Placemaker: Wisconsin Avenue

Dream People: Ephemeral & Kinetic Flower Trellis Sculpture

This is a mockup of a flower trellis sculpture artist Ben Zoltak is proposing to create with participation from young artists and poets from some Milwaukee Public Schools
This is a mockup of a flower trellis sculpture artist Ben Zoltak is proposing to create with participation from young artists and poets from some Milwaukee Public Schools | Source

Community Outreach for Milwaukee

In the main, my proposal involves going to ten schools or so and working with young artists and poets creating a figure flower trellis sculpture for each. There is also an overnight tent opening on West Wisconsin Avenue, and I am interested in creating another sculpture during that opening, that invites the public to participate as well.

Artist Ben Zoltak's Proposal and some related work for Placemakers of West Wisconsin Avenue

I am very excited to have a shot at being a part of an art outreach in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA created by an organization called Art Milwaukee and Creational Trails. They are doing their best to come up with ideas to rejuvinate downtown Milwaukee through art along West Wisconsin Avenue. Above and below you will find images of my mockup for a kinetic flower trellils sculpture that I call: Dream People, as well as a few images of my sketches and other sculptural work.

Dream People Sketch

Here is a sketch of my proposal for Dream People providing some more details and possibilities.
Here is a sketch of my proposal for Dream People providing some more details and possibilities. | Source

Placemaking, is making an avenue turn into a piece of our home

The idea here, is to create a locus of various nearby schools students, participating in something that brings a piece of themselves to the very public space of West Wisconsin Avenue. I will work to bring repurposed aluminum and/or steel sculptural work pieces to a small group of young artists and poets at each school. Each student will get to paint their dream, in the form of art or poetry on an individual piece. I have used hearts as the repeated motif on my mockup, and I will encourage students to stay near this idea, but they will be able to divert from it as well, making each Dream Person sculpture unique. Below you can see an image of a mockup of a piece I made from an old Wisconsin license plate. I am interested in using more of these, the reflective quality of diotomaceous earth is excellent!

Repurposed reflective license plate heart motif

This is an example of a piece that a student would be able to paint their own vision of their future, or of their goals, or dreams, or of a poem of the same.
This is an example of a piece that a student would be able to paint their own vision of their future, or of their goals, or dreams, or of a poem of the same. | Source

A video explanation of Dream People

I've created a brief youtube video explaing my vision, and to show some dimension to the mock up. I tried several experiments over the summer, using morning glories and volunteers tomatoes. I like the idea of using some free food in the art as some altruistic element. Any type of climbing vine could be used to flesh out the living sculpture, that would grow throughout the summer.

Artist Ben Zoltak explains Dream People in front of a mockup of the kintetic chicken wire sculpture

A chance to bring people from many different cultures together in art

I see this as a great opportunity to get young people to own a little more of their city. Milwaukee has a lot to offer, and as the organizers of this opportunity have mentioned, Wisconsin Avenue is in it's way, the quintessential Wisconsin main street. Artful connections are all that are missing, dreams and visions of future generations of Wisconsinites combined with the experience of everyone in the state. I believe these Dream People will be a source of pride for all. Watching the vision grow, and watching the vines grow throughout the summer.

Close-up morning glory blooms

Here you can see a detail of the morning glory blooms. During my experiments figuring out the intricacies of this sculpture, I am happy to report that I saw lots of life interacting as well: butterflies, hummingbird moths, hummingbirds and honey bees
Here you can see a detail of the morning glory blooms. During my experiments figuring out the intricacies of this sculpture, I am happy to report that I saw lots of life interacting as well: butterflies, hummingbird moths, hummingbirds and honey bees | Source

Thankful for the art opportunity

I am thankful that you have taken the time to read through my proposal and ideas. I have run this up the flag pole with a former Milwaukee Public School Principal as well as a couple teachers and they all gave me positive feedback saying they thought it was a great idea. I have been working on it for months, and hope I get my shot at redeeming my hardwork with great art!

