The Arts Page | Program | #801 — Milwaukee Bucks Art Collection

(logo chiming) (energetic jazz music) – Welcome to “The Arts Page.” I’m Sandy Maxx, and on
this special episode, we bring you inside
Fiserv Forum, the home of the Milwaukee
Bucks pro basketball team. This new arena opened in 2018, and is a venue for
sports and entertainment. Fiserv Forum can
also be considered a kind of public art gallery. Walk around the concourse here and you’ll see a one of a kind, museum quality art collection. 79 artworks were
commissioned by 32 artists. Many of those artists
have ties to Wisconsin. The art inside Fiserv Forum celebrates aspects
of our region, and lets some Milwaukee pride
shine in some unique ways. This huge painting by Tom Mosser
is titled “Milwaukee Made”. We find out now why
including artwork like this was an important part of this
new addition to our city. (rhythmic music) – Art is important
expression of people. And we have this huge house
in the middle of Milwaukee that really is accessible. And to be able to
really kind of navigate a curated art collection
is pretty special. Milwaukee Bucks represents
an unbelievable state, an unbelievable city. We’re a culture that really
is objectively trying to win an NBA championship, and really effect
change in our community. Fiserv Forum is
literally the home, so it is the physical
footprint where we live. – Milwaukee Bucks Art
Collection was conceived when I got a call
from Peter Feigin. And Peter wanted to
bring the walls to life, and how we could
include the community, and really celebrate the
team, and the entertainment, and all the various
events that are celebrated within the building. – Our owners thought
from the very beginning it’s kind of an honor to
have an NBA team in the city. The team is so open to seamlessly be a
part of the community, and art is no better way to
integrate on a community basis. So we love the fact
that our artwork really resembles the
entire state of Wisconsin. What we want to do here
is really make it cozy, make it home. We did not want photographs
as every framed picture. We wanted really unique,
really cool, eclectic things that made people want to
wander around and explore, and really kind of come back to. – You have these
amazing blank walls. How do you bring ’em to life? Well you bring in the
photography, the artwork, the graphics, and then it
starts this layering effect, and the building
gets its own vibe. And how could we
celebrate Milwaukee? Every piece is installed
in a position with thought. We don’t just put things
up to fill the walls. Why is it there? What story are we telling? How does it work with
a piece next to it? How much is regional? How much is team-centric? How much is current? Because, you know
you’re in the building to celebrate the team, but you have your
fans of yesteryear who want to celebrate
the history of the team. So I really think
that you can play on all that storytelling. And then you find
your local artists that are passionate about
the area, the community, the region, the team, and they bring their
personality into the artwork. It’s a win-win for everybody. One of the things was to really
bring it to the public area. It was very important
to have artwork on the exterior of the building. We have a long Greg
Gossel piece on Juneau. We have another end in the
beer garden across the street that’s super fun. And then you come in,
and on the main concourse there’s a sculpture by
an ex-baseball player. And in his spare
time he would sculpt. And he sculpted a buck
out of basketball leather. – [Peter] I think that’s
one of the most unique, incredible pieces
we’ve ever seen. – And then on the
upper concourse, a lot of the time
the upper concourse doesn’t get love
with the public art. So we have an original mosaic. We have a photo installation from high school kids
throughout the community. And then throughout the
suite level and clubs, it’s really where your
storytelling is as well, because you can walk
those corridors safely, and really be
brought into the art. – You’ve got the involvement
of kids from several counties around the state. I mean, we’ve got one
piece that just incredible which actually, dozens of kids have rolled Spalding
basketballs over it as the background of the piece. Some of the ways that we
immortalized kind of everything from our score books to
our legendary players. So, I love everything. – I’m so proud of how I feel it’s Milwaukee. It has that passion. It has that color. And it has that personality
of your community. And that’s what the artists
brought to the table. – It’s really satisfying
to really watch people stop and kind of give it
that museum glare, and get really excited. So if people are curious and really want to dig into the
artist, or the piece itself, it’s a cool
exploratory exercise. – [Tracie] This
gem of a building in the middle of the
Midwest, in Milwaukee, you have this contemporary
feel, state-of-the-art. And then you have these
amazing wall graphics, these amazing artworks in here that really are the
icing on the cake. It just is a celebration
of Milwaukee. – Local artists like
Milwaukee’s Dave Watkins were proud to show
off their team, and Milwaukee pride for the
