Students and artists have been working together to transform vacant lots and storefronts on Vliet Street into inspiring community centers.
2017 has been a banner year for public art projects. Artists from around the world installed 22 sculptures along Wisconsin Avenue, local painters unveiled five massive murals off Kinnickinnic Avenue and now Vliet Street is getting a makeover too.
On Monday, July 31, Mayor Tom Barrett hosted a ribbon-cutting ceremony at 3907 W. Vliet Street, the site of a recent Artistic Board-Up. The project was spearheaded by two nonprofits – Artists Working in Education and Youth from Our Next Generation – along with local artists Fred Keams and Leilani Lopez. Together they painted the dilapidated storefront that had previously been a neighborhood eyesore, transforming it into a colorful, uplifting mural.
The mixed-used lot is one of two Vliet Street buildings to be beautified. The other, located at 3722 W. Vliet, got a new look courtesy of the the Fresh Perspective Artists Collective.
Both sites are part of a larger project to transform vacant spaces in economically disadvantaged neighborhoods into vibrant community centers.