More of Artist Ben Zoltak's current and past sculpture

  • Artist Ben Zoltak has completed one permanent concrete, ceramic and stained glass sculpture on display at the wonderful Stevens Point Sculpture Park located in Portage County Wisconsin. It was awarded by the city of Stevens Point and the Aldo Leopold Audubon Society and it is called: Swift Nesting Wing. You can see some images of it below.
  • Swift Nesting Wing also doubles as a nesting habitat for Chimney Swifts birds. It is hollow just like an actual chimney.
  • While working on Swift Nesting Wing Artist Ben Zoltak worked with volunteers of the Stevens Point Sculpture Park as well as students from several area schools who gleefully got their hands dirty with mortar placing some stained glass and ceramic tesserae pieces on it's exterior.
  • Their are hundreds of tesserae glass and ceramic pieces on the outside of Swift Nesting Wing
  • Artist Ben Zoltak has currently entered an Art on Mainstreet competition in Chattanooga, Tennessee entering his sculpture entitled: Gruntled Morphous.
  • The sculpture Gruntled Morphous is just over eight feet tall and made out of recylced car and truck tires.

Community outreach with Artist Ben Zoltak

Here you can see Artist Ben Zoltak working with some local school children on his sculpture Swift Nesting Wing
Here you can see Artist Ben Zoltak working with some local school children on his sculpture Swift Nesting Wing | Source

The completed sculpture: Swift Nesting Wing

Here is the completed sculpture. It weighs over 8000lbs! With a foundation weighing aproximaetly 10,000lbs!
Here is the completed sculpture. It weighs over 8000lbs! With a foundation weighing aproximaetly 10,000lbs! | Source

Artist Ben Zoltak's sculpture: Gruntled Morphous

Here is artist Ben Zoltak's most uptodate sculpture Gruntled Morphous. The artist 3 year old son is seen playing, giving some idea as to it's girth!
Here is artist Ben Zoltak's most uptodate sculpture Gruntled Morphous. The artist 3 year old son is seen playing, giving some idea as to it's girth! | Source

Update Novemeber 27, 2013

Sorry to say I found out today my proposal was not picked by the judges as a finalist. Ah well, such is a competitive art career! I wish Milwaukee well, they are great people and deserve excellent art.Hopefully someday soon Wisconsin's leaders will reopen the state public art market and there will be more opportunities and outreach in my home state. In the meantime, anyone else from any other community (anywhere!!!) who is interested in this proposal please contact me! I would love to see Dream People realized somewhere! The fastest way to do that would be through my Facebook page:

Ben Zoltak Artist & Author

Thanks everybody for your support!

Art is for everyone!

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6 comments

teaches12345 profile image

teaches12345 3 years ago

This is quite an interesting post on Dream People. I enjoyed your video description of the project and how involved you are in educating children. You are a talented artist!


Ben Zoltak profile image

Ben Zoltak 3 years ago from Lake Mills, Jefferson County, Wisconsin USA Author

Thank you teaches12345! Check back on or just after Decemeber 2nd when Art Milwaukee and the Creational Trails organization announces the top ten runners-up! There were just over 160 artists that entered this public art competition. I hope I do get a chance to create art with kids on this project, so many positive possibilities!

Ben


bat115 profile image

bat115 2 years ago from Los Angeles, CA

Sorry to hear your proposal was not picked. It's a good idea and I hope you can make use of it in another capacity.


Ben Zoltak profile image

Ben Zoltak 2 years ago from Lake Mills, Jefferson County, Wisconsin USA Author

Thanks bat!!! Yeah, well I was beat by twelve other semifinalists, one of which's idea was "lets have a beer garden"...haha. A friend of mine said, well it's Milwaukee, instead of collaborating with children I should have incorporated beer. Oh well, back to the drawing board. With any luck some other community will contact me and I may have a chance to realize this art somewhere else.

Thanks for the accolade, I really do appreciate it!

Ben


bat115 profile image

bat115 2 years ago from Los Angeles, CA

No problem!


Ben Zoltak profile image

Ben Zoltak 2 years ago from Lake Mills, Jefferson County, Wisconsin USA Author

Keeping in a holding pattern with this one, hoping to get a call or message from some school or community somewhere!

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