Thursday, September 15, 2016

Black Cat Alley opens Sunday - sneak preview

If you haven't yet heard of Black Cat Alley it is Milwaukee's newest claim to art world fame and in fact a huge step forward towards joining other cities with dynamic public art scenes. The formerly neglected, decrepit alley is across Kenilworth Street from the UWM Kenilworth Studios Building, which is not a coincidence as the name Black Cat refers to the UWM mascot, the Panther.

The transformation that is happening is a well-conceived (and apparently well-funded) program of mural painting. Muralists from all over the world have come to Milwaukee to participate. Some local artists have been invited as well--happy to see that! The artist on the cherry picker above cheerfully introduced herself as Bunnie Reiss from LA.

The most prominent mural is this one, entitled "Glitch Frog," which is actually not in the alley but on the side of the building facing Kenilworth (and not visible from the alley itself--I had to ask someone where it was!) The Black Cat Alley website identifies the painter as "European artist MTO."

There is an official opening for Black Cat Alley this Sunday, Sept. 18 from 10-5 pm, which coincides with Doors Open Milwaukee. There will be a brief ribbon-cutting and presentation at 2 pm.

Although some murals are finished, others are clearly works in progress. I suspect that will still be true on Sunday, although I saw a couple artists hard at work when I stopped by late in the day yesterday. It will be interesting to see the progress being made. I also suspect that mural-making will not cease just because there is an opening day. There is plenty of wall space left to fill!

Some are huge, like Glitch Frog, and others are rather small, like this very detailed one.

I didn't notice any identifying information, or signatures (although I might have missed that detail), so I can't tell you who made these examples.

There's been a decent amount of publicity (appropriately) so I expect a nice crowd on Sunday, especially if the weather is good. I know I'll be there. Hope to see you, too.

Black Cat Alley is in the center of the block between Prospect and Farwell, Kenilworth and Ivanhoe.

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