By Jeff Sherman Staff Writer Published May 20, 2009 at 1:32 PM Photography: Jeff Sherman

Decorative jewelry began to pop up along Milwaukee's Riverwalk last night. Individual earring-like pieces on harp lights, huge steel rings, necklaces on the bridge houses and a series of brooches for selected buildings and balconies are all in the works.

The largest piece (about 7 feet) sits at the Mason St. Landing. It's a steel ring with settings of domestic decorative items like lamps, cooking ware and chains and bowling balls as the gems. It's an impressive piece made by artist John Ready, director of the University Gallery at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse. Ready began his career as a jeweler, but now focuses on sculpting. According to Milwaukee Riverwalk board person Marsha Sehler, "Ready was particularly motivated by the idea of creating sculptural art that worked within the context of the city."

Ready created his "jewels" from recycled materials, including aluminum Jell-O molds that will be riveted together to form glitzy, giant pins fitted with solar lights. These pins will light up the Milwaukee Rep building just across the Milwaukee River from Byron's Beer Garden and Bistro.

Additional pieces will be placed all month and the entire exhibit will run through the 2010 season with pieces changing over time to better integrate them with specific locations. "I think this exhibit is going to get the town - and possibly the whole country - talking," added Seher.

I'll have an interview with the artist later this month.


Jeff Sherman Staff Writer

A life-long and passionate community leader and Milwaukeean, Jeff Sherman is a co-founder of OnMilwaukee.

He grew up in Wauwatosa and graduated from Marquette University, as a Warrior. He holds an MBA from Cardinal Stritch University, and is the founding president of Young Professionals of Milwaukee (YPM)/Fuel Milwaukee.

Early in his career, Sherman was one of youngest members of the Greater Milwaukee Committee, and currently is involved in numerous civic and community groups - including board positions at The Wisconsin Center District, Wisconsin Club and Marcus Center for the Performing Arts.  He's honored to have been named to The Business Journal's "30 under 30" and Milwaukee Magazine's "35 under 35" lists.  

He owns a condo in Downtown and lives in greater Milwaukee with his wife Stephanie, his son, Jake, and daughter Pierce. He's a political, music, sports and news junkie and thinks, for what it's worth, that all new movies should be released in theaters, on demand, online and on DVD simultaneously.

He also thinks you should read OnMilwaukee each and every day.