Edited by Claire Hanan
With Debra Brehmer, Sarah Butler, Abby Callard, Kurt Chandler, Ann Christenson, Matt Hrodey, Dasha Kelly, Paul Kosidowski, Howie Magner & Tim McCormick
Photos by Adam Ryan Morris
There’s an old warehouse in Bay View, near Skipper Bud’s marina and Barnacle Bud’s. It’s wrapped in Cream City brick, and just by looking at it, you’d think it’s empty.
It is anything but.
If you peeled back that dusty, corn-colored layer, you’d find a hive of about 40 artists so diverse, you’d swear you’ve stepped into the Sydney Hih building in its heyday.
It seems as if these artists want to be left alone. The building isn’t open to the public, but it’s thriving nonetheless. We think it’s artists, like Heather Hambrecht, who cuts, dyes, embosses and stamps locally tanned leather to create beautiful handbags and fashionable leather garments, who have stories worth telling. In fact, with your help, we found 19 more Milwaukeeans who might fly under the radar now, but are using their ingenuity to advance this city in ways someone like Solomon Juneau would have never imagined. An urban walking trail dotted with art made from recycled materials? A brewery crafting suds using local coffee or jasmine tea? What about a psychologist bringing counseling to the public house, instead of waiting for the public to come to her? These are realities for contemporary Milwaukeeans, and it’s all thanks to these supremely inventive minds.