In Arts & Entertainment

This space will soon be decorated. (PHOTO: Milwaukee Downtown)

Downtown gets more murals and a new public art map

Milwaukee Downtown, BID #21 and the Downtown Placemaking Task Force have announced artists for two more Downtown murals, including one on the south face of the 2nd Street skywalk that was made public in January.

Following an RFP process, Wisconsin native Jaime Brown was chosen to paint her work, "Kindred," on the skywalk.

The work will be the first in Milwaukee for Brown, a Kenosha native who has painted public works internationally, including "Cotton Candy Stairs" in Halifax, Nova Scotia, "Unified" in Dubai, and works in Morocco, Canada and the United Arab Emirates.

In 2018, Brown created work for the "Keyed Up Kenosha" outdoor art project.

"Kindred" will be about 92 feet wide by 15 feet tall, and Brown will start work on it in June, with the help of Tunisian light and calligraphy artist Karim Jabbari, a world-renowned light and calligraphy artist.

"I'm so honored to have the opportunity to enliven this space," said Brown. "In this vibrant piece, I'm looking to pay homage to Milwaukee's, and my own, Native American roots. Like a quilt that tells a story, my intent is to weave in symbols that represent the city's rich history and bright future.

"No matter what city we were raised in, what country we come from or where our roots are now planted, we can all understand the universal language of art. It's a reminder that we are all in a sense, kindred."

Meanwhile, Milwaukee native Ken Brown, whose work is distinguished by its stained glass effect, will paint massive, 620-foot-wide mural, called "The Hero In You," at MacArthur Square, a sad public space that could use all the art and life it can get.

The mural, which will be just 6 feet tall, will be at 6th and Kilbourn and promises to be "a timestamp" of Milwaukee's COVID-19 pandemic response.

In a related blog post, 10 Downtown essential workers who will be depicted in the mural are featured at

Ken Brown's work has also been featured at Black Cat Alley.

"Public art is a great way to connect downtown users and honor our community," said Beth Weirick, CEO of Milwaukee Downtown, BID #21, in a statement. "Now more than ever, we need to celebrate the people that make downtown Milwaukee a thriving place to live, work and play."

The murals will be included on a new map that shows the locations of nearly 150 murals, sculptures and monuments Downtown. Find the map – which includes option filters for self-guided tours and overlays showing transit options – here.

At the same web site, you can find details on a number of social media and a kids' art contests.

"Our new public art map is a great tool for discovering or rediscovering the works of art that have added vibrancy and historical depth to our landscape," added Weirick. "I encourage the community to explore our rich collection, while practicing safe social distancing guidelines."


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