UWM artists, ArtWorks for Milwaukee unveil new mural honoring state’s Latino history

MILWAUKEE _  Peck School of the Arts instructor Raoul Deal, student artists and historians from UWM and the nonprofit ArtWorks for Milwaukee will unveil an 85-foot mural honoring the legacy of Milwaukee’s Latino immigrants on the Butters-Fetting Building at 2 p.m. on Saturday, May 20. A street party continues the celebration, which ends at 5 p.m. The Butters-Fetting building is located at First and Mitchell streets.

ArtWorks for Milwaukee initiated the project, secured funding, hired high school interns and engaged Raoul Deal and other partners. Deal, a senior lecturer in the Peck School of the Arts community art program, led the project. The mural, created in the Union Art Gallery and the Kenilworth Building at UWM, is the result of 13 months of collaboration among ArtWorks, UWM and 10 local high schools. Documentarian Cris Siqueira is making a short film about the mural and Michael McClone-Carriere, associate professor at the Milwaukee School of Engineering (MSOE), is writing a book about it.

Participating students did much of the historical research and helped plan and design the mural, which depicts key moments and themes in Wisconsin’s Latino history. Interviews with activists from the United Migrant Opportunities Service (UMOS), whose work is chronicled in the mural, will be stored in the UWM archives. UMOS has a 50-year history providing programming and services to underserved populations in Milwaukee as well as in Minnesota, Missouri and Texas.

The mural was painted with acrylics on polytab, a non-woven fabric also known as parachute cloth. The combination is sturdy enough to withstand the elements across Milwaukee’s four seasons. Deal waited until warmer mid-May temperatures to install the mural so that it would properly adhere to the building.

Supporters of the community art project include UMOS, the Greater Milwaukee Foundation, Milwaukee School of Engineering, ManpowerGroup, the federal Community Development Block Grant program, and the Wisconsin Humanities Council through funds from the National Endowment for the Humanities.

FOR MORE INFORMATION, CONTACT: Raoul Deal, rgdeal@uwm.edu, 414-708-4620 or Freesia McKee, fmckee@artworksformilwaukee.org, 414-807-6068

About ArtWorks for Milwaukee
ArtWorks for Milwaukee is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization that is strengthening Milwaukee’s workforce through arts internships that help teens develop career skills. These interns use a variety of arts techniques to learn valuable life and career skills. Visit www.artworksformilwaukee.org to learn more.

About UWM
Recognized as one of the nation’s 115 top research universities, UW-Milwaukee provides a world-class education to 26,000 students from 89 countries on a budget of $667 million. Its 14 schools and colleges include Wisconsin’s only schools of architecture, freshwater sciences and public health, and it is a leading educator of nurses and teachers. UW-Milwaukee partners with leading companies to conduct joint research, offer student internships and serve as an economic engine for southeastern Wisconsin. The Princeton Review named UW-Milwaukee a 2017 “Best Midwestern” university based on overall academic excellence and student reviews, as well as a top “Green College.”