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 April 1, 2015
In an effort to make Downtown more friendly for all, Milwaukee's Downtown business and marketing groups have added a new, "hopefully signature" event for late summer/early fall: Downtown Driving Week.
Published March 30, 2015
Eco-friendly small homes are making headway into media, TV shows and larger and larger cities. New York has a micro apartment program and Chicago is poised to build on the trend in Logan Square.
Published March 26, 2015
Courtesy of our friends at the Hunger Task Force, we have a meet and greet opportunity for you. Just read on to bid on a chance to win two great seats for Hunt's show on April 4 at The Rave and you'll also score a meet and greet with this rising country star.
Published March 21, 2015
This interview was a real treat. It was an opportunity for me to sit down with not only a former boss, Joe Sweeney, but a friend, adviser and mentor who's helped motivate, guide and inspire me.
Published March 9, 2015
Verlo and its recently-renovated flagship store at 6501 W. Layton Ave. wants to change how your shop for sleep. The Milwaukee-maker of mattresses isn't alone in wanting to solve our sleep challenges or change our minds about what we want and need in a mattress. It is, though, unique in its transparent, modern and comfortable approach.
Published March 3, 2015
Dwight Hopfauf is a former Milwaukee resident and the former assistant general manger at Milwaukee's Hilton City Center in Downtown. These days he's basking in "The Bachelor" limelight at Hotel Julien Dubuque.
Published Feb. 27, 2015
The Celebrities section of GQ (digital and print in March) features a story with Swedish Canadian actress Malin Akerman. The photos showcase the actress with the Bucks Giannis Antetokounmpo.
Published Feb. 24, 2015
The first phase of construction officially begins today on an 85,000-square foot, two-level flagship Roundy's Metro Market in the Village of Shorewood. Completion is estimated for January 2016.
Published Feb. 23, 2015
Out for a few beers. Boom. Killed a young woman, and the driver's off to jail. It's a sad story that should have an impact.
Published Feb. 18, 2015
Cold doesn't bother us. We wear hats. And, these days, Bucks hats seem to be everywhere,