5×3 youth groups, artists, A.W.E. staff, and other community members gathered together at the 5×3 Design Share at RedLine Milwaukee Community Art Studio in late March. The youth groups shared their plans for the public art project they’re working on with the event’s attendees, and were able to meet their peers and learn about other projects.
These are the design concepts the youth shared:
- Escuela Verde and artist, George Jones (Silver City)-
They have chosen to focus on the topics of anti-consumerism and environmental justice. They will be proposing to create a vending machine made out of recycled materials. Instead of money, the vending machine will accept generosity, kindness, positivity, and respect. Instead of candy or soda, it will dispense uplifting and positive items like small pieces of art, seeds, and words of encouragement.
- La Luz del Mundo Family Services and artist, Jenie Gao (Clarke Square)- “Our focus is on cultural
identity, and how knowing who we are is a part of feeling rooted where we are.” The youth from La Luz del Mundo are concerned with the issue of segregation in Milwaukee. They seek to show, through their project, that people are more connected than they think, even if they live in different neighborhoods. They have been learning about fractals (a recurring pattern in nature) and applied that concept to their conversations about human connection. They are planning on creating individual wood cuts that will connect as parts of a larger image.
- COA Holton Teen Center and artist, Anwar Floyd-Pruitt (Harambee)-“Holton Youth Center participants work with Milwaukee artist, Anwar Floyd-Pruitt to create a temporary memorial sculpture garden for the 154 Milwaukee Homicide Victims in 2016. Each victim is represented by a two-foot tall hand painted flower that will be placed in the ground in a vacant lot near the intersection of Burleigh and Buffum in the Riverwest neighborhood. Youth participants developed the topic of Stopping Gun Violence in the early weeks of the partnership. Since then, we have been exploring black history through the lense of contemporary artists and abstraction.”
- Our Next Generation High School Connection and artist Mikal Floyd-Pruitt (Washington Park)-
Teens from ONG will work with Amaranth Cafe owner, Dave Boucher to address the issues of food security, safety, and community building in their neighborhood. The teens plan to beautify the farmer’s market shelter close to Dave’s cafe and the ONG office. They will add inspirational messages with three dimensional letters to the shelter. They are also considering installing a complementary sculpture next to the shelter.
- Neu Life Community Development and artist, Gabrielle Tesfaye (Lindsay Heights)-
“We will create one life sizes puppet, with each limb representing one of the four elements- earth, air, fire, and water. These elements are reflected in what it takes to grow a garden. [The project will be installed in Alice’s Garden.] …The Neu Life youth is interested in spreading and exposing positivity in their neighborhood. These puppets will be the elements of life, personified into a human figure that communicates the building blocks and unity of the community.”
Thank you to RedLine Milwaukee, Steve Vande Zande, and Mando Ibarra, and our community partners, Clarke Square Neighborhood Initiative, Washington Park Partners, Layton Boulevard West Neighbors, Riverworks Center, and Safe-Sound Neighborhood-Communications.
Our 5×3 program began in 2016 with the plan to provide opportunities for youth to create public art over alongside professional artists in five target neighborhoods over the course of three years. These projects are funded by the Greater Milwaukee Foundation’s Racial Equity and Inclusion grant, MPS Partnership for the Arts and Humanities, Milwaukee Arts Board through the Wisconsin Arts Board with funds from the State of Wisconsin, the Herzfeld Foundation, the Zilber Family Foundation, and the Mary L. Nohl Fund.
This event was covered by the Milwaukee Neighborhood News Service. You can read that article here.