I’ve been working on the MATC (Milwaukee Area Technical College) commission project for the past few weeks. My concept is a multi-canvas installation, portraits of Milwaukeeans of note throughout history. I envision the installation looking as if these portraits were collected over time – each one framed differently from the next and grouped together in on a single wall.
The working title is “Portrait of Milwaukee Progress.” My plan is to create 11 separate portraits so I can embed the letters M K E P R O G R E S S one by one into the background of each portrait.
The biggest part of the project thus far has been the research – how to choose who to paint? I’d like to be inclusive of a variety of identities, but that can get tough when you’re digging through the internet looking for stories about folks that lived generations ago. Regardless, the group of eleven likely subjects is taking form, and I’ve started sketching.
Shown here is a preliminary sketch of Golda Meir – one of Milwaukee’s most consequential daughters, having served as the prime minister of Israel from 1969-1974.