“Environmental Soul” IN:SITE Projec

  Riverwest Artist Jesse Graves, who lives in Riverwest, is one of the lead artists for the IN:SITE project. He has a BFA from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, and is currentlly student teaching.

Much of Jesse Graves’ work addresses environmental and material

issues. Graves is nationally and internationally recognized for his mud

stencils, a form of environmental street art he has brought to numerous cities.


Images of his metalsmithing have been published in Art Jewelry magazine. He has

exhibited at the Milwaukee Art Museum Lakefront Festival of the Arts and has been

awarded multiple scholarships.


Jesse is the “environmental soul” of the IN:SITE project. He will be mounting

art in the railway underpass at 31st and Capitol Drive this year, and will recycle

the vinyl that was used last year at this site. In addition, he is figuring out how

to create the equivalent of spray chalk so he won’t need to use aerosol cans

for another aspect of his installation.


Artist Statement


For the IN:SITE 2011 project, I focused

my efforts on the 31st Street and Capitol

Drive railway underpass. I repainted and

reused vinyl wrappings from 2010, stenciled a

flock of birds on the underpass piers and the

sidewalls, and created a fence weaving that

emulates a river leading up to the underpass.

I used water as a symbol for the connections

within community as well as a reminder of the

importance of conserving fresh water. The bird

stencils are another symbol of community,

the flock representing unity. The birds, vinyl

wrappings, and fence weaving are visually

connected through color and flowing rhythm.

The work is intended to visually enhance the

area and be enjoyable from the perspective of

pedestrians, cyclists, and those in vehicles.