For those looking for something beyond what you can find in your typical art museum or gallery, Milwaukee is the place you want to be! Our diverse, eclectic city is home to many amazing artists – many artists who take their vibrant works to the streets to create some truly spectacular murals. For these street artists, Milwaukee’s avenues, boulevards, and buildings are their gallery. And, with so many commissioned works these days as public interest in this art form has gained traction, we have seen a huge metamorphosis of these installations all across the city.
Every month, new murals arrive in various public spaces around the greater Milwaukee area. And while the best way to explore these works is to just hit the streets and explore, there are a few destinations that you’ll absolutely want to add to your list along the way. So, whether you’re looking for some inspiration to bring out the artist in you or just looking to capture that perfect Instagram-worthy moment, here are a few hotspots currently captivating Milwaukee’s art scene:
- Black Cat Alley – If you know anything about Milwaukee’s street art scene, then you know about the renowned Black Cat Alley. Along the river, on the Lower East Side, Black Cat Alley is an award-winning outdoor art gallery and one of the most visited destinations in Milwaukee. The coolest part about this space is that the mural displays are constantly changing, as the walls feature both local artists and visiting artists looking to splash a bit of color and thought into the mundane.
- Peacemakers – The Peacemakers mural is an older one that was first put up in the 80’s, but it’s still a showstopper. It was created by the Milwaukee NAACP Youth Council and features peacemakers from Milwaukee and beyond, including such famous faces as Rosa Parks and Nelson Mandela.
- Culture Work – This beautiful piece is a tribute to the work of the United Migrant Opportunity Services. It’s a mural that represents both the richness of an immigrant culture as well as the challenges faced. The message calls for equal rights and opportunities through the bright, striking colors and images.
- The Rhythms of Water, Land and Sky – You can find this stunner on the loading dock of Studio 420b. It’s a tribute to the earliest Milwaukeeans meant to honor our city’s native tribes and the Menomonee River Valley.
- Migration – If you’re wandering around the Public Market, head over to Jefferson Street to see this new mural that covers the entire pedestrian tunnel. The artists transformed this once gloomy walkway into a bright and lovely work that features native birds and Milwaukee landmarks.
- iLLustria Salon – The mural on iLLustria Salon’s building is a more modern, geometric and abstract piece that any passerby with a keen eye can appreciate. The artist invoked earthly and universal elements to create this large portrait of a strong woman.
Milwaukee has one of the greatest art scenes around, and we especially know a thing or two about great street art. The city is covered in older murals that have helped shape the identity of our small corner of the world, as well as new favorites popping up at every corner that will continue to propel our culture forward. So, be sure to grab your camera and let your inner art enthusiast out as you explore all of the beauty that Milwaukee has to offer.