A mural on The Artery, another recent outdoor art destination. Photo by Matt Hrodey.

Tapping Into a Vein

We review The Artery.

Clearing a diagonal from Keefe Avenue to Capitol Drive, the Artery project interrupted back-alley life along the old rail corridor so abruptly, it’s as if a curtain went up and someone yelled, “Freeze!” A homeless person’s hammock dangles from an industrial building; there’s graffiti everywhere; and heavy equipment clanks and surges in nearby machine shops.

Funded by the Greater Milwaukee Committee’s Creational Trails initiative, this urban surgery resulted in a ribbon of pavement two-thirds of a mile long, and a few heraldic sculptures that resemble maypoles made of spray-painted plywood and old tires. The latest $1.1 million effort is intended as a connector to Riverwest’s Beerline Trail but so far remains isolated and hemmed in by industrial buildings. The mighty GMC plans to install more art along the Artery in spring 2016, and not a moment too soon.

‘Tapping Into a Vein’ appears in the October 2015 issue of Milwaukee Magazine.

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Matt has written for Milwaukee Magazine since 2006, when he was a lowly intern. Since then, he’s held the posts of assistant news editor and, most recently, senior editor. He’s lived in South Carolina, Tennessee, Connecticut, Iowa, and Indiana but mostly in Wisconsin. He wants to do more fishing but has a hard time finding worms. For the magazine, Matt has written about city government, schools, religion, coffee roasters and Congress.