While debates over public art pieces drone on and on, artist Jeremy Novy contributes -- quietly and anonymously -- to multiple Milwaukee neighborhoods. Novy, a 27-year-old photography student at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, creates life-size stenciled images of doors and windows onto large sheets of paper, and then pastes them over the plywood boarding up neglected buildings in high-traffic areas.
"I feel we ignore the neglect in our city and I want to highlight what needs and can be fixed up," says Novy.
Novy started the project two years ago, and originally pasted massive photographs atop the plywood. This, however, was more expensive and less effective, because the photos blended into the building and people driving by didn't notice them. As drawings, the art is more noticeable, which is critical for Novy who strives to create social change through his work.
"I find that once a neighborhood has one or two boarded-up houses in plain view things change. One's pride starts to diminish, and crime starts to climb," he says. "I'm trying to address these issues along with bringing art and beauty back to the neighborhood."
Novy works on buildings in many neighborhoods, including Riverwest, the North Side and Waukesha.
"There are a lot of abandon and ugly places that can always use art to brighten up the space," says Novy, who plans to expand the project beyond Milwaukee and Waukesha.
Most importantly, Novy says public art should relate to the neighborhood and surrounding architecture, which doesn't always happen, and gives public art a bad rap.
"Some of the abstract sculptures in the city seem to mean nothing to the neighborhood or city," he says.
Molly Snyder started writing and publishing her work at the age 10, when her community newspaper printed her poem, "The Unicorn.” Since then, she's expanded beyond the subject of mythical creatures and written in many different mediums but, nearest and dearest to her heart, thousands of articles for OnMilwaukee.
Molly is a regular contributor to FOX6 News and numerous radio stations as well as the co-host of "Dandelions: A Podcast For Women.” She's received five Milwaukee Press Club Awards, served as the Pfister Narrator and is the Wisconsin State Fair’s Celebrity Cream Puff Eating Champion of 2019.