Art In Celebration of MKE's Black Communities

In the weeks following George Floyd’s murder a group of Milwaukee creatives formed MKE Seen to advocate, in solidarity with Milwaukee’s Black communities, for meaningful change through public art. You may have seen our first installation, “Black is Beautiful”  celebrating Juneteenth outside America’s Black Holocaust Museum . Or, maybe you caught our second installation  outside Sherman Phoenix in the beginning of July. To see more of the unifying spirit and brightness of past installations, check out MKE Seen’s Instagram, MKESeen , and Facebook, MKE Seen , pages.

On a mission to bring softness and rejuvenation through large-scale floral installations, MKE Seen provides uplifting moments of joy in Black communities. This month MKE Seen will feature a series of installations created & documented in collaboration with local MKE artists and MIAD alumni, Anika Kowalik and,Gabriella Riveros drawing out areas of historical significance and Black businesses throughout the city (particularly Milwaukee’s north side). 

Anika Kowalik (pronouns they/them) is a Milwaukee native who describes their current art practice as a way to “use their personal experience in their younger years as a young black femme to explore the depths of institutionalized racist ideology, Black American history, and the coming of age to create works that record their own history.” Along with being a very vocal and influential Black activist, Anika’s unique perspective communicates through their multidimensional, 3D art and has earned them a spot in many exhibitions throughout the city.

Gabriela Riveros (pronouns she/her) is a Paraguayan American artist whose work revolves around multi-cultural identities, history, and mythology. Storytelling and themes of equality are an integral part of Riveros' work.

Collaborating with and investing in these powerful local artists is integral to furthering our mission of facilitating lasting change in Milwaukee’s underserved communities. We must commit to paying our illustrators, our distinguished mixed media artists, our painters, our writers; all of the creatives using their art as a tool to share and help shape empowering stories of and for Milwaukee’s Black communities. With your donation we will be able to compensate our talented artists, to cover costs of shipping donated flowers and to defray the cost of any incidentals we’re unable to cover through in-kind donations. 
Each onsite installation is a unique love letter to the community where it stands and to the leaders of the movement making change. Located in previously overlooked neighborhoods, MKE Seen’s installations aim to recharge activist’s and neighbor’s spirits alike while providing an opportunity to safely engage and enjoy each other around large-scale art. Black people deserve moments of calm and celebration during this uprising and MKE Seen is dedicated to reminding them to take time to experience those moments. 

If you’ve felt called to support the movement for racial justice but don't know how to get involved or to do so from the safety of your own home. Here’s an answer, support us in uplifting Milwaukee’s Black communities, and let them know: We see them. We hear them. We stand with them. - MKE Seen


Donations (127)

  • Eric Resch
    • $25 
    • 3 yrs
  • Joe Olson
    • $25 
    • 3 yrs
  • Alive and Fine
    • $60 
    • 3 yrs
  • Anonymous
    • $200 
    • 3 yrs
  • Jessica Schleis
    • $20 
    • 3 yrs

Fundraising team (4)

MKE Seen
Milwaukee, WI
Courtney Stenberg
Team member
Raveen Lemon
Team member
Sally Vander Wyst
Team member

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