‘This is the future:’ Ribbon-cutting held for downtown Milwaukee’s largest public art project to date

Data pix.

MILWAUKEE --  A celebration was held Thursday, Oct. 24, marking the completion of the “Heart & Sol” mural by local artist Mauricio Ramirez near 6th and Wells. A brief program was followed by a ribbon-cutting.

Mauricio Ramirez

Spanning nearly 5,000 square feet, the east-facing façade depicts two young female figures, portraying the optimism for Milwaukee's future through the illustration of youth.

A picture of 3-year-old Carmin Humphrey was used to help the artist paint the girl on the left -- wanting to share a message both with her and other kids her age.

Heart & Sol

Carmin Humphrey

"Hope, you know?" said Ramirez. "I think it's supposed to shed light on our youth. They're essentially going to be the next generation to really propel us forward, to make our community better."

Ramirez spent 10 days on the piece -- working 10 to 12 hours a day. He called it his most intricate piece of street art to date.

"Kinda just spending all day on the boom lift and just trying to crank it out," said Ramirez.

Heart & Sol

Carmin and Lawrence Humphrey

"It's a little overwhelming," said Lawrence Humphrey, Carmin's father. "She calls Milwaukee her town now. She says this is her town since she's on the wall."

Lawrence Humphrey said he was hopeful his daughter would continue to look up and see how much she could accomplish.

"This is the future, you know?" said Humphrey. "Diversity, inclusion, women, female empowerment. There's a lot that you can take away from it."

The design for the mural was a collaboration between the artist and community.

Mauricio Ramirez

Support for the mural came from Milwaukee Downtown BID #21, with financial support from Community Advocates, Inc. and a grant from the City of Milwaukee's Neighborhood Improvement Development Corporation (NIDC) – Community Improvement Project (CIP) program.

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