Milwaukee artist Ruben Alcantar just completed work on the new Respect mural on the front of The Highbury bar in Bay View.
Designed by artist Jeff Redmon, the mural features Giannis Antetokounmpo and several other Milwaukee Bucks players wearing “I can’t breathe” shirts, protesting racial injustice and the death of George Floyd. The mural was funded through community donations.
Alcantar is a tattoo artist at Black Rabbit Tattoo Collective, and he’s contributed to several of the new racial justice murals throughout the city.
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In June, Alcantar collaborated with tattoo artist Chris Burke to paint a mural honoring Breonna Taylor on the corner of Locust Avenue and Holton Street. Breonna Taylor was an emergency medical technician who was killed by police in Louisville in March.
Both Alcantar and Burke were also among the several artists who painted portraits of Milwaukee protest leaders and activists on a building at the corner of 14th Street and Vliet Street. Burke is also contributing to the Respect mural.
Alcantar said he’s only been painting murals for about a month now; he got involved largely because of the Black Lives Matter protests.
“I want to inspire change,” Alcantar said. The community’s response to the murals has largely been positive, he added, and he plans to continue creating social justice murals throughout the city.