HomeWorks: Bronzeville is co-directed by Mikal Floyd-Pruitt of I Am Milwaukee, Vedale Hill of Jazale’s Art Studio and Sara Daleiden of MKE<->LAX. Additional collaborators include the City of Milwaukee, CUPED Corporation, Thurman Grant Architect, Strong Blocks, Bradley Contractors and other cultural leaders from the District and the city.
The Project is guided by City leadership including Alderwoman Milele Coggs, the Bronzeville Advisory Committee, and Rhonda Manuel of the Department of City Development in connection with the City’s Bronzeville Redevelopment Plan, the Bronzeville Artist Housing Report and the Art and Resource Community Hub (ARCH) Loan Program.
Mikal Floyd-Pruitt / I Am Milwaukee
Vedale Hill / Jazale’s Art Studio
Sara Daleiden / MKE<->LAX
Thurman Grant Architect
Strong Blocks, LLC
Mikal Floyd-Pruitt is a multi-disciplinary artist whose works include paintings, sculptures, modified clothing items, and found-object assemblages. After graduating Harvard University in 2006 Floyd-Pruitt moved his art practice back to Milwaukee, where he grew up. Floyd-Pruitt started rapping and producing music as a youth, taking up the moniker MC Mikal. These early forays into making music led to his first collaborations with other artists. Along with his personal art practice, he is also a community artist and cultural producer. His involvement includes “putting together projects with youth groups, serving as creative consultant on various public art projects, and going into organizations to help them accomplish an idea.”
“As an artist I take a multifaceted approach to creating. I studied filmmaking in college, taught myself to paint, took some screen-printing classes, dabbled in a bit of sculpture, and essentially when I think of something, I try to figure out how to make it,” said Floyd-Pruitt. “It’s all sort of one creative mash-up for me.” Floyd-Pruitt is currently engaged in hip-hop-focused projects, inspired by such artists as producer J Dilla, and rapper Ghostface Killah, a former member of Wu Tang Klan. His work was featured in a larger installation series exhibited at Jazale’s Art Studio in Bronzeville at the end of 2016. “We did a series called Art House Trap. The intent was to create a free, intergenerational community event, where people were welcome to experience the creative process and participate in a discussion about hip-hop,” Floyd-Pruitt said. “I have a lot of recording to do, and I’m excited about my next body of work. Hip hop, liberation, jilted youth, I’m about that.”
“I also rep I AM MILWAUKEE,” said Floyd-Pruitt, referring to the logo he designed and trademarked. “It’s a lifestyle brand promoting unity, creativity, pride and ownership in Milwaukee.” The brand offers apparel, and is going to expand soon to develop media to showcase the city’s creativity and talent, he said. “I’m from Milwaukee; I grew up here. After I graduated from college I came back here and to me it’s my home. It’s important to me to see the art market and the culture develop and expand and I think it’s a challenge worth taking on.”
Top 5 Choices, 2016. A guest takes in the responses left by others before he contributes to Mikal Floyd-Pruitt’s interactive installation piece for Art House Trap Art at Jazale's Art Studio. Photo credit: Mikal Floyd-Pruitt, © Mikal Floyd-Pruitt and Vedale Hill, 2016.
Visit Mikal's website here.
Video at top and partial text taken from article on Mikal in the Milwaukee Neighborhood News Service by Mitchell Mittelstedt, published on June 5, 2017. To see the full article click here.
Vedale Hill was born and raised on Milwaukee’s east side in the Riverwest Neighborhood. Growing up impoverished and constantly moving, he finally found stability through art. He graduated from the Milwaukee High School of the Arts and earned a Bachelors of Fine Arts from the Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design. Vedale has provided well-received art instruction at many schools and community centers and organizations in Milwaukee, including C.O.A Youth and Family Centers, The Milwaukee Public Schools, Artist Working in Education, and Arts At Large. His natural ability to connect and communicate with urban youth has helped him become a sought-after educator and has driven him to found Jazale’s Art Studio, where he works with the youth of Bronzeville and surrounding neighborhoods.
Vedale's work with urban youth is featured in Milwaukee Bucks Community Video "Desmond Mason Assists on Art Project in Milwaukee," August 2017. Vedale is pictured here with retired NBA player Desmond Mason.
MKE<->LAX facilitates cultural exchange between two American regions, with Milwaukee and Los Angeles as epicenters, through residencies, programs, developments and other place-based initiatives. The agency explores cultural exchange across the boundaries that typically isolate ideas regionally, with an emphasis on regional poetics and expansion of market. Through ongoing mobility, MKE<->LAX asks questions about the influence location, size, market, cultural values and other regional factors have on production of the arts and cultural identity.
Through directing MKE<->LAX and related agencies, Sara Daleiden focuses on arts-based civic engagement through facilitating social interactions in developing landscapes. With bases in Los Angeles and Milwaukee, she offers support for empathetic, structural development of identity embracing various scales of experimentation, connection and production. Currently, Sara focuses on the development of The Milwaukee Method of Creative Placemaking, the Beerline Trail Neighborhood Development Project, HERE! Choice Neighborhood Initiative and MKE United. Additionally, she works with the Los Angeles County Arts Commission’s Civic Art Program with the Open Space Creative Graffiti Abatement Program on the documentary Civic Art: Four Stories from South Los Angeles and the screening series Civic Art Works.
Civic Art: Four Stories from South Los Angeles
A feature documentary by Mark Escribano and Sara Daleiden,
s(o)ul, edited with Andrew Swant and commissioned by the
Los Angeles County Art Commission Civic Art Program.
Visit the MKE<->LAX website.
Thurman Grant Architect
Thurman Grant is working with HomeWorks: Bronzeville to realize the creation of the first artist and cultural hub located at the corner of N. 4th Street and W. Meinecke Avenue in Bronzeville. Grant's designs focus on rehabilitating and remodeling existing homes in the neighborhood into spaces that jointly house residential and cultural programs. Working closely with the HomeWorks: Bronzeville Directors since 2016, Grant has helped identify the potential of the existing Bronzeville homes and broader neighborhood sites to help achieve the goals of rehabilitating residential and commercial properties and creating environments that can facilitate the engagement of neighbors and visitors, as well as encourage sustainable growth for artists and the Bronzeville district.
Grant is a Los Angeles-based architect and educator who specialises in residential and commercial architecture and interiors. He is a former adjunct faculty member at the Woodbury School of Architecture, teaching in the interior architecture and architecture programs as well as through the university’s programs in Italy and China from 2005-2016. Grant has contributed to a long list of built residential, commercial, institutional and urban design projects, as well as award-winning design competitions in the U.S. and Asia. Grant is the former president of the LA Forum for Architecture and Urban Design, where he sat on the board of directors from 2009-2013. His first publication, Dingbat 2.0: The Iconic Los Angeles Apartment as Projection of a Metropolis, was released by DoppelHouse Press in collaboration with the LA Forum in 2016.