Artists, gardeners, homeowners, and lovers of beauty needed for Art in the Alleys

One might expect to find parks, sweeping vistas, interesting or historic architecture, and bodies of water on a list of aesthetically pleasing locations in a city. Generally, alleys do not make such a list, but a project in Riverwest this month seeks to change that.

Work by Milwaukee artists and gardeners will soon bring color, life and visual appeal to areas generally known for storing cars and trash receptacles as part of the Art in the Alleys project.

The 3D Vision group, which is facilitating Art in the Alleys, is looking for additional artists to use their skills to beautify garage doors, walls and fences in three alleys in Riverwest. The art will be created on the weekends of Sept. 20–21 and Sept. 27–28 and showcased during the annual ArtWalk on Oct. 5–6.

The art will be created in the following alleys: the 3000 block between Holton and Booth, the 3000 block between Booth and Pierce, and the 2900 block between Pierce and Fratney. The 3D Vision group hopes that Art in the Alleys will become an annual event, expanding to additional locations in the future. Already, the project has sparked interest in other Milwaukee neighborhoods.

Participating artists and homeowners will be paired up based on the preferences of each (artists style, homeowners aesthetic preferences, level of creative control each party desires). With about 20 spaces available, there is a wide range of work environments to be had. Artists who are more willing to work with the homeowner to shape the form and content of the work will have more potential spaces to choose from, but artists with specific ideas are invited to sketch out and submit their visions.

Artists of all ages, genres and styles can contact Pacia Sallomi at to get involved. Artists will need to submit two examples of their work.

Before the artists can get to work, the alleys need to be cleaned up and the garage doors scraped and primed. Some of the garage doors will also need to be patched. While homeowners will work to get their garage doors ready, crews of volunteers will be dispatched to assist. Cleaning up the alleys will include trash pickup, general tidying, and cutting away overgrown vegetation that is obscuring the garage doors, fences and walls. The initial clearing of vegetation, patching, scraping and priming will start on Sept. 6–7 and continue on Sept. 13–14. Major alley clean up is slated to occur on Sept. 20–21.

Alleys adorned with artful, flourishing plant life are another aim of the Art in the Alleys project. Volunteers are needed to weed and trim the vegetation framing the alleys. Additionally, perennial bulbs and plants will be planted. The amount of planting that needs to be done will be based on the number of plants and bulbs that are donated.

To help with clean up, garage door preparation, or gardening, or to donate perennials (plants or bulbs), please contact Sura Faraj at (414) 263–1513 or .

Last edited by Melanie Hupfer.   Page last modified on September 02, 2008

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