- Bay View defines community. And Kinnickinic Avenue is a dense, dynamic street, in this safe, vibrant neighborhood. What better place to host a sprawling event that brings people from all walks of life together to connect with art?
Bay View Gallery Night (BVGN) is entering its fourth year and the biannual event takes place again Friday, June 6 from 5-10 p.m. all over Bay View.
Made in Milwaukee and Colectivo Coffee host BVGN, in addition to more than 50 local businesses hosting more than 200 local artists and musicians for the evening, highlighting the creative community and great spaces of Bay View.
Chuck Watson and Jeff Redmon run Made in Milwaukee, an organization that has created a platform for artists and local business to interact and interface with the community.
Watson began organizing events in 2003 with the idea of bringing artists together. Let’s spend our money on each other, he reasoned. “For me, it’s an experiment that's working. Fifteen years ago when Gallery Night started in the Third Ward, I realized that art could be a centerpiece to bring people together.”
With the help of the entire community, the event continues to grow. Here are a few new elements for this year's installment:
- BVGN is collaborating with Milwaukee Jazz Vision to host the first-ever Bay View Jazz Fest. There will be over 13 local jazz bands at four different venues. De La Buena will headline Club Garibaldi and the Bronzeville Jazz Quintet will be at Highbury, to name a few.
- The Roll Out Tour de Art will encourage guests to explore the event by bike. Register at 5 p.m.at Rushmor Records (2635 S. Kinnickinnic Ave.) and rollout at 6 p.m.
The event lends itself well to a full evening of eating, drinking and browsing, but if you only have limited amount of time, don’t miss:
- Student artwork will be on display for the first time at BVGN. Check out exhibits from Bay View Middle and High School students at Outpost (2826 S. Kinnickinnic Ave.) and the Bay View Public Library (2566 S. Kinnickinnic Ave.).
- The historic Beulah Brinton House (2590 S. Superior St.) will host the exhibit “The Vintage Future,” curated by local artist, Brandon Minga. See a collection of historically inspired art, jewelry, and fashion. Two of my favorites: Fiber Artist Timothy Westbrook and Writer Anja Notanja will also have their work on display.
- The Hide House (2625 S Greeley St.) will showcase over 50 different local artists on three floors. Floor upon floor of art...oh my!
- The BVGN Art and Craft Fair is returning to the Colectivo parking lot featuring over 30 local handpicked vendors, but this year, crafter and market curator extraordinaire, Cortney Heimerl, will be running the show. And, find a juried mural competition also going on it the lot behind the café.
- A delicious convergence of food trucks will take place at Morgan Park (Holt and KK). Trucks confirmed so far include: Five Star Nacho, Cedar Teeth, Eats & Treats, and Urban Caveman. Check back for more.
Above all, relationships make this event come together. Watson and Redmon run Made in Milwaukee as volunteers and have full-time careers. “We can’t curate every spot, but we want it to be really high quality,” Watson says. “We want to be able to walk away and have businesses continuing to support artists.” Tonic Tavern is a prime example. Since the first BVGN, it has continued to serve as a gallery space for local artists to show and sell their work.
Making the community better motivates Redmon and Watson. “A little bit of effort and a very little bit of money can go a long way for something you really care about,” Watson says. “I can’t live in a place and not have anything to with it or care about it,” added Redmon.
To see a complete listing of the evening’s events, times and more information, visit BVGN.ORG.