Jennifer Anderson is one of the five female artists who was hired by the Kinnickinnic Avenue BID to paint a large-scale mural along Bay View’s main retail corridor, with a work titled “Fade Into Blue.”
The “Street Canvas” project is part of an overall enhancement initiative long the main street of the Southside artery, once the most frequently traveled road connecting Milwaukee and Chicago. The five commercial buildings selected along the mile-long stretch of Kinnickinnic Avenue, or simply KK as the street is commonly known, are as architecturally diverse as the area is culturally.
Nova Czarnecki, Jenny Jo Kristan, Dena Nord, Jenny Anderson, and Rozalia Hernandez-Singh are the all-female roster of artists and unifying theme for the new collection of public art in Bay View.
Over the installation period, from May 22 to June 9, the Milwaukee Independent photo documented the mural painting process of each artist. Those images are included with this short Q&A, to showcase and share a personal insight into this ambitious project that adds to the growing momentum of establishing Milwaukee as an art destination.
Q&A with Jennifer Anderson
Fade Into Blue
Q: In your youth, who or what inspired you to be an artist, and what led you on the path to paint outdoor murals?
A: I grew up in the countryside, far away from the friends I had at school. Most of my time was spent either walking in the woods or in my room painting and drawing, I really enjoyed both activities. This inspired me to take art classes in school and then go on to art college. I think the love of the outdoors and the love of painting led me toward painting murals.
Q: What was the idea behind your Bay View mural, and what do you hope the public experiences when seeing it?
A: My idea behind the mural is my love for my Bay View community, while working in my artistic style. The Lake has always been important to me and to Bay View. Every face is different and they all have different lines of sight, so where ever you are standing looking at the mural you might encounter one of the faces on the building. This, along with the angular abstractions, which represent the different angle of streets and buildings, is my interpretation of Bay View. Although these ideas will most likely not initially recognizable to the viewer, I hope that the viewer looks upon it with questions. I tried to make it dynamic enough to capture the viewer and hope that they find it interesting enough to draw their own interpretation.
Q: What would you say to encourage a disadvantaged young girl who dreams of being an artist but lacks the opportunity?
A: I would offer this advice, art is everywhere, art materials are everywhere. If you have the desire to create, you can create without having the best materials. The act of finding and looking for creative ways to express yourself, is in itself a creative act. Opportunities arise through doing. Surround yourself with those who appreciate your drive to create, this will help shore up your confidence to persevere. Also, one could be the best artist in the world, but if they do not take chances or take advantage of opportunities that might be uncomfortable they will never be a successful artist. Be strong and realize that success isn’t always getting first in show or into galleries. Being successful is going forward and continuing to follow your passions.
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- Nova Czarnecki paints a poetic “Witness to the Wild”
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- Dena Nord splashes shapes which “Flow”
- Jenny Anderson colors faces that “Fade Into Blue”
- Rozalia Hernandez-Singh depicts female pride with “Our Beauty in Strength”
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