America’s grandest art gallery officially opened on Wisconsin Avenue for local residents and the world to enjoy.

The inaugural Sculpture Milwaukee kicked-off with a historic celebration on Wisconsin Avenue, putting the city on the map as a street art destination. Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett declared May 31, 2017 as “Sculpture Milwaukee Day” with a city proclamation during the ribbon-cutting ceremony, attended by a crowd of hundreds.

The event included remarks from project visionary Steve Marcus, Beth Weirick of Milwaukee Downtown BID #21, and Andy Farbman of the Farbman Group which owns Chase Tower at Water and Wisconsin.

Led by Steve Marcus, chairman of the board of The Marcus Corporation, and curated by Russell Bowman, an art consultant based in Chicago and former Director of the Milwaukee Art Museum, the sculptures are on loan from galleries across the nation.

The festivities included a free lunch, compliments of Capriotti’s and Dunkin’ Donuts at the plaza of Chase Tower at Water and Wisconsin. Live entertainment was provided, with performances by Jenny Thiel, Lex Allen, Fred Astaire Dance Studio and Milwaukee Public Schools Lincoln Center of the Arts choir.

Featured sculptures in the 2017 installation will be available for purchase, with a percentage of the commission of each sale reinvested into the project to sustain an annual exhibition.

Sculpture Milwaukee 2017 will line Wisconsin Avenue with 22 sculptures between 6th Street and O’Donnell Park through October 22. These images highlight the kick-off celebration at the heart of Sculpture Milwaukee’s bold initiative to start an annual tradition of seasonal street art exhibitions.