Ever find yourself wandering around downtown on a mild February afternoon, completely adrift and frazzled and tired? Ever realize that this short walk is the most you’ve physically moved in months, and that it’s the most time you’ve spent outside in just as many months? Ever stumble upon those new-ish double-sided murals under the I-794 freeway—you know, those new-ish double-sided murals painted on the freeway support piers on either side of Broadway, right behind the Milwaukee Public Market—and find yourself suddenly enjoying a few precious minutes of something bordering on joy? If not, you should try it.

Anyway, the murals are just one aspect of downtown’s recently completed “Brighten The Passage” project. Tia Richardson, The Couto Brothers, Josephine Rice, and Dave Watkins are the artists responsible for the murals. They look great during the day, and they’re lit up at night. They’re really nice.

“The land underneath the freeway offers a unique opportunity to reimagine ways to activate space and enhance connectivity in our urban landscape,” said Paul Schwartz, executive director of the Milwaukee Public Market and Business Improvement District #2, in a press release. “We’ve worked hard to develop the public market into a catalyst of connectivity between Downtown and the Third Ward, and the ‘Brighten the Passage’ project is another step towards creating the type of corridor that appropriately bridges our vibrant neighborhoods.”

Here are some pictures. Try to get outside, Milwaukee.

Tia Richardson

Josephine Rice

The Couto Brothers

Dave Watkins

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Gaze upon the four new murals being painted underneath I-794 along North Broadway

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Co-Founder and Editor

Matt Wild weighs between 140 and 145 pounds. He lives on Milwaukee's east side.