One of the most iconic parts of the recent protests here in Milwaukee is the many murals that have sprung up around the city. These pieces on streets and walls provide tangible expressions of the energy behind these demonstrations.
Vedale Hill has been a part of this movement, both as an activist and an artist. Although his Black Lives Matter mural covering the intersection of North Martin Luther King Jr. Drive and West Locust Street washed away, the piece was not just a visual reminder of the movement. It was a community effort in the heart of the city’s Harambe neighborhood.
"A lot of the work I’ve done was to use my art form as a vehicle to teach mainly youth about their opportunities, the things that’s out there," says Hill.
He believes public art is an important part of the city's demonstrations and a way to galvanize the community, confront systemic issues, and explore the possible future that can be ushered in through cultural changes.
"When I paint a person, that's not a real person, that's a painting of a person. We lie to tell the truth, while politicians act as if they're telling the truth to lie ... Artists get to sugar coat the things that are hard to digest, the things that people don't want to address," Hill explains.