“Voting Rights are Human Rights” in Milwaukee, WI

October 15, 2020

Photo by Jon Furlong
Photo by Jon Furlong
Photo by Niki Johnson

I’m proud that my team and I just completed this “Voting Rights Are Human Rights” mural in Milwaukee, collaborating with five Wisconsin artists. The artists Tyanna Buie, Niki Johnson, Tom Jones, Claudio Martinez, and Dyani Whitehawk, all address social issues in their art and were willing to contribute work to the mural as an alliance of voices pushing for civic participation and progress. The mural’s central figure is based on a mid-60’s civil rights march photo by Steve Schapiro. I chose that image as the focal point for the mural because many of the voting rights advances made by the civil rights movement have been under attack. Though we face voter suppression in many places in the nation, voter suppression has been especially prevalent in Wisconsin and often targets communities of color. I want to thank Stacey and Niki from Wallpapered City for their hard work and perseverance in facilitating this project, Patti, the building owner, for providing the wall and her amazing hospitality, Black Box Fund for financial support of the project. A big thanks to my crew of Dan Flores, Nic Bowers, Rob Zagula, and Luka Densmore for working long hours through some windy and damp weather to complete the mural in four days. Thanks to Jon Furlong for shooting photos and helping to paint when needed. In our short time in Milwaukee, we met (with social-distancing) many friendly and enthusiastic Milwaukee residents. I want to go back post-pandemic for a real hang and exploration in Milwaukee!

Shot 1 & 2 – Jon Furlong
Shot 3 – Niki Johnson