MKE IT Downtown

Public art elevated to a new level – two skywalk murals on the docket in downtown Milwaukee

January 27, 2022 /   The Couto Brothers Milwaukee Downtown
Winter placemaking project transforms downtown skywalk system

Dave Watkins MuralA welcomed pop of color is coming to two downtown Milwaukee skywalks this winter. In partnership with The Avenue and the ASQ Center, Milwaukee Downtown, BID #21 has commissioned two new murals inside the 2nd Street and Plankinton Avenue skywalks.

Milwaukee-native and Los Angeles-based artist Alex Couto of The Couto Brothers will transform the 2nd Street skywalk bridge (connecting the Plankinton Arcade and 3rd Street Market Hall), while Milwaukee-based artist Dave Watkins will make over the Plankinton Avenue skywalk bridge (connecting the Plankinton Arcade and ASQ Center). Each mural will span the entire length of the skywalk, ranging between 75 ft. –100 ft. in width and 10 ft. – 12 ft. in height. Work on the murals started on Monday, Jan. 24, and will be completed over the next two weeks.
Alex Couto Mural“Downtown Milwaukee’s 1.75-mile skywalk system is a convenient amenity, especially during winter months,” said Beth Weirick, CEO of Milwaukee Downtown, BID #21. “Activating these vital corridors with public art is an important step in enhancing their vibrancy and further strengthening connectivity to The Avenue and the recently-opened 3rd Street Market Hall.”
In 2019, the ownership of 310W, Time Equities Inc., commissioned a mural inside the 310W skywalk, “mutopia 2,” by German artist Claudia Chaseling. The skywalk mural program follows 310W’s precedent-setting mural and will create a collection of public art in downtown Milwaukee’s publicly accessible skywalks.
The skywalk mural project is funded by Hempel Companies, which owns and manages The Avenue and ASQ Center, and Milwaukee Downtown, BID #21.

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