Open Art in Catalano Square

Check out this cool sculpture.

I was recently downtown in Milwaukee’s Historic Third Ward and came across a quiet, little park called Catalano Square. And, wow, here’s this awesome sculpture! It’s called Stratiformis and it’s by Jin Soo Kim, a nationally known, Korean-born artist (no, not the basketball player…).

I’m not up on sculpture art much. So, initially, I was thinking my family has enough junk sitting in our barns that we could easily create such a menagerie.

Then I walked closer and started taking pictures. The work and detail put into this is amazing.

According to the artist’s statement, the sculpture incorporates “sixteen knitting machines from the late 19th century, which were donated by the 92-year-old knitting factory owner from the area,” (the factory being the Reliable Knitting Works building, which had recently been sold to a developer and is now gentrified with shops and offices).

“So the sculpture became about the community, it’s people, lives, its past, present and will be an ongoing conversation to the future,” says the artist Jin Soo Kim.

Knowing this bit of history makes me like it even more. I love the eclectic atmosphere of the Third Ward today, but it’s important to remember its origins as an industrial community. I think this sculpture does just that.

Fittingly, that’s MIAD in the background—Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design. Stop by sometime. You can check out this great work of art and then browse through the school’s galleries.

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