In partnership with The Avenue, Milwaukee Downtown, BID #21 and the Downtown Placemaking Task Force reviewed over 60 submissions for the proposed 92-foot, 2nd Street Skywalk mural. After an extensive review process in response to a public Request for Qualifications, the Placemaking Task Force selected Wisconsin-native Jaime Brown for the project. Her work is titled “Kindred.” Currently living in Kenosha, this will be Jaime’s first mural in Milwaukee but her work has taken her around the world to locations like Nova Scotia, Dubai, and Morocco. She has partnered with Karim Jabbari to complete the mural.
Jaime shared what this piece means to her, “For me, I'm definitely trying to get the message clear that women are involved in street art too. It's not just a male-dominated field. So for people to pass by and say, ‘Hey look, it's a girl up there.’ I'm a ball of diversity."
"Of all of the girls I've talked to, they tell me ‘Wow, it's so cool to paint this,’ I'm showing that girls can be involved, Muslims can be involved, it gives other female artists [a platform], ‘well if she can do it, why can't I?’”
In this vibrant piece, she is looking to pay homage to Milwaukee’s, and her own, Native American roots. Every element and color has meaning. The left side depicts a sun with teal and orange calling back to the People’s Flag of Milwaukee. The bottom includes blue and beige for the lakeshore. The top includes three wigwam shapes that tie back to Native American culture. The Native American symbol for community is also mirrored to create the diamond pattern.
The far-right vertical lines represent the industrial side of Milwaukee and smokestacks. The entire piece is truly a “journey from the original roots from the wigwam to the industrial age, to now.”
“Public Art is a great way to connect downtown users and honor our community,” said Beth Weirick, CEO of Milwaukee Downtown, BID #21. “Now more than ever, we need to celebrate the people that make downtown Milwaukee a thriving place to live, work and play.”
The mural will be extended under the skywalk and down the pillars to create a colorful street experience. It will be completed in early August.
About the Author: Claire Neville is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and Special Project Intern with Milwaukee Downtown, BID #21, advancing downtown's strategic priorities in the realm of economic development and public space management.Posted in: Arts & Culture