IN:SITE, an organization fostering opportunities for temporary public art in Milwaukee County, is coordinating several projects involving alumni, faculty and staff.
Alumni Harvey Opgenorth ’99 and Nate Page ’00 will suspend a seven-foot high and 50-foot long mural titled Super Sub-Conscious early in September as part of an IN:SITE project in collaboration with the West End Vliet Street Business Association. The business area runs along Vliet St. from 43rd to 60th Streets.
In the mural, Page and Opgenorth layer advertising icons "to question the relatioinship between commercial billboard advertising space and the subconscious mind." The mural will be attached to a structure Sculpture Professor Jill Sebastian installed at 50th and Vliet in 2002 when she created the pocket park Vliet Street Commons.
Beginning Sept. 22 and continuing for several months, Opgenorth’s neon piece, Subliminal, will radiate its message, also about the nature of advertising, inside a storefront at 4920. "I want to question the garish nature of neon signs," says Opgenorth. "What do advertisers really want us to do or unconsciously understand?"
IN:SITE’s second project, in collaboration with the North Avenue Community Development Corporation (NACDC) and North Avenue property owners, includes a work on the west side of 3615 W. North Avenue by Chris Silva and Matthew Hoffman. It is a Milwaukee contribution to the "You Are Beautiful" (YAB) movement that first appeared inside Walker’s Point Center for the Arts earlier this year.
Born out of Chicago, the YAB web site urges people to spread the phrase "to make a difference by creating positive moments of self-realization to those who happen across the statement." Among the 15 Milwaukee artists whose letters will be seen are alumni Roy F. Staub, Vincent Zager ’04 and Jesus Ali ’02, Director of Community Outreach and Foundations instructor Josie Osborne and Continuing Education instructor and former exchange student Dorota Biczel Nelson.
IN:SITE is chaired by Pegi Taylor, a longtime figure model at MIAD, who supplied much of the content for this article. For more information, visit insitemilwaukee.org.