach their full potential by providing early education, health and wellness services and family programs. Celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2017, Penfield serves more than 1,400 children annually, offering high quality integrated services and a safe and stimulating environment for children, families and community partners to maximize early development and learning. http://penfieldchildren.org/.
Avenues West (Near West Side) Neighborhood is a diverse neighborhood, with a rich of history dating back to the 1850s. Today, this specific area is challenged with vacant buildings and a need for a splash of color. Comparing to the revitalization happening in Walker’s Point, this neighborhood is anxiously awaiting such a transformation. The location of this mural is in good eyesight for traffic heading to the freeway, and also is near a bus stop.
The Var Gallery‘s primary focus is to support emerging, and established artists of all mediums. The gallery exhibits two- and three-dimensional work on monthly basis. Each exhibition is carefully considered by the quality of works, statement of intent, and overall cohesion with the years programming. In addition to the proposed, the gallery also has annual exhibitions including our
Emerging Artist, Figure, 30x30x30, and Collective Exhibitions. In addition to the exhibitions, the gallery also hosts a variety of other events including our monthly Drink & Draw Figure Drawing sessions, and Critique sessions. https://www.vargallery.com/
Walker’s Point is a neighborhood that has transformed over the last 5-10 years. There is a resurgence in this neighborhood, with new bar/restaurant, business, creative and residential occupancy, filling up the existing warehouses that reside around the area. The residential areas are inhabited by a diverse group of people and boast both a vibrant LGBTQ and Latino flavor. The neighborhood prides itself with its social diversity.
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