Milwaukee Bucks Art Collection. Now, we get a personal tour of many of the art
pieces on display with curator Tracie
Speca-Ventura. (energetic music) – Welcome to Fiserv Forum, home of the Milwaukee
Bucks Art Collection. In the collection, we have
32 artists, 170 students who actually helped with
the collection as well, 79 original pieces of artwork, and 43 unique pieces
of photography
throughout the building. Artist Greg Gossel created
three different installations throughout the collection. Two of his pieces are
exterior installations. One is on the Juneau
side of the building, and it is entitled
“Brick By Brick”. It brings in all the elements of the teams that play in
the building, Wisconsin, the beer industry, and the team was very
involved in collaborating with the artist to create the
quintessential Milwaukee feel. (energetic music) In the trophy room, the piece is entitled
“Wisconsin Welcomes You”. And in that, he did two
different series, a diptych, and then an installation
of very colorful pullouts from his original Juneau piece. And the third piece, we were
so excited with this work, the team asked him to come
back and create a mural on the exterior of
the beer garden. And that piece is entitled
“Greetings From Milwaukee”. The Gossel artwork,
it’s pop inspired, it really has some vibrancy, and it’s very contemporary
and exciting to view. We’re now in the
BMO Harris entrance. and artist Antony Rozwadowski, he was a Green Bay artist
who’s now in Virginia, and as a graphic artist, he
was a true fan to the Bucks. When he started to
create his piece “Eras”, he wanted an abstract version that didn’t celebrate
too many notables, but there are elements
in the silhouette of who’s been
included in the piece. The idea of installing a
piece within the entry is, people walk in, and
their eyes just go up, and they’ve now been welcomed
with a splash of color. We’re on the main
concourse at Fiserv Forum. One of our most exciting
adds to this collection is an artist from San Jose,
California, Blake McFarland. It’s called “Buckley”. And Blake creates sculptures
originally from tires. I approached Blake and said, “I want to give you
basketball leather. “Can you make me a
larger-than-life buck?” And he carved the
form of the buck, and then he pieced each
element of the fur. And in this piece, he took
netting from the basketball hoop and formed the antlers. And it’s a hidden mascot
of the collection. So we’re now in
the Mezzanine Club, and the artwork behind us
is called “From The Arc”. The artist, Brandon
Minga, is a local artist, and what he loves to do is bring in very
industrial components, and then he adds an element
of softness and romanticism, so it’s a mixed-media
piece of art. And the inspiration
behind these two pieces was the arc of the basketball, and the industrial elements
of Milwaukee in the city. Behind us, we have a piece
that was 12 by 17 feet. It was created by an
artist, Tom Mosser. But what’s really
cool and interesting with this piece of artwork is he had preschoolers
involved in creating the piece. And Tom had the younger kids
help him roll basketballs. What’s interesting on
this artwork as well is there were no
paint brushes used. Everything that was used
to create the artwork were actual basketballs. We have another local
artist, Rose Curley. Rose does a lot of illustrative
black-and-white pieces. And the piece is now titled
“Autumn in Milwaukee”. And she said, “I haven’t
paid with color before.” And I said, “Oh,
you’ve got this.” She brought in some really
interesting elements, and the tones of this piece
really capture that moment when you’re starting
to cool down, you still, it’s brisk
outside in Milwaukee, it was very important to her
to bring a different locales and well-known areas,
the bridge for instance, and the Third Ward, and really
make it personal to her, of her growing up in the area. The piece behind us is from a New York-based
artist, Paul Carluccio. And it is entitled “SidewalkEE”. What Paul does is he will
go out into the environment, and he will sketch and get a
stencil from manhole covers. He really wanted to do something to commemorate the
opening of the building, celebrating the
new Fiserv Forum. And with the piece
and the Milwaukee, he gets a lot of
texture into his work. He really was able to
capture this moment in a very traditional,
yet contemporary style. The artist behind
us is Kevin Callahan from Shorewood, Wisconsin, and he is a huge sports fan. We really liked his work because they were almost a
pastel from a bygone era, and he loved doing trading
cards and sports cards. What we wanted to bring in
and capture with with his work was the history of certain
eras with the Bucks. So the team was really involved with helping us select as well. Then it’s almost a
history lesson of the team that you get with
this little series, and a moment that you get to
share when you’re viewing. When we first met with the team
and the Bucks got involved, they really stressed
the importance of combining community
within the collection. One of the most amazing
submissions that came through was Della Wells. And she is a local
artist from Bronzeville. “The Fans Are With Us!”
