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.
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.