Sculpture Milwaukee Returns This Summer, Making Art Accessible 24/7

Holiday Home (Milwaukee), 2019 featuring the updated color scheme for 2020. Photo by Kevin Miyazaki/Sculpture Milwaukee


At a time when so much has gone virtual or been put on hold, it is encouraging that public art has, for the most part, still been publicly  accessible while so many doors have been closed. We were encouraged to hear last week that Sculpture Milwaukee is moving ahead with plans to mount its popular city-wide sculpture exhibition. They declared on social media, "We're not cancelled!" 

Sculpture Milwaukee announced on May 28 that its annual world-class collection of monumental sculptures will return to the streets this summer, where they can be safely enjoyed by all. Installation is slated to begin the week of June 8, and will be phased through mid-July, and, for the first time ever, many works will remain on view through the winter.  

In an historic year of innumerable cancelations and uncertainties due to COVID-19, the non-profit was spurred-on by the urgent understanding that access to free, safe, and culturally enriching activities are more important now than ever. 

“The sculptures will be a visible and vibrant reminder of our city’s unwavering resilience, an invitation to reimagine our surroundings, take-in new perspectives, and get inspired,” says Beth Weirick of Milwaukee Downtown. She continues, “We want everyone to feel safe coming downtown; Sculpture Milwaukee’s plans fit right in with the larger effort to create a safe, inviting locale for our community.” 

In light of ongoing public health concerns, Sculpture Milwaukee has announced a few unique features of the 2020 season. The organization has deferred in-person events, instead resources will be made available on for self-guided exploration. They’ll host a mix of live-streamed and pre-recorded conversations with artists, virtual art lectures and more. Visitors will be encouraged to share their photos and thoughts about the sculptures via social media. Ground markings will be provided to help visitors maintain the recommended six-feet physical distance from others.

“Our exhibition stretches out along Wisconsin Ave from O’Donnell Park to the Wisconsin Center, and this year, in partnership with The Black Box Fund, we’ve expanded into the Historic Third Ward. Altogether, our exhibition is over a mile and a half long, open 24-7 and will remain open months longer than in past years. We believe there will be ample space for people to experience vibrant and diverse, world-class artworks while maintaining a safe physical distance,” remarked Sculpture Milwaukee’s Executive Director, Brian Schupper. “We love Milwaukee, and, we want our exhibition to inspire people to get out and experience our beautiful city once again.”