If you’re downtown on Monday morning you just might catch crews installing a new mural at the Water Street entrance to the Grand Avenue Club, 210 E. Michigan St.
The mural was made by artist Tia Richardson of Cosmic Butterfly Design and 25 members of the club.
The mission of the Grand Avenue Club is to provide pre-vocational training, paid employment, education and enrichment programming to adults who have experienced mental illness.
The colorful mural depicts the Grand Avenue Club’s cream city brick Italianate building – one of the oldest in Downtown, constructed in 1856 – and celebrates its mission through a variety of figures peeking out of the windows and out front.
The mural is being installed in the form of 14 panels. When complete it will be about 28 feet tall and about 16 feet wide.
Richardson led a series of workshop with club members at the start of the year and incorporated their feedback into the design of the mural, which was painted by Richardson and club members.
The mural was funded by Bud Selig and Sue Selig, a grant from the City of Milwaukee's Department of City Development's Community Improvement (CIP) program, the Grand Avenue Club, and Milwaukee Downtown, BID #21.
Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., where he lived until he was 17, Bobby received his BA-Mass Communications from UWM in 1989 and has lived in Walker's Point, Bay View, Enderis Park, South Milwaukee and on the East Side.
He has published three non-fiction books in Italy – including one about an event in Milwaukee history, which was published in the U.S. in autumn 2010. Four more books, all about Milwaukee, have been published by The History Press.
With his most recent band, The Yell Leaders, Bobby released four LPs and had a songs featured in episodes of TV's "Party of Five" and "Dawson's Creek," and films in Japan, South America and the U.S. The Yell Leaders were named the best unsigned band in their region by VH-1 as part of its Rock Across America 1998 Tour. Most recently, the band contributed tracks to a UK vinyl/CD tribute to the Redskins and collaborated on a track with Italian novelist Enrico Remmert.
He's produced three installments of the "OMCD" series of local music compilations for OnMilwaukee.com and in 2007 produced a CD of Italian music and poetry.
In 2005, he was awarded the City of Asti's (Italy) Journalism Prize for his work focusing on that area. He has also won awards from the Milwaukee Press Club.
He can be heard weekly on 88Nine Radio Milwaukee talking about his "Urban Spelunking" series of stories.