In Arts & Entertainment

Joseph Mangiamele stands before the "New Beginnings" sculpture holding the prototype he created. (PHOTO: Italian Community Center)

Italian Community Center dedicates "New Beginnings" sculpture

On Thursday evening, Jan. 17, the Italian Community Center, 631 E. Chicago St., will dedicate a new two-story stainless steel abstract sculpture.

The shiny sculpture, which might suggest ocean waves or the feathers of a bird, stands on a grassy area on the center's west side, facing Jackson Street, in the Third Ward, which was once Milwaukee's Little Italy, a landing spot for many newly arrived immigrants.

The sculpture – called "New Beginnings" – was designed by Joseph Mangiamele, president of the Mangiamele Arts Foundation. It is, he said, dedicated to immigrants of all nationalities and races who came to America.

Milwaukee's Gallas Metalworks fabricated the work based on Mangiamele's prototype.

The 95-year-old Mangiamele – a longtime ICC member – is Professor Emeritus of the School of Architecture and Urban Planning at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and has worked as an urban designer in both the U.S. and Great Britain.

He launched his eponymous foundation, he said, "to make Milwaukee an art center. And in doing so, help organize the art activities of the Metropolitan area so as to strengthen art as a form in Milwaukee."

Dedication of "New Beginnings" – which will be mounted atop a concrete base and lighted – is slated for 6:45 p.m.

"The members of our organization are very grateful to Joe Mangiamele and his foundation for this generous gift of art, which will, no doubt, make the ICC a focal point in our community for art aficionados and tourists to our city," said ICC President Joseph T. Emanuele.


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