Opening June 29th, twenty blocks along Fond du Lac Avenue, from 17th to 37th Street, will be enhanced with art. There will be art on boarded and vacant properties, art on chain-link fencing, and seven of the nine lead artists have created art for specific locations. The goal of “Art on Fond du Lac” is to bring attention to this vital corridor. The project is organized by IN:SITE, a local art organization fostering temporary public art since 2006.
The exact middle of the twenty-block “Art on Fond du Lac” initiative is 27th and Center. Two years ago, the City of Milwaukee dedicated this site in memory of Mattiebelle Woods. Woods, as Milwaukee Courier readers are well aware, died at the age of 102 in 2005. Called the first lady of the Milwaukee black press, she was still writing her forty year society column for the paper the week she died.
In “Mattiebelle’s Word on the Street,” lead IN:SITE artist Joseph Reeves, with assistance from Elise Thomm and John Kowalczyk, have wrapped four quotes of Woods into chain-link fencing along Fond Du Lac Avenue using colorful flagging tape. Each letter took about an hour to wrap into the fencing, and people kept coming up to the artists to voice their enthusiasm for the art.
IN:SITE hopes reviving quotes of Woods like, “Do something constructive to help other people,” on the Milwaukee County Transit System fencing between 32nd and 34th Street will generate momentum for a permanent memorial to her. Jacqueline Ward, managing director of the Marketplace Business Improvement District, has already expressed an interest in forming a committee.
IN:SITE reached out to the community to gather quotes. IN:SITE thanks Clayborn Benson, Faithe Colas, Julietta Henry, Yvonne Kemp, and Milwaukee Public Television for their generous assistance.
“Art on Fond du Lac” will be in place from June of 2013 until April of 2014, with major support from the City of Milwaukee Neighborhood Improvement Development Corporation.
More information is at http://insitemilwaukee.org/fond including a map that indicates the location of the four Woods quotes.
Opening Weekend Events Sat., June 29 –1pm and 2:pm Fondy Farmers Market, 2200 W. Fond du Lac Ave., Wild Space Dance Company performances with youths from North Division Boys & Girls Club and the student dance company Swag Prep. See dance and pick out fresh produce!
From 3:pm-6:pm Johnsons Park Neighborhood Association will help IN:SITE host “Art in the Park” at 1919 W. Fond du Lac Avenue with performances and activities for the whole family.
Sun., June 30 11:am -5:pm Fondy Farmers Market, 2200 W. Fond du Lac Ave., Neighborhood Art Fair with 100 vendors from four neighborhood areas across Milwaukee. There will be food trucks from neighborhood restaurants and activities for children.
Find more information at http://mkeneighborhoodartfair.com