This weekend, Black Cat Alley – a gallery of murals literally in an alley on Milwaukee's East Side – will kick off the installment of two new murals.
Beginning on Friday April 20, visiting artist Adam Hernandez of Columbus, Ohio will begin work on a 10-foot piece titled "Godmask" from a series he has been pursuing in recent years. He will be at work on this piece for April Gallery Night and Day, April 20-21, and the public is welcome to visit and observe the work in progress.
In May, work will begin on a larger mural in the alley. The new mural will be installed on a north-facing segment of the back wall of the Oriental Theater, near the intersection of Kenilworth and Prospect Avenues. It will appear in the place of a previous mural by Adam Stoner entitled "Devontay," which was defaced in 2017. The artist chosen for the new mural is Emma Daisy Gertel, a maker, illustrator, and designer based in Milwaukee.
The Call for Artists released in February by the East Side BID restricted entries for the large mural to local, Milwaukee-area artists only. The committee of jurors based their selection on artistic merit, message, and originality of voice. The invited jury included John Kowalczyk of Artists Working in Education (AWE), Flow Johnson of After Gallery, Timothy Decker of UWM and MATC, Antoine Carter of the Harambee Art Alley, Caitlin Sprague of the Milwaukee Mural Map, and Allison Westbrook, a local artist and activist.
"The jury received 20 entries for the north-facing mural from local artists," says Program Director Stacey Williams-Ng. "Jurors were very impressed with Gertel’s proposal, because of its exuberance and power." She adds, "We are also very excited to support Daisy in her very first mural. That’s one of the best parts of this job: introducing new artists to a monumental format!"