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Two Artists Selected to Create Public Art on West Wisconsin Avenue in Downtown Milwaukee

Two new temporary art projects will appear on West Wisconsin Avenue this summer, as part of the'Creational Trailsproject.
On Tuesday evening, twelve artists took to the podium in Milwaukee's magnificent city hall to pitch designs to help bring “culturally diverse” life to a 10 block stretch of West Wisconsin Avenue. Former Milwaukee Mayor John Norquist was one of seven jurors who ultimately settled on a wood and steel structure and patterns created out of bungee cords.

Paul Bestul came up with “Moire Pavilion” as he researched Milwaukee’s pre-city phase. Juneautown and Kilbourntown fiercely fought to remain independent. The geometry of their grids inspired Bestul’s undulating design meant to be walked through or serve as a gathering spot. Bestul says the structure stands just below the streetlights that will illuminate the pavilion at night.

Credit Susan Bence
Boyle's blue, yellow and red (not pictured) bungee cords will create networks of designs between buildings.

Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design senior Ayla Boyle described her apprehension when she first moved to the huge city from rural upper Michigan. She used the downtown network of elevated walkways from one building to the next to become acquainted. Her winning design “Catching the Dreams of a Hopeful Future” utilizes nylon bungee cords – red yellow and blue – tethered to sides of buildings to create patterns. Boyle says the first handmade gift her mother gave her – a dreamcatcher – inspired her work.

The twelve finalists were handpicked from 167 artists, who conjured up creations , including established local artist Reginald Baylor. He envisioned a giant plinko game with a freshwater fish tank feel.

'Creational Trails coordinator - ART Milwaukee - plans to unveil the two creations in June 2014.

The Greater Milwaukee Committee’s Innovation in Milwaukee initiative is coming to life thanks to a grant from a national consortium called ArtPlace America. 'Creational Trails has also provided funding for projects along a former rail corridor – called ARTery – that connects the Harambee and Riverwest neighborhoods.

Susan is WUWM's environmental reporter.