How To Do 'Sculpture Milwaukee' With Kids in 2020

Sculpture Milwaukee brings world class art to Milwaukee again this year along Wisconsin Avenue. This year's collection features 8 total art works along Wisconsin Avenue that use a range of materials and come from divergent backgrounds.

There are social distancing markers around the sculptures, and masks are required per the City of Milwaukee's mask requirement. The exhibition is open 24/7.

Wisconsin Avenue is a high-traffic area, and some sculptures are easier to navigate with kids in tow. To help families, MKE With Kids has identified an easy, short route to navigate Sculpture Milwaukee with kids, avoiding the high traffic areas.

To follow this route, park near O'Donnell Park and find The Calling sculpture (the big orange guy also known as "The Calling").

Sculpture 1: "The Calling" (Mark di Suvero, 1982)

929 E. Wisconsin Ave., O'Donnell Park

Although not part of the official Sculpture Milwaukee exhibition, di Suvero's sculpture, "The Calling" is still worth a visit. The orange-red, 40 feet tall steel statue is impossible to miss, and it resembles a rising sun. You'll find it in O'Donnell Park.

Sculpture 2: Holiday Home (Richard Woods, 2019)

929 E. Wisconsin Ave., O'Donnell Park

From "The Calling", head over to the quaint and cheery "Holiday Home", also located in O'Donnell Park. British artist Richard Woods created the sculpture as a commentary on recent political and economic upheavals like Brexit. Home can symbolize success and stabilities, but when the home is placed in unusual places, like in the middle of a downtown park, it reminds us of instability and dangers in the world.

Sculpture #3: Shoreline Repast (Paul Druecke, 2017)

910 E Michigan St.

The third and final sculpture in O'Donnell Park is "Shoreline Repast", overlooking Lake Michigan and the Art Museum. Milwaukee based artist Paul Druecke created this sculpture as a way to show how culture and societies ingrain themselves into the surrounding landscape, what he calls "public inscription." His art invites onlookers to consider their own relationship to the land.

Sculpture #4: Jim's Head With Branches (Jim Dine, 2018)

875 E. Wisconsin Ave.

When you're finished exploring the three sculptures in O'Donnell Park, head west on Wisconsin Avenue until you find "Jim's Head with Branches". The artist juxtaposes the modern "selfie" with this work that calls attention to an aging body and psyche. It is roughed up with scars. And the question remains: Are the branches real or imagined?

Sculpture #5: Cleft From The Series Dendrite

Roxy Paine

Northwestern Mutual (720 E. Wisconsin Ave.)

Cross Wisconsin Ave. and head towards the Northwestern Mutual Building. On the east end of the lawn, you'll find a majestic silver tree. Artist Roxy Paine created a tree that is cut down the center to accommodate power lines, calling attention to how trees are connected to one another, and the unseen damage we do to ourselves and others. Installation requires underground concrete structures, two human lifts, welding equipment, a water tank, and it takes six people about five days to install it.

On the way home:

Gild The Lily (Caribbean Hybrid I, II, III) (Carlos Rolón)

111 E. Wisconsin Ave

On your way home, drive past Chase Bank to see this colorful lobby installation by Carlos Rolón, known for bright, expressive, multi layered installations. He is a first generation Puerto Rican-American, and incorporates the architecture and design of the island in his art. He chose Chase Bank to act as a flame that attracts city dwellers to a key intersection.

Find out more about Sculpture Milwaukee, the artists, and events here. Learn more about Trolley Tours of Sculpture Milwaukee here.

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