In Arts & Entertainment

CERA from Philadelphia - here at work - is one of several artists chosen to help turn an East Side alley into a mural corridor.

Black Cat Alley mural corridor on East Side announces roster of artists

It's something many people have seen only in pictures, but soon it will live on Milwaukee's East Side. The Black Cat Alley, a major new arts destination, will be a corridor of world-class murals created by a diverse group of professional and student artists. This "outdoor gallery" will be located in the unlikeliest of places: a quiet and forlorn alleyway between Farwell and Prospect. Eleven artists have been selected and include major names from both coasts, as well as eight local talents.

(PHOTO: Black Cat Alley Facebook)

"We are excited this art installation is not only coming to Milwaukee, but our beloved East Side," says Executive Director of the East Side Business Improvement District, Jim Plaisted. "To transform this inaccessible area in our business district and turn it into a one-of-a-kind artist showcase for our visitors and residents to enjoy will be transformative – as any catalytic public art project should be."

The final roster of ten artists have been selected – six local professionals, two out-of-town artists and two local art students. Additionally, one European artist, known only as "MTO," will be arriving early in July to paint a major wall piece on the historic Oriental Theatre. These events will leave Milwaukee with 11 major new public artworks, in a small corridor of space.

The local artists whose work will be featured in the alley are Andrea Guzzetta, John Kowalczyk, Jenny Jo Kristan, Brandon Minga, Tia Richardson and Adam Stoner. The two students are Ian McGibbon of UWM Peck School of the Arts and Renée Martinez of MIAD. The two national visiting artists are Bunnie Reiss, a contemporary artist from Los Angeles, Calif., and the artist "CERA" of Philadelphia, Pa., who has strong Milwaukee roots as a graduate of MIAD.

MTO, the European artist coming in July, is well-known on the global street scene for his grey-scaled photorealistic works, which appear in Berlin, Paris, Venice, Lisbon, Los Angeles, New Orleans and many other cities. This will be his first piece in the Midwest.

The Black Cat Alley has secured early funding from the Milwaukee Arts Board and several notable companies such as Roundy's and Colectivo Coffee. Fundraising efforts will continue throughout the summer as the committee works to bring this transformative concept to fruition for its inaugural year. The group intends to make the mural festival an annual event, which will allow the expansion of street art to flourish in Milwaukee for years to come.


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