is a colorful collage mixed-media piece that
Della brought together. And one of the interesting and
fun elements of her artwork is she always places a
chicken within the pieces. And people love to
come see her pieces and see where that
darn chicken is. She really brings in a
texture and a composition that’s unique to her style,
and interesting to the viewer. Derek Carlson is an artist
from New Richmond, Wisconsin. He’s actually an art teacher. And when Derek
submitted his work, he had never shown it before, and it was just a
passion project. What he does his is he’ll
take old newspaper articles, and he’ll collage
those onto canvas, and then he creates his
artwork on top of them. And he’s very conscious
of what highlights, and what box scores and stats
are in all of his artwork celebrating the athlete. He’s really an
artist to watch grow and and see where he’s
gonna go with his career. And his pieces really jump off
the wall in this collection. Cole Kluesner is an
artist in Wauwatosa. There’s a romantic, or an almost a mystical
quality within his artwork because it’s so enchanting, and the light elements brought
in by the thicker strokes really accentuate the piece. What was super cool for
Cole, being an avid fan, was that the Bucks actually
reproduced this piece and gave one to Kareem. That’s where you really can
tie in with the collection and the importance of community. You bring in these moments
and it affects people. So they might not be an athlete. They might not be on the court. But there’s all different
ways they can contribute to the building, and the team,
and a part of the experience. The artist behind
us, Eric Oates, is a resident Milwaukee artist. He’s a pop artist. And what’s exciting with Eric is he hadn’t painted
sports before. And I loved his
pop-inspired work, really cool, contemporary
pop, Warhol-esque pieces. So this is the piece
that was created, and it is his inspiration
of what Milwaukee cheer is to a local. The artist behind
us is Rochelle Carr, who’s a local Milwaukee artist. And what’s really interesting with Rochelle’s mixed-media work is how she layers
in illustrative
design and elements. It’s very important to
us to bring on women as much as we can in a project. It’s a very
male-dominated sport. So one of the ways we can do it is bringing in female artists, and then female
interpreted pieces of art. And what’s great about this
is “The Girl’s Team” captures the girls can go at
it just like the boys. And it’s a youth-inspired piece. It was really one of the pieces that is a strong
representation of empowerment, and how we want to give back
to women in the community. Eugene Carter is a
local Milwaukee artist. He is a amazing photographer. And when he shoots, he
tries to find the everyday. And in this piece, he found the everyday with
the help of his brother, Trey, who is our featured element
in the piece “Hangtime”. He took his brother
out to the park, and submitted this is a
sample with a call to artists. And the team, and the Bucks
went so crazy over this piece that it ended up in
their training facility, and within the collection. And when people go
through the collection, they all stop and wonder who’s
that kid with the hang time. Margret Muza’s work are
dated back to photography in a execution called tintypes. And we actually were
saying in the Pfister Hotel and stumbled upon her work
as an artist in residence at the Pfister. And there’s different ways
you can do the tintypes. They can be in-studio, but one of the more
difficult ways to capture it is to actually take
the process on-site because you have
very limited time to process and
capture the image. And you have to have it in a complete darkroom
enclosed space. So these are very challenging, but very, very interesting. With Margaret’s pieces, you can feel that sense of
history and that bygone era, and she loves the past. She’s one of the only
artists in the country using this capacity
for photography. It’s just elegant and timeless. The artist behind
me is Chuck Webber from Waukesha, Wisconsin. He’s one of the well-known
artists in our collection. And his piece, “FANDIMONIUM”,
is an exciting celebration of the fan, and the
people of Milwaukee. He has amazing energy. He’s a traditional
portrait painter, and he’s inspired by
the tones, the energy, and the excitement of the team. And I really think he
brought it out in this piece. People are very drawn to it, and I really think he captured
the love of the sport, and the community. Dave Watkins is a local artist, and we love to call
him the superfan. Dave lives, breathes,
bleeds Bucks green. What he created in his piece, “Colorful Past, Bright Future”, is the evolution of the
jersey progression actually, in a very subtle manner to celebrate the
team-inspired tones, but really bringing
life, and flavor, and color within his artwork. And it goes to show
that wherever your
passion comes from, just create what you love,
and you’ll never know that one day it could
end up at the home of your favorite team. (energetic music) The colorful cubism
style artwork behind us is from an artist,
Mauricio Ramirez, from West Allis, Wisconsin. The inspiration is Les
Paul and his guitars. And because it is a multi-use
venue, Fiserv Forum, we really wanted to bring in
some entertainment aspects. When we first met Mauricio, he
was so dedicated to his work, really trying to preserve and cherish the art
that was created. So we knew he would be a
great fit for this collection. He really brought
it to a new level, and the color within the
piece is really vibrant, and it’s just a really nice
nod to artist and artist. Vedale Hill is
from the Riverside
community of Milwaukee, and he’s really a true example of giving back to
your community. His piece, “Colorful Court”, is a three-dimensional
mixed-media piece, and it’s such a hidden gem
that you must find this on the Suite level
in the collection because you’re just drawn to it. You don’t want to touch
or intrude to the art, but you really want to
because you go up to it and say, “What is
