Artery – a path for the life blood of the body. A main connector. ARTery – a ‘creational trail in
Milwaukee’s Harambee neighborhood as envisioned by the group beINtween led by Keith Hayes and
BeINtween and Hayes like to play with words in defining their art and vision. For many this project may be news but not to those “connected” to the group by social media. If you want to see their vision in detail please visit beintween.ning.org and I recommend searching around for videos they have posted.
Hayes has given the following information about the trail :
the City of Milwaukee “is moving forward with the acquisition of the Beerline Trail, which would connect
the existing Beerline all the way to Capitol Drive (with federal dollars to the tune of $784K) and anticipates the 2/3 mile extension will be installed by 2014. BeINtween’s idea is to connect Harambee residents to Riverworks with a prototypical path paved with permeable mesh made from old auto tires, known as matireal™. To achieve this goal, the Common Council has accelerated the acquisition of the Capitol overpass, donated by Earthbound Development, move forward with this connection this summer to fulfill the goal of their successfully crowdsourced Kickstarter campaign last fall.”
Note the new word maTIREeal as the material proposed to create the trail. It is composed of recycled tires and gravel
and/or plant material and is permeable
(water flows through).
This trail extension from Richards Street northwest across Capitol Driver adds another link to the Beerline bicycle and pedestrian trail.
Other portions of the
Beerline/Oakleaf trail were acquired through the efforts of River Revitalization Foundation (RRF). The part of the trail
gets you down to the Milwaukee River at Riverboat Road and
extends north to Gordon
Park. It is a Milwaukee
Next the section through Riverwest
neighborhood blocks, from
Snails Crossing Park to
Richards Street, is a City
trail and was developed
by Riverworks and the
District they coordinate.
City officials have worked
to make the purchase of
the Richards Street trail
In addition the sunny
conference on Monday
May 20 announced a grant
award of $350,000 from
ArtPlace America to the
Greater Milwaukee Committee (GMC) for two art oriented community building projects. One will be located on West
Wisconsin Avenue and the other will be the ARTery. BeIntween will develop and, I imagine, implement the Beerline portion of the grant. Of course the Mayor
and the Alderpersons (Kovac arrived on
a bicycle on cue, although it would have been even better if he had come from the
west on the new trail for his entrance) were all there thanking the grantor.
GMC’s Julia Taylor announced the grant and if there were not enough fingers in
the pot, indicated that GMC’s own MiKE initiative along with advice from the
Milwaukee Art Museum will provide guidance.
Hopefully the boys with the tireBOWties, led by Hayes, will be able to develop their
vision. I do have my doubts about the maTIREeal concept, and I imagine the
city does as well. It is still in conceptual form and although Hayes and friends
have been hacking away at collected waste tires, there is no finished section of
trail to test. Unless I missed something.
There is a 40-foot swath on each side of the trail to develop and that may be the
real ARTery. There are some ideas for the trail edge space, but let the dreaming
begin again. You can’t argue with the stated vision of beINtween. We have neighborhoods
right next to each other that don’t share much. Hayes talked of “the invisible
barrier” that Holton Street represents. As a long-time resident, it would be easy to
say, “…same as it ever was.” But that is no excuse. Try new ideas.
A trail that not only connects in space but also connects different cultural identities
is something that Riverwest, Harambee and Milwaukee all need.
If somehow beINtween can develop jobs as well, then that would be a great accomplishment.
If I am looking for successful pocket parks and city trail development in Milwaukee,
I don’t have to go far. The Riverworks section of the trail is wonderful. The rails
from the railroad made into vertical signs are ingenious. I love the covered waiting
bench reminiscent of rail stations of old.
Snails Crossing must have more participants represented in the paths and
tilework than any small park project. Thanks to Riverwest artist Marina Lee.
Both places have improved landscapes and maturing p l a n t i n g s with built in
stories to tell.’
Of course, I am biased because I work for RRF, but the Beerline gets you down to the river and
even in the river on a boat or kayak and is the link to downtown.
I imagine there will be much argument (it has already started) about what Art
is in public spaces and how do we do it best. I know that beINtween realizes this
new section runs through Harambee and residents of Harambee must have their
say. Hayes has laid out a whole series of events to gather input.
Maybe some of us from Riverwest can respectfully add a thought or two in
Contact beINtween.org for more information
May 26: Memorial Day community BBQ on the ARTery +
reducing innertubes to rubber ribbons.
June 1: Tire round up from local alleys, garages, and
abandoned lots and drop off @ container.
June 2: Designs due for greenhouse competition +
reducing inner tubes to rubber ribbons.
June 8: Seminar on tire deconstruction and matireal
prototyping on the ARTery.
June 9: Winners of greenhouse competition chosen and
materials prefabbed + delivered to site.
June 15: Seminar on tire deconstruction and matireal
prototyping on the ARTery.
June 16: Assembly and planting of two mini greenhouses
at each end of the artery.
June 19: Juneteenth Day to possibly feature Teen Swag
out of St. Louis.