In what was once a dark and desolate alley space on the East Side of Milwaukee, there is now a public arts destination and it’s taking the city by storm. The Black Cat Alley, whose name is an homage to the UWM Panthers. (The Kenilworth campus is located just across the street.)

The alley, located between Prospect and Farwell Avenues, now boasts 14 murals by 16 artists in just one city block of space. The owners of the buildings have even installed lights, and a garden is forthcoming in 2017.

“We want it to be like an art gallery, so when you walk through the alley you’re bombarded with different voices and ideas,” Program Director Stacey Williams-Ng said to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

In July 2016, international street artist MTO painted a 50-foot-wide frog on the south wall of the Oriental Theater. MTO, a French artist known for black and white portraits with splashes of color, was commissioned to come and inaugurate the space with a world-class piece, designed especially for our city.

Sponsored by the East Side Business Improvement District (BID), which raised over $40,000 in community funding, the Black Cat Alley successfully opened on September 17-18, 2016. According to the stats on the Doors Open Milwaukee website, the site attracted nearly 4,000 visitors and was among Milwaukee’s top 10 destinations visited that weekend.

Wallpapered City would like to congratulate all the volunteers, the artists, the donors, the sponsors and everyone else who believed in this project and helped to bring it to fruition.

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Lee Matz