We all know that MKTCity has a vibrant art scene — and we’re not just talking about The Chazen or MMoCA. One of our all-time favorite galleries? Madison itself.
The 608 is home to a number of meaningful murals and outdoor art pieces. Today, we’re sharing where to find art that really paints a picture of our city.
Mural Alley, 2707 E. Washington Ave. | By The Bubbler + various artists
In 2018, the Darbo-Worthington Neighborhood + City of Madison approached the owners of the Madison East Shopping Center about a community art project. Organized by The Bubbler, local artists teamed up with Madison teens to create five murals.
- “Better Together” | Zimbardi + Calomino and Henrique Nardi created a mural promoting unity, inspired by workshops with teens at the Dane County Juvenile Detention Center.
- “East Side of Madison” | Pete Hodapp collaborated with Capital High teens to create a mural showcasing Madison’s East Side history, including notable figures and businesses.
- “Canto a Madison” | Richie Morales collaborated with teens from the Dane County Juvenile Shelter Home to create this celebration of Madison summers.
- “Squeeze the Life Outta Lemons” | Amos Kennedy, Jr. sourced the text on this mural from Teen Bubbler songwriting and letterpress workshops.
- “Run the World” | Lesley Numbers collaborated with Goodman Community Center Girls Inc. to create a mural inspired by various sources — including Beyonce — to discuss self-care + empowerment.
Mother Fool’s Graffiti Project, 1101 Williamson St. | By various artists
In 2001, Mother Fool’s + its customers approached Madison’s Plan Commission with an idea for a rotating mural wall. Local artist Don Wettach was a driving force in finding a place where he and other local graffiti artists could create freely. The murals change seasonally and serve as a showcase for Madison artists.
“Flamingo Swirls,” 701 E. Johnson St. | Triangulador, Oh Ya Studio, Emily Balsley, and Ray Mawst
Did you know that the official bird of Madison is the pink lawn flamingo? This mural pays homage to the bird and can be seen from five blocks away thanks to its vibrant colors.
Willy West Mural | 6825 University Ave., Middleton | Maria Schirmer Devitt
Maria Schirmer Devitt worked with Developing Artists, Murals, and Alliances (DAMA) to create this piece that highlights local and native plant + animal species. She wanted to tell the story of what it means to belong to a system in which we are mutually tending to one another. Additionally, community members got to get in on the action by helping decide on and paint the mural.
“LOVE,” 924 Williamson St. | Michael Owen
This mural was originally done in 2014 when the building was still Plan B nightclub. Last year, the building owners called up the Baltimore-based artist for some touch-ups + tweaks while still maintaining the original design and concept of connection within the community.
“The Madison Mural,” 2625 Monroe St. | Triangulador + Henrique Nardi
The artists pulled inspiration for this piece from the decorative lettering on riverboats from the Amazon region in Brazil.
“You are Beautiful,” 1444 E. Washington Ave. | The ArtWrite Collective, Alaura Seidl and Wendi Kent
The driving force behind this project was to empower queer youth in the 608.