Brighten the Passage Murals

Brighten the Passage

The Curtain Rises on Broadway 

Adding color to enliven the pedestrian experience underneath the freeway, four artists, each with a Milwaukee connection, transformed the Broadway freeway piers into Milwaukee's newest outdoor art gallery. With distinct styles, this collection of murals adds to downtown's growing street art scene, including "Migration" by Janson Rapisarda (CERA Street Art) and Katie Batten, commissioned by Milwaukee Downtown, BID #21, and the Downtown Placemaking Task Force in 2018 in the Jefferson Street pedestrian tunnel, located two blocks east of Broadway. 

Brighten the Passage muralists include Tia Richardson (Cosmic Butterfly Design), The Couto Brothers, Dave Watkins (Real Abstract), and Josephine Rice. Completed in the fall of 2020, the new murals now welcome visitors to both districts. Share your experience using #brightenthepassage. 

Full Circle

Artist: Josephine Rice 

Artist Statement: "A colorful gradient of invigorating flowers, all native to Wisconsin. Plants popping with temporary but impactful life, I hope the piece stimulates and soothes. I’m delighted to put a stamp on dear MKE." 


Passing Me By

Artist: Dave Watkins

Artist Statement: "Using bold color fields and lines, this once dark and dull freeway pier is brought to life. Pulling colors from Downtown and the Historic Third Ward, these abstract forms collide where the neighborhoods meet on N. Broadway. Influenced by the urban landscape around me, as you pass by I hope you find something in the work that you can connect with."


Bridging Milwaukee's Heart

Artist: Tia Richardson

Artist Statement: "The roads serve our city by connecting us to each other. We're all a part of one community."


Artist: The Couto Brothers

Artist Statement: "It's a blessing to be able to create art for a living. Creating art is something that's part of my soul, my being, my passion. It's been eight years since my last mural in Milwaukee. It's been a long time coming, and it's finally here. We'd love to think our art moves people in any way. Sometimes, Milwaukee needs color. This city just has a lot of love and appreciation. This helps move the world and bring people together. We like our murals and our artwork to be crispy, very solid, and the curves have to be sound. Reminds us of nature and fertility, in contrast to where it is located. There's a lot of murals here, and just glad to be participating amongst the many." 


Thank You to Our Mural Partners