Wall poem unveiling kicks off afternoon of art appreciation in Racine Saturday Oct. 23

Published: October 18, 2021

SOMERS, Wis. – A wall poem unveiling highlights a busy afternoon of art appreciation in Racine this Saturday October 23.

ArtRoot’s Wall Poems of Racine will host the unveiling party on Saturday, October 23, from 3:00-4:00 p.m. at 1346 Washington Ave. The Wall Poems of Racine is an ArtRoot project in collaboration with University of Wisconsin-Parkside and other community partners.

The project celebrates local literary talent by pairing an excerpt from a poem written by a Racine poet with a design created by a student from UW-Parkside Professor Carey Watters’ advanced graphic design class.

Each year, local writers select poetry excerpts from Racine poets and provide them to UW-Parkside graphic design students. Those students then choose an excerpt to incorporate into a design and present those designs to a review committee that includes building owners and community representatives. 

After modifying their designs based on the committee’s feedback, the students provide a submission and the committee chooses one or two final designs for the wall unveiling.

The second wall poem to be unveiled is inspired by an excerpt from Kelsey Marie Harris’ poem, When I Die, Bury Me a Tree. Kyle Racas created the design, which was painted by Dean Tawwater of Tawwater Sign Company. Jimmy Larkin, Jr., and Jim Wachowiak donated the space for the wall poem.  Bob Yuhas of RPY Architecture donated the site elevation drawings.

Street parking will be available as well as parking behind The Branch at 1501 Washington Ave. A brief history of the project and future projects will be shared, and the featured poet will recite her poem. Surveys will be offered for public input and attendees will be encouraged to participate in a brief educational art exercise.

This wall poem is supported in part by a grant from the Wisconsin Arts Board with funds from the state of Wisconsin and the National Endowment for the Arts. Additional funding comes from The Osborne and Scekic Family Foundation, the Racine Arts Council’s ArtSeed Grants Program, and Jerry Hershberger.

To learn more about this project please visit artroot.org/wallpoems.

Art for Uptown tour

Following the unveiling, members from Art for Uptown (@artforuptown) will lead a public art tour throughout the Uptown area and discuss their plans for a new public art installation. Interested attendees will receive a pre-cut vinyl cling shape in various colors to create a design on store front windows along Washington Ave. Each shape will cost $5 and the proceeds will benefit Uptown beautification and revitalization. Each vinyl will be artistically combined with the help of volunteers to form Uptown’s largest mural. Supplies for the mural will be available in The Branch at 1501 from 3:00-7:00pm.

Dragon Pit BBQ, Jaramillo’s Home Cook’n Food Truck, local artisan booths, and a cash bar will be available behind the The Branch at 1501 from 3:00-7:00pm. Henna will be offered by Hadiyah and a free coloring activity will be led by Sharktopia (@sharktopia) using specially designed Art for Uptown coloring pages. Rooted Plant Shop at 1436 Washington Ave. will lead a free painting activity.

Wall Poem artist talk, painting, live music at Mahogany Gallery

A free artist talk featuring Wall Poems of Racine #2 poet, Kelsey Marie Harris, will take place from 4:30-6:00pm at Mahogany Gallery at 1422 Washington Ave.

Later that evening, from 8:00-9:00pm, Mahogany will be hosting a ticketed event which will pair painting, poetry, and live music from DJ X. An open mic for poets will be offered as well. Please visit mahoganygallery.com to purchase tickets.

The University of Wisconsin-Parkside is committed to high-quality educational programs, creative and scholarly activities, and services responsive to its diverse student population, and its local, national, and global communities. We are a dynamic learning community grounded in academic excellence and focused on student success, diversity, inclusion, and community engagement. The campus serves as a premier comprehensive public institution and a destination of choice, serving as a focal point of local, regional, and global progress. 

Media contact:

Andrew Savagian
Communications Director
University of Wisconsin-Parkside

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