community art

ReciproCity: Peace Place (Milwaukee, WI)

ReciproCity is collectively run by Mike Carriere, Fidel Verdin, Nicolas Lampert, and Paul Kjelland.

In 2015 – after three years of meetings with the community and city officials – ReciproCity helped turn two vacant lots into a new community park on MLK Drive in the Harambee neighborhood of Milwaukee (on the corner of N. Martin Luther King Dr. and Ring St.) This project is in direct collaboration with HeartLove Place that is directly across the street from the park. HeartLove Place is a long standing bedrock institution for the neighborhood providing family resources, a child development center, and a culinary training program, among other services.

Phase one of the park – now named Peace Place – included landscaping and pathways by Blue Skies Landscaping (Walnut Way Conservation Corp), the planting of twenty fruit trees, and two large-scale murals painted by Lampert and Kjelland that honors the history of the Commandos who were formed in October 1966 as part of the NAACP Youth Council. The Commandos role in the 1960s was to nurture black leadership and to protect Civil Rights workers from racist white mobs and police brutality as they marched across the 16th Street Viaduct (dubbed the “Mason-Dixon line”) and into Milwaukee’s nearly all-white south side neighborhoods. During this period the Commandos helped lead two hundred consecutive nights of marching for local and national fair housing legislation. These acts of civil disobedience and nonviolent direct action finally forced the Common Council to approve the Fair Housing Law in 1968, six years after it was first proposed.

Phase two of Peace Place in 2016 envisions installing garden beds, benches, bike racks, and a community stage. Future wish list includes creating mobile class rooms, farm stands, solar panel charging stations, and more.

more on Peace Place and ReciproCity.

ReciproCity: mobile farmstand/screenprinting unit. Concordia Gardens, Milwaukee - in collaboration with Victory Garden Initiative. Project by Mike Carriere, Nicolas Lampert, and Paul Kjelland. Architect: Susan Sloan. Carpentry: Jason Le Perriere and Steve Woods. Funded by the Wormfarm Institute. Thursday afternoon farmers market lead screenprinter: Naomi Scheel.

ReciproCity: Riverwest 24 bonus check point station, 2013 (building 20 garden beds on rooftop garden at the CYD (Career Youth Development), Milwaukee, project by Mike Carriere, Nicolas Lampert, and Paul Kjelland in collaboration with CYD.

Nicolas Lampert and Paul Kjelland, Villard Square Library, Milwaukee, 2011, public art project / community art project in collaboration with the Milwaukee Public Library, Engberg Anderson architecture firm, and the North Milwaukee community via extensive listening sessions. Visit the Villard Library: 5190 N 35th St, Milwaukee, WI 53209.