Black Cat Alley, located on the East Side on Farwell Avenue between Kenilworth and Ivanhoe Places, between the Oriental Theatre and Colectivo, is an alley filled with more than 30,000 square feet of artists' murals.
Once a merely empty alley, Black Cat is now the place to go when you’re looking to explore Milwaukee, when you need some time to unwind and appreciate some public art, or when you just want to chill with friends and take some great photos.
All of the pieces are fascinating, but here are my top five favorites:
1. "Jazz Goat" by Tim Decker, September 2016
As a musically inclined person, this mural was the most relatable. It is colorful and cute, and the message next to the goat referee – "Art = change!" – is very inspiring. I would love to see an actual goat playing the saxophone one day.
2. "My Heart on a Platter" by Bigshot Robot, August 2017
This mural has so much beyond the picture as there is a lot of meaning to interpret here. The blue hand is serving up a fixed broken heart on a platter, which has a new arrow aimed right for the heart. Is it about a new heart that’s ready to fall in love again? Or is it saying that love is inevitable, you can’t protect your heart forever? Or perhaps something else? This is the beauty of art and interpretation.
3. "Monarch Butterflies" by Jeremy Novy, June 2016
You’ve probably seen this famous mural across Instagram, Facebook and other social media. The color scheme is direct and simple, including only black, white and orange, and the butterflies are shaped into an arched, artistic form, making a great frame for a new profile picture.
4. "Milwaukee Gaia Buddha" by Tia Richardson, September 2016
This mural is located perfectly next to a garden, so you can pose among the plants. I especially enjoy how the woman in the mural has colorful symbols and icons on her skin, representing different things. The whole mural, with prominent colors of green and yellow and sunflowers growing upwards towards the sun, seems to shout "growth."
5. "Flyboy" by Jeff Redmon, September 2016
While this mural is somewhat ambiguous, it seems to be a boy with fly-like features preparing to take flight. The turquoise vivid hues add a calming feeling to the overall work. Art is all up for interpretation, right?
A new mural by Daisy Gertel is going to be in the works next week. I can’t wait to see what’s in store.