Sculpture Milwaukee
Press Release

Sculpture Milwaukee kicks off June 1 with live entertainment and free lunch

Northwestern Mutual Gardens to host ribbon-cutting ceremony from 12 p.m. to 1 p.m.

By - May 24th, 2018 04:28 pm
LOVE sculpture by Robert Indiana, on the corner of 6th Avenue and 55th Street in Manhattan, NY.

LOVE sculpture by Robert Indiana, on the corner of 6th Avenue and 55th Street in Manhattan, NY.

MILWAUKEE, Wis. (May 24, 2018) – Sculpture Milwaukee 2018, an outdoor sculpture experience brought to Wisconsin Avenue this year by presenting sponsor Northwestern Mutual, will kick off its second year at the end of the month. Featuring 21 sculptures by 22 artists, the installation will line the Avenue from the Lakefront to 6th Street. To celebrate the international showcase, a Sculpture Milwaukee Ribbon-Cutting Ceremony sponsored by Associated Bank will be held Friday, June 1 at 12 p.m. at The Northwestern Mutual Gardens.

The lunchtime event will be emceed by Sandy Maxx, host of Milwaukee PBS’ The Arts Page, and include remarks from Mayor Tom Barrett; Steve Marcus, chair of Sculpture Milwaukee and chairman of the board of The Marcus Corporation; John Utz, Milwaukee market president and head of corporate banking, Associated Bank; Leslie Barbi, senior vice president, public investments, Northwestern Mutual; and Beth Weirick, CEO of Milwaukee Downtown, BID #21. Robert Indiana, creator of the recognizable LOVE sculpture series, will also be remembered following his recent passing earlier this week. LOVE, 1996-1999 will be positioned at The Northwestern Mutual Gardens for the duration of the installation.

Performances by Jenny Thiel, Fred Astaire Dance Studio and Roxie Beane will top off the ceremony. Preshow entertainment by DJ Shawna will start at 11:30 a.m., followed by the formal program at 12 p.m. The program will conclude at 12:30 p.m. with live music continuing until 1 p.m. Free lunch for the first 1,000 attendees will also be provided beginning at 11:45 a.m., compliments of Saz’s Hospitality Group and Premium Waters, Inc.

“As a long-standing supporter of the arts, Associated Bank is proud to be a Sculpture Milwaukee founding sponsor,” said John Utz, Milwaukee market president and head of corporate banking, Associated Bank. “We pride ourselves on making a positive difference in our diverse communities and look forward to the unveiling of the sculptures that can be enjoyed by community members in the greater Milwaukee area.”

Sculpture Milwaukee is an annual gift to the community, bringing world-renowned works to an accessible and approachable environment for all to enjoy. From art connoisseurs and collectors, to school children and office workers, the installation will spark imaginations and activate Wisconsin Avenue. Sculpture Milwaukee 2018 is presented by Northwestern Mutual, and curated by Russell Bowman, an art advisor based in Chicago and former director of the Milwaukee Art Museum, and Marilu Knode, Sculpture Milwaukee’s project director and former director of Laumeier Sculpture Park in St. Louis.

“With the opening of the Northwestern Mutual Tower & Commons, we’re pleased to host the ribbon cutting for Sculpture Milwaukee in our Gardens. Serving as presenting sponsor for this year’s event allows us the opportunity to share our lovely grounds and the two pieces we are hosting with the community all summer,” said Eric Christophersen, president of the Northwestern Mutual Foundation.

The 2018 installation includes: Magdalena Abakanowicz’s The Group of Five, 2014; Ghada Amer’s Blue Bra Girls, 2012; Sanford BiggersBAM (Seated Warrior), 2017; Yoan Capote’s Nostalgia, 2013; Richard Deacons’s Big Time, 2016; Tom Friedman’s Hazmat Love, 2017; Liz Glynn’s Untitled (Burgher with extended arm), 2014; Gary Hume’s Bud, 2016; Robert Indiana’s LOVE, 1996-1999; Jessica Jackson HutchinsReason to Be, 2017; Mel Kendrick’s Marker #2, 2009; Shana McCaw and Brent Budsberg’s Skew, 2018; Ana Prvački’s Stealing Shadows, Michelangelo, 2007; Kiki Smith’s Seer (Alice II), 2005; Bosco Sodi’s Untitled, 2017; Hank Willis ThomasLiberty, 2015; Bernar Venet’s 97.5° Arc x 9, 2007; and Erwin Wurm’s Half Big Suit, 2016. John Henry’s Zach’s Tower, 2007; Sol LeWitt’s Tower (Gubbio), 1996; and Tony Tasset’s Mood Sculpture, 2017 will be carried over from Sculpture Milwaukee 2017. Sculpture Milwaukee will be on view June 1 through October 21, 2018.

Sculpture Milwaukee 2018 is presented by Northwestern Mutual. Founding sponsors include Donald & Donna Baumgartner, Herzfeld Foundation, Susan & Mark Irgens, Barry & Eileen Mandel, The Marcus Corporation, Mellowes Family, Milwaukee Downtown, BID #21, Northwestern Mutual, and Bud & Sue Selig.

About Sculpture Milwaukee
Debuted in 2017, Sculpture Milwaukee is the vision of Steve Marcus, a local philanthropist and chairman of the board of The Marcus Corporation. Milwaukee Downtown, Business Improvement District #21, a 501(c)(3) organization, serves as the administrative arm of the project with many Milwaukee  organizations and institutions lending their support. This tremendous gift to the community is made possible through grants, in-kind donations and sponsorships.

The exhibition’s inaugural year was organized by advisor Russell Bowman, former director of the Milwaukee Art Museum, and included 21 regional, national and international artists – Donald Baechler, Lynda Benglis, Chakaia Booker, Deborah Butterfield, Santiago Calatrava, Saint Clair Cemin, Tony Cragg, Jim Dine, Paul Druecke, Michelle Grabner, John Henry, Sol LeWitt, Dennis Oppenheim, Tom Otterness, Will Ryman, Alison Saar, Joel Shapiro, Jessica Stockholder, Tony Tasset, Manolo Valdes and Jason S. Yi. Sculpture Milwaukee 2018 is curated by Russell Bowman and Marilu Knode, Sculpture Milwaukee’s project director and former director of Laumeier Sculpture Park in St. Louis. For more information, visit or call 414.220.4700.

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