Local gallery owner and head of MARN (Milwaukee Artist Resource Network), Mike Brenner, is angry as hell --¬† and ready to leave town if a statue of the legendary TV icon Fonzie is erected in Downtown Milwaukee.
In a mass e-mail to local media and in response to a story that OnMilwaukee.com broke on Monday, Brenner says that he "hereby SWEARS if that stupid Fonzie sculpture is put up on the corner of Water and Wisconsin in front of the Chase Bank" he'll take action.
Brenner, who was a graphic designer at OnMilwaukee.com from 2000-'02, said he will:¬†
- Close (his) art gallery, Hotcakes.
- Resign as executive director of the Milwaukee Artist Resource Network
- Stop all efforts to promote Milwaukee
- Not spend another penny or second to help Milwaukee or its artists
- Make a serious effort to find work in another city and leave Milwaukee
Brenner also writes that he'll also "close all of his accounts with JP Morgan Chase," since "JP Morgan chase has the largest corporate art collection in the U.S. and if they will stand for this and the people of Milwaukee stand for this, I NEED to leave Milwaukee."
The rest of the scathing e-mail reads:
"Milwaukee is barely surviving and if the leadership of this city
think Fonzie will save us, they need to be replaced. this is an us
versus them situation (those with common sense and taste versus the douche bags)
- ¬†the Blue Shirt was killed making us an international joke
- the Bamboo Park was replaced with a parking lot for a seafood restaurant
- Now the plan is to put a giant statue of Fonzie on the busiest corner¬† in the entire City of Milwaukee?"
You are all insane!"Visit Milwaukee's Dave Fantle, one of the champions of the Bronze the Fonz effort, sent this response to Brenner, and cced the dozens of recipients of his original e-mail:
I'd be happy to talk with you about the project over a cup of¬†
coffee and clarify some of the missperceptions you have on the¬†
project. For example, it was never planned for Water and Wisconsin.¬†
It's essentially a Riverwalk project and therefore will have its¬†
home along the Riverwalk, preferably between Wisconsin and¬†
Michigan. It is far from a "giant" project. Mr. Winkler is about 5'¬†
7" and the sculpture will be life-like in size recognizing both an¬†
iconic TV character and an outstanding humanitarian. Also, the¬†
local artist we have selected, Jerry Sawyer, has worked in¬†
sculpture for almost 40 years and is highly respected in the art¬†
community. Lastly, all the money raised will be recirculated into¬†
the local economy - for the artist, foundry, etc.
Again, more than happy to chat with you in greater detail on the project as I certainly think you will find that you can peacefully¬†
co-exist with the Fonz.
re: re: blues brothers
thats funny, i coulda sworn that was the First Wisconsin building that goes flying by as the naziwagon drives off the end of the not yet constructed lake front interchange between 794 and 94 West.
our little not quite built freeway in a major motion picture is something to be proud of.
I'll agree to the whole fonz jumping the shark with skis and campaign button, so on a d so forth, if and only if there is a button on the bridge that when you press it, the fonz goes "ehhhhhhhhh!" like the cow buttons at the old cub foods.
Milwaukee has, will, and will continue to waste $85,000 on a lot more trival things than a statue on the riverwalk. I'm 25, and i know the fonz, i know archie bunker, the jeffersons, TGIF (when it was good) hell i even remember hangin with Mr. Cooper. Who does and doesn't know shouldn't be a standard for anything. Kilbourne, Boener, Juneau, Walker, Maier, are all famous Milwaukee ames, most of whom nobody knows about, but i know where the Solomon Juneau statue is, i know who George Walker was, i know who the Summerfest grounds are dedicated to. Just because a bunch of young adults don't know who the fonz is, he ceases to exist? Pop culture more than ever is a signature of American History, and i think it's important to take those things thta made milwaukee famous, and keep them close to our heart, weither it was the coolest guy on TV, or Schiltz, Blatz, Miller, Pabst, or Milorginate for all icare.
re: blues brothers. that movie was filmed in chicago and surrounding locations. with cameos from many chicago personalities, neighborhoods, and references. the money given to chicago alone for filming, not to mention revenue from people wanting to go to the windy city afterwards has been phenominal. the same can be said with ferris bueller.
what may i ask has "happy days" done for milwaukee? other than use the name for location only. not til "lavergne and shirley" was milwaukee even shown by the network.
this whole thing "the fonz" is a waste. $85,000, are you serious? and you people who bach this. come on. there is so much more this city needs long before this.
i was talking to a few younger people (25- younger). they had no idea who fonzie was. one said, "yeah i've heard of him." in a matter of a short time you babyboomers will be gone, with that you'll leave standing a figure of something forgotten. pop culture come and goes. if we do this we might as well put up a statue of liberace, atleast he's from milwaukee,and real.
Observer | Dec. 1, 2007 at 4:23 p.m. (report)
Can we compromise here and get a Bronze of La Fonz jumping over a Mike Brenner who's clad in a traveling Blue Shirt that sports a Scott Walker campaign button?
Good. Leave. Chicago has statues of the Blues Brothers, kind of the same thing. I do agree that Milwaukee misses the boat, i.e. the blue shirt would have been fine in my opinion. But to take one thing and demonize the city, is simply ridiculous.
Show me the other 44 Talkbacks
49 comments about this article.
Post your comment/review now
Disclaimer: Please note that Facebook comments are posted through Facebook and cannot be approved, edited or declined by OnMilwaukee.com. The opinions expressed in Facebook comments do not necessarily reflect those of OnMilwaukee.com or its staff.
Recent Articles & Blogs by Jeff Sherman
Published Feb. 5, 2016
The new Shorewood Metro Market, 4075 N. Oakland Ave., opens Feb. 16, less than a year after the company bulldozed its old Pick 'N Save location that stood just north of the new building.
Published Jan. 28, 2016
The Milwaukee Muddpie, a pizza featuring chicken, pepperoni, bacon, BBQ sauce, ranch, jalapenos and banana peppers will debut Friday at the Bucks vs. Heat game. It was created by five team members.
Published Jan. 27, 2016
Finding the right game for the entire family much less you and your partner can be tough. At the Sherman home, we've gone simple, old school lately with Uno.
Published Jan. 21, 2016
Our health journey is a marathon not a sprint. For me, I focus on it daily by doing the same things day in and say out. And, when I don't I feel off and unbalanced. Here's a glimpse into my consistent daily habits.
Published Jan. 18, 2016
In 2016, Lee Brice will headline the "Life Off My Years" tour, and bring his show back to Wisconsin to the Milwaukee Theatre on April 7.
Published Jan. 16, 2016
After having been removed for alterations, the controversial Jaume Plensa sculpture "Spillover II" was reinstalled today in Atwater Park on Lake Drive in Shorewood.
Published Jan. 13, 2016
Former basketball player and current Wisconsin State Rep. Dale Kooyenga (R-Brookfield), sent a news release yesterday weighing in with his thoughts on the Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association's clamp down on fan behavior.
Published Jan. 6, 2016
Start the New Year off right with this in-house designed and frame ready, 2016 OnMilwaukee skyline calendar. it is perfect for your office or home. Buy it now, and/or register to win one.
Published Dec. 26, 2015
I live my life, as much as I can, in this order: faith, family, friends, Milwaukee, Marquette and the Bucks. That list pretty much covers it all, and 2015 saw many highlights, big stories and events, that included several of those things.
Published Dec. 23, 2015
The Boston Globe has published its list of hot travel destinations for 2016. Titled "From Maine to Cuba, the hot places for travel in 2016," travel writer Christopher Muther toasts ten trips, including on to Milwaukee.