Mayor Tom Barrett and the Menomonee Valley Partners today invited residents of Milwaukee to come together for a ‘Milwaukee Mass Portrait’ Saturday, June 16th at 10 a.m. in the Menomonee Valley. The ‘people portrait’ will be taken at 10:30 a.m. The location can be accessed easily through Canal Street, below the 35th Street viaduct.
The historic portrait will capture a moment in Milwaukee history, at a time when the city marks the renewal of the Menomonee Valley. The state’s largest brownfield and what had formerly been Milwaukee’s biggest eyesore is now home to countless recreational opportunities, new businesses, buildings of green design, an innovative stormwater park and more. More than new 2,100 jobs were created by catalytic projects in the Valley.
“Everyone is invited to make history and be part of the art,’ said Mayor Barrett. “We’re expecting hundreds of Milwaukeeans to come together for one morning, to represent the Milwaukee of today and to mark this moment when Menomonee Valley is brought back for the benefit of all citizens.”
The ‘mass portrait’ is part of the public art component of the Menomonee Valley plan. In the 1930’s and 40’s Weegee (a.k.a. Arthur Fellig 1899 – 1968) took a famous series of photographs of the beach at Coney Island, packed with New Yorkers. Milwaukee hopes to gather a crowd that rivals those mustered at Coney Island, and that represents Milwaukee in all its diversity. Numerous organizations throughout Milwaukee have signed up to ‘champion’ the portrait by bringing at least 10 people to take part in the photograph.
The public will also get the chance to check out Milwaukee's newest park located at the site of the former Milwaukee Road Shops at Canal Street. The City of Milwaukee, along with the Menomonee Valley Partners has been redeveloping this area as the Menomonee Valley Industrial Center and Community Park – a new place to work and play. The 50 acre park is a work in progress and being constructed in phases. Some areas are now open to the public including access to the Menomonee River for fishing and canoeing, as well as four miles of the Hank Aaron State Trail.