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IF YOU’VE WALKED along Wisconsin Avenue by Third Street recently, you’ve probably passed one of the colorful murals Jaime Brown live-painted last summer during the Milwaukee Night Market. Brown’s murals have been commissioned around the world, from Dubai to Halifax. Now, the Kenosha-based artist is showing off a new collection of mixed-media pieces different from anything she’s done before. See the new collection at 310 W. Wisconsin Ave. at Spring Gallery Night, April 21-22, and on extended display afterward.
How was your experience live painting last summer?
I drove up from Kenosha, unloaded all my gear – 800 trillion cans of paint, all the masking tape, the brushes and spray paint. … I started from one section, and it just came together. Normally, I map everything out. This time was just so freestyle.
As soon as I step out of my comfort zone, that’s when the magic happens.
How is the shift from murals to canvas?
[This is] a very different style to what I’m used to. My murals are very calculated, they’re geometric, they’re laser straight lines, there’s no room for error. And my new collection of work is completely freestyled. It’s wild. It’s mixed media. It’s a lot of layers.
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What inspired your upcoming project?
[I’m] getting back in the mindset of a very retro childhood vibe. Eight-year-old little girl is screaming for glitter, tons of layers, sparkles, iridescent materials, overlays, lots of spray paints, graffiti markers. I grew up in the ’80s and ’90s, and this whole collection is kind of bringing us back to that time [when] all we cared about was playing. There are a couple pieces in here that are giving Malibu Barbie [vibes]. Overall, some of my favorite things and memories and reminders of the past come out in a very colorful way – without clinging to the past – just recognizing it and finding the delightfulness in it all.
How do you hope people will react to this new collection?
I hope all my art makes people feel a sense of playful happiness. I incorporate a lot of hidden things into my work. I have a kind of wackadoodle sense of humor, so I just slip a lot of things in there that are funny to me. All I care about is making somebody smile, whether they like the colors, the composition, the little hidden sneaky things that they see. If it makes them happy to see it, then I’ve succeeded.
ART BY THE NUMBERS
Jaime Brown’s skywalk mural by 3rd Street Market Hall took 20 gallons of paint to make. It is her largest mural in Wisconsin.
Jaime Brown’s Spring Arts Event Pick
THROUGH MAY 5 | CATHEDRAL SQUARE PARKE
The internationally known artists brought their sculpture installation to Milwaukee’s Cathedral Park in January, and it’s on display until May 5. “I’m fully obsessed and love their work,” says Brown.