that made out of?” And, “How did he do that?” And when you see the
dripping of the color it’s almost the
dripping of his energy that’s coming out of the piece because he really put
his all into this. Dominic Inouye from
Wauwatosa, Wisconsin, created a company
called ZIP MKE. And he creates and employs
street photographers to tell the story
of communities. He worked with three
local high schools to create a neighborhood series. And what it did was it helped
teach and educate the kids to look outside
their comfort zone, to photograph it
from their eyes. And throughout the
upper concourse, there’s four installations
of this graphic collection. And it was really cool to
see the students interacting with one another,
talking about what pieces that they brought
into the collection, and really creating a bond
and sense of community. And that was the
purpose of this piece, to share Milwaukee through
the students’ eyes. The majestic mosaic behind
us, titled “Highlights”, is by artist Carrie O’Malley
from Delafield, Wisconsin, really brings the elements
and contribution from kids to this piece. She worked with two
separate elementary schools, and over 70 students were
involved in learning assemblage, learning mosaics. The Bucks were very involved with what was going
to be celebrated within the community
of the piece. And it just really highlights the amazing architectural
and historical elements of the city. It’s one of the most substantial
pieces in the collection. It’s eight feet by 25 feet. The wall had to be backed to
be able to hold the weight of the mosaic. It was very important
to bring fine art to the upper concourse. A lot of the time, those areas
in a building are forgotten, and the Bucks were very,
very conscious to include art on this upper concourse. Andi Woodward from
Racine, Wisconsin, created “Steadfast”, the
wooden industrial piece installed in the Trophy
Room on the event level. Andi and her family
have a company that creates the
most amazing wood and industrial
installation in venues, and it is with all
re-found wood and elements that evokes the buck,
the woods of the area, and really has that builder
arts-and-craft movement that’s very popular right now. She had so much success, the team actually
commissioned a secondary piece that they have in their
suite on the Suite level. And you can see how unique the
piece is in the collection. Robert Meinecke is an artist
from Shorewood, Wisconsin. He creates a monotone dreamscape in the texture of his canvases, but yet, he was a
really big Bucks fan. And the piece celebrating the
team coming onto the court, celebrating within the fans, and I really think he
captured that emotion and that enthusiasm
from both player and fan in celebrating the team. We’ve given you a tour
of some of the art that’s on display. We’re very excited that
the team wants to fulfill and keep the collection
growing with adding new pieces, and celebrating new artists
throughout the years to come. The robust collection
includes 32 artists, the majority of
them being local. 170 students were involved with the creation of
many of the pieces. 79 original pieces hang
throughout the collection, as well as 43
individual photographs
celebrating the region, the history of the
team, the area. So there’s so much to celebrate and help to bring
the walls to life. And by bringing on
local artists, they
bring their passion, and their love of the
community to their work. Art is to be experienced. You have a captivated audience. Let’s tell ’em a story. Let’s make a moment. And that’s what art does, because it was really a labor
of love for these artists, and I think it really
shows in their work. – There are many more
pieces to discover throughout the arena that tell
the story of our community. You can explore the
artworks in person the next time you
visit Fiserv Forum, and learn more about
the art and artists of the Milwaukee Bucks
Art Collection online at the website We love sharing stories
about the arts community here in Wisconsin, and
we’d love to hear from you. Please call us at 414-797-3760 with your feedback
and story ideas. If you can’t wait to see another
episode of “The Arts Page”, you can stream any of our over
200 previous episodes online when you’ve visit the
Milwaukee PBS website at, and
click on The Arts Page. You can find Milwaukee
PBS on Facebook too. Special thanks to
the Milwaukee Bucks, the staff at Fiserv Forum, and the women of Sports and
The Arts for their hospitality, and for showcasing
the impressive and
diverse arts culture we have right here in Wisconsin. I’m Sandy Maxx. Thank you for watching, and
please join us next time for another half hour full
of art on “The Arts Page”. (energetic jazz music) (relaxing music) Milwaukee PBS, working here,
it really is a community. And it’s fun to chat
with other producers of the other shows, “Adelante”,
“Around The Corner”, “Outdoor Wisconsin”,
“Black Nouveau”. We all have the same
excitement to tell stories. And we all can’t do it
if there is not support, not just moral support,
and hearing people come up to you and go,
“I watch your show. “I really enjoy it.” That’s meaningful, and that puffs us up
and gets us going, and we want to go out
there and make more shows. But if you believe in
what Milwaukee PBS is, and what we do in telling
stories about Milwaukee, then that’s when your annual
membership of any level, it really does make a difference because it costs money to
get cameras out in the field, and to make the arrangements, and interview people, and
really get stories to you. It does cost money. And when we say things like, “Made possible by viewers
like you,” we really mean it. And if Milwaukee PBS is
something you believe in, it’s a membership
you should belong to because it really
is a community, not just in the building,
but all the other viewers, when we get together, it’s
really rewarding and enriching to know that the shows
that we’re bringing do make a difference. (serene music)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *