State Street Mural Project

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The Downtown Street Art and Mural Project formed on May 31, 2020 in Madison, Wisconsin following local peaceful protests against police brutality and the killing of George Floyd by Minneapolis police. Civil demonstration in Madison — part of a global cascade of public protest in support of Black Lives — was followed by social unrest resulting in property damage to State Street businesses.

Cities across the nation sustained similar acts of vandalism in May and June, the motivations for which are interpreted variously as inexorable acts of impassioned disobedience over racialized economic oppression, a sign of lawlessness attendant to popular uprising, and anticapitalist dissent.

As owners shuttered their storefronts with plywood on Madison’s signature pedestrian thoroughfare — some preemptively and others because of sustained damage — Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway, along with the president of the Madison Common Council, authorized Madison Arts Program Administrator, Karin Wolf, to develop a response.

Funded by Arts in Public Places Looking Forward, the Downtown Street Art and Mural Project is part of an artist relief initiative that was established to support artists who lost income due to the COVID-19 pandemic and prioritizes artists of color affected by racial violence and injustice. Artists created 70 commissioned murals conveying urgent demands for change and inspiring community dialogue.

Explore the Downtown Street Art and Mural Project in 360°

Ipad Legend

PBS Wisconsin documented many of the murals and street art along the 100 to 400 blocks of State Street — and the cross streets of Fairchild and Henry Streets — using a 360° camera. These come together in a virtual gallery above to showcase the extraordinary talents of the artists and share their stirring, evocative calls for justice with a wide audience.

To explore the virtual gallery, click the window above and use the arrow keys or the click-and-drag feature of your mouse or trackpad to move around the 360° environment. Clicking on the color-coded circles defined by the legend allows the user to view the artwork on either side of the block, navigate to a new block, and learn more about the artists. Clicking on the sidewalk or street with your mouse arrow, or on the white disks viewable along the ground facilitates moving up or down the block, simulating walking.

Below is an index of the artists showcased in the virtual gallery. We provide direct links to their artwork within the 360° environment, as well as to artist websites and Instagram handles if available.

Further down the page is an additional gallery of 2D, high resolution photographs of murals along the 500-700 blocks of State Street, as well as additional resources.

We hope digital preservation of this important piece of Wisconsin’s protest history (and present) calls attention to local BIPOC visual voices. We further hope it engages viewers in thoughtful discussion about the role of public art as a form of resistance, as well as in nuanced debate over how a society should situate the value of human dignity relative to the value of property.

Artist Name Instagram Artwork Block
Audifax @audifaxart Colorful Portait of Strong Lady 400
J. Michael @jjaysgallery Bob Marley 400
Full Human Spectrum @fullhumanspectrum Bob Marley 400
J. Michael @jjaysgallery Lady Justice 400
J. Michael @jjaysgallery The Whole World is Watching 400
Dane Arts Mural Arts @daneartsmuralarts The Obamas 400
Anwar Floyd-Pruitt @anwarfp BLM Crime Scene Tape 400
Liubov Szwako @triangulador Love 400
Liubov Szwako @triangulador Understanding 400
Liubov Szwako @triangulador Unity 400
Ellie Caplan @createdbycaplan Peace and Love Lady With Glasses 400
FORNOW @fornowgonforever Large Tag on Corner Liquor Store 400
Liubov Szwako @triangulador GROW Mural on Tutto Pasta 300
Mike Lory @mike_lroy GROW Mural on Tutto Pasta 300
Terrence Adeyanju @iampeeld Infinite Poster 300
Stefan @stefanmatioc Ru Yi Hand Pulled Noodles 300
Sweet Sorrel @ohsweetsorrel Protect Black Women 300
Ellie Caplan @createdbycaplan Power Nine Games Mural 300
Akash @iridhan_skky Power Nine Games Mural 300
Sapphina and Zaria Power Lady 300
Sapphina and Zaria Stand For Change 300
Sapphina and Zaria Mural on The Soap Opera 300
Jan Lin @janlin_art Hot Air Ballons Henry St.
Sweet Sorrel @ohsweetsorrel We Know What’s Best For Us Henry St.
Jerry Jordan @purplehood2 Pressure Henry St.
Sharon Bjyrd @bohemianblackart Power Henry St.
La Follette High School and Friends Untitled Henry St.
IATSE Local 251 Rise Up! Henry St.
Bree_o_o @bree_o_o Untitled Henry St.
8:46 526 Missed Opportunities Henry St.
Philip Salamone @philipsalamone Jesus Mural 200/Henry St.
Jan Lin @janlin_art Buddah Mural 200
Richie Morales @richiemoguez United Hearts of America 200
Salt Rock Tattoo @saltrockart Stop the Silence, Stop the Violence 200
Odalo Wasikhogo Isamuel17 200
Comfort Wasikhongo GF Portrait “BLM” 200
Terrence Adeyanju @iampeeld Many Heads 200
Lilada Gee @liladasart Defend Black Girls 200
Daniella Echeverria @daniella_inthegarden Silence is Violence 200
americantrashcorp @americantrashcorp Dripping Lyrics 200
Anwar Floyd-Pruitt @anwarfp Frederick Douglass Quote 200
Lilada Gee @liladasart Black Girl Magic 200
Kenechi Unachukwu @kenechi.una Photos of May 30th Fairchild St.
Kiyem Obuseh @kiyem_k.o BLM Fairchild St.
Shiloah Symone @blckslimshady Portrait Fairchild St.
DrumPower Black Power With DrumPower Logo Fairchild St.
Amira Caire @amiradescent 3 Women Portrait Fairchild St.
Danielle Mielke @dmielkz 3 Women Portrait Fairchild St.
nixart____ @nixart Trans Lives are Black Lives Too Fairchild St.
Taj Matumbi @matumbi_studio BoxCar Bust Fairchild St.
N/A All We Want is Justice and Peace…/a> Fairchild St.
Anthony Catteruccia @_kidtonytattoos Black is Beautiful Fairchild St.
Keysha Monique Mabra @luego_dreamer Massive Collage Fairchild St.
Sirena Flores @sirenatheflower Tony Robinson 100
Lilada Gee @liladasart Defending Black Girlhood 100
valendiceee @valendiceee Black Girl Changing Appearance 100
Charlotte Bizone Clasped Hands and Heart 100
Poisoned Huny @poisoned.huny Fist With Roses 100
Ssince93bk Abstract Brown and Yellow Art 100
Rodney Lambright II The Importance of Black Lives Isn’t a Debate 100
Megan Smith @megsmithworks Untitled 100
Rob Dz @robdzatu We’re Open 100
T.L. Luke @tl.luke We’re Open 100
Anthony Catteruccia @_kidtonytattoos Massive Mural Top of 100 Block
Lincoln Rust @lincolnrusttattoos Massive Mural Top of 100 block

State Street Blocks 500-700 and Cross Streets: Additional Photographs

Click on the image below for a story map which consists of 2D high resolution photographs of many of the protest murals along State Street that PBS Wisconsin was unable to capture using our 360° camera, including works of art on the 500-700 blocks of State (often referred to as “lower State Street”) and various cross streets.

A vibrant painted mural of three black women across three storefront panels with the words "Defending Black Girlhood"
711 State Street. Lilada Gee. "Defending Black Girlhood." 2020. Acrylic paint, paper and wheat paste on plywood. Commissioned by the City of Madison. Storefront: University Bookstore.

MORE FROM WISCONSIN PUBLIC MEDIA AND UW-MADISON

A mural depicting a Black woman with a flower in her hair, her eyes closed peacefully and holding up a Black Power fist

PBS WISCONSIN NEWS

Boarded Up Storefronts Become Canvas of Healing

Boarded-up storefronts turned into pieces of art as business owners pick up the pieces from vandalism during protests.

Two men paint protest art on a wall

WISCONSIN PUBLIC RADIO

The Purpose And Opportunity Of Public Art

An arts advocate discusses the pandemic, murals painted on boarded-up buildings across the nation, and the contributions of public art.

A restaurant storefront with protest art covering the front

WISCONSIN PUBLIC RADIO

Boarded Up Storefronts Become Canvas For Equality

Artists took to State Street in downtown Madison, Wis., after days of protests against the death of George Floyd.

A mural depicting a Black woman cradling a Black man in her arms

UW CENTER FOR THE HUMANITIES

Panel: The Art of State Street: Politics, Policing and Protest

This Humanities NOW panel convenes three State Street mural artists with UW-Madison faculty from the Art Department and the Chazen Museum.

PBS ON THE ART OF ACTIVISM, GRIEF AND GRIEVANCE

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In 'Grief and Grievance,' Black artists explore aspects of loss in contemporary life.

A mural depicting the silhouette of a Black man from behind with "Hands Up, Don't Shoot," written on his back

ART SEEN

The Art of Isolation and Protest

A look at how storefront mural art evolved in Seattle during the dual-pandemics of the coronavirus and racism.

A colorful mural with the word Justice at its center

ALMANAC

University of St. Thomas Documents George Floyd Protest Art

A Minnesota data project documenting protest art inspired by the killing of George Floyd and antiracist uprisings.

PBS NewsHour : Large mural pays tribute to the late John Lewis

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Large mural pays tribute to the late John Lewis

Large mural pays tribute to the late John Lewis.

The Art Assignment : Why Murals?

The Art Assignment

Why Murals?

A discussion of public art, focusing on murals - what they are and how they contribute to community.

PBS NewsHour : Boston artist paints backdrop to national dialogue on racism

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Boston artist paints backdrop to national dialogue on racism

A Boston artist paints the backdrop to national conversation on racism.

PBS NewsHour : How Mexican muralism sparked a public art movement

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How Mexican muralism sparked a public art movement

With muralism, Mexico’s rich tradition of public art extends well beyond its borders.

PBS NewsHour : In Miami, art intersects with technology and climate change

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In Miami, art intersects with technology and climate change

In Miami, a series of murals combines art and technology to warn of climate change.

PBS NewsHour : Mural highlights Bronx teen’s death from gang violence

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Mural highlights Bronx teen’s death from gang violence

Mural highlights Bronx teen’s death from gang violence.

PBS NewsHour : Street artist portrays Navajo life with large scale murals

PBS NewsHour

Street artist portrays Navajo life with large scale murals

This street artist portrays Navajo life with large scale murals.

PBS NewsHour : These vivid NYC murals spotlight climate-threatened birds

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These vivid NYC murals spotlight climate-threatened birds

These vivid NYC murals spotlight climate-threatened birds.

PBS NewsHour : African captives rise up against slavery in Talladega murals

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A traveling exhibition showcases the Talladega murals, which tell the story of the Amistad.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

Mural in header photo by artists Amira Caire (@amiradescent) and Danielle Mielke (@dmielkz)

Photos / Hedi LaMarr Photography and PBS Wisconsin

The State Street Mural Project and other PBS Wisconsin augmented reality/virtual reality (AR/VR) work are supported by a gift from Steven Vedro and Beverly Gordon.