Welcome to Create Space MKE

Create Space MKE is an artist collective driven by two questions:

What does Milwaukee look like?

What Could Milwaukee Look Like?

Our Identity   Create Space MKE is a long-term, large-scale art project. We aim to stimulate the creative community through thematic dialogue, exhibition, and educational programming.  We are shape shifters. Our project is open to being molded by the diverse minds, voices, and hands who participate in the project. Create Space MKE is an idea that is continuously evolving and interpreted by those who are interested in the following questions:

Our Identity

Create Space MKE is a long-term, large-scale art project. We aim to stimulate the creative community through thematic dialogue, exhibition, and educational programming.

We are shape shifters. Our project is open to being molded by the diverse minds, voices, and hands who participate in the project. Create Space MKE is an idea that is continuously evolving and interpreted by those who are interested in the following questions:

Our Initial Question   "What Does Milwaukee Look Like?" is our driving question. Observation is at the forefront of the Create Space MKE process. We begin with the idea that we Know nothing about the city, but we are open to learning, though active participation in community events, and through word of mouth recommendations.  Currently, the community focus is Milwaukee; however, imagine Create Space CHI, Create Space LON…etc. In the future we hope to take the Create Space concept to other areas of the state, country, and world. The question would change to accommodate the new location.

Our Initial Question

"What Does Milwaukee Look Like?" is our driving question. Observation is at the forefront of the Create Space MKE process. We begin with the idea that we Know nothing about the city, but we are open to learning, though active participation in community events, and through word of mouth recommendations.

Currently, the community focus is Milwaukee; however, imagine Create Space CHI, Create Space LON…etc. In the future we hope to take the Create Space concept to other areas of the state, country, and world. The question would change to accommodate the new location.

Focusing Our Initial Question   We use what we call “Community Lenses” to focus our efforts in determining what Milwaukee looks like. Our lenses are  Space ,  Race ,  Transportation ,  Work ,  Gender ,  Education ,  Entertainment ,   and  Leadership . Our lenses are what keep us endlessly interested, and relatively organized. They keep us focused on people, places, and ideas shaping the city in positive and powerful ways.   Photo by Jack Tetting

Focusing Our Initial Question

We use what we call “Community Lenses” to focus our efforts in determining what Milwaukee looks like. Our lenses are Space, Race, Transportation, Work, Gender, Education, Entertainment, and Leadership. Our lenses are what keep us endlessly interested, and relatively organized. They keep us focused on people, places, and ideas shaping the city in positive and powerful ways.

Photo by Jack Tetting

What We Seek   We seek an ongoing creative vision of what the city of Milwaukee   could   look like.  Our paintings are meditations on those who provide answers to our questions. The painting process is the glue that holds our projects together. As we move in and out of working with individuals and groups, many paintings are made. We paint those who show an interest, those who inspire us, and those who we consider partners. We seek to fill walls with pictures of people who have ideas about what Milwaukee looks like, and in the process their vision spills out. We collect these visions and they become the seeds for the next interaction.

What We Seek

We seek an ongoing creative vision of what the city of Milwaukee could look like.

Our paintings are meditations on those who provide answers to our questions. The painting process is the glue that holds our projects together. As we move in and out of working with individuals and groups, many paintings are made. We paint those who show an interest, those who inspire us, and those who we consider partners. We seek to fill walls with pictures of people who have ideas about what Milwaukee looks like, and in the process their vision spills out. We collect these visions and they become the seeds for the next interaction.

 
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Makati Hot (Artist Brain)

Makati is the hottest city in the world. It’s a clingy, toddler sort of hot - dusty and wet, carrying with it nagging notions of a long term commitment. The presence of the Southeast Asian climate somehow feels familiar. Has my 33 years atop The Frozen Tundra instilled in me a unique form of temperature-consciousness? Makati Hot is, perhaps, the global complement to Wisconsin Cold.

I’m in the financial capital of the Philippines researching a painting commission and daydreaming about how well the Lake Michigan watershed operates like a packing plant cooling system. The reciprocal visualization for Makati is just as vivid - the concrete coils of the urban jazz blocks trap the heat, and cook the city into a frenzy. The sun embraces the business men in fashion brands and stoop sleepers all the same.

Resting in dead-center Metro Manila, Makati receives a relentless hug from its 15 sweaty, sister cities, and the million workers ooze between the narrow openings of the entangled familial mass.

It’s 7:07am and it’s already 92 degrees. The air is 84% wet. I’m nursing a world class honey latte perched upon the patio of a 16th floor youth hostile cafe, gazing upon a vibrant geometry of endless filipino crayon box colors:
golden-bellied fleeter yellow
mango flesh orange
solicitation pink
fried organs on a stick red
ube yam purple
work-tarp blue
pasig green…etc.

Makati is a city of vibrant color; again, opposite of where I’m from. Like the late April frost, Wisconsin cities are visually chilly, preferring palettes of blue glass, concrete grays, and soft creams. Contrast this to Makati in heat. It’s 3D Mondrian composition has outgrown its island planter - a crowded garden of sharp, overlapping polygons; jutting sheets of parched pigment, each structure’s surface sizzles ‘neath the sun.

From above I watch the warm brew Pasig snake river slithering beneath the shadows of a concrete canopy. This coffee-drinking nation imports Japanese green and the tea-bag remnants swirl beneath the slow floating lilies… There’s a smell.

I see two boys, well aquatinted with the sun, climb out of the stew and straddle the guard rail and beam something brilliant.

It’s now 7:54am and I’m gazing out the lobby window onto steamy Makati Avenue. While I nestle into the front windowsill of my mind’s eye, I reach over and gently lower the needle onto my favorite mental Jazz record.

The street’s a-movin’ with earbuds a-danglin’,
Mingming, kring-kring, uha, hatsing!
Keepin’ up with the morning communte.
A woman clutches her Barako, a phone-walker workman sells single cigarettes, everywhere scooters and motorcycle madness.
There’s a woman with a pink, yellow, blue, and red umbrella, and that’s the saddest looking Jollie Bee I’ve ever seen. “Tigidig!”
There’s a business man- coffee man - traffic man in vest, performing a synchronized dance.
“Sir, Where you going?”, asks the trike. The sweaty backs of the proletariat in chromed-out Jeepneys and a school girl making a beeline for Jose Rizal.

“Man, there’s not even a second of still!”, I say.
Here are a thousand little beeps just to let you know they’re alive - The hum and dialect of a super organism.

A mother towels down her little boy’s sweaty head in stride like my mother used to wipe my chapped nose - with love and aggression.

“Beep!, Beep!” causes my focus to shift inside the moist glass window separating Makati Avenue from me, Spanish Key, and “Thank you Ssirrrr.” I move my gaze down onto a parallel pathway, a fast moving current of busy existence, the scale just 750 times smaller. I stare at the endless back and forth as they pass one another on Makati Avenue, moving in ant time to that Miles Davis horn.
— Artist Brain Travel Guide (Coming Soon)

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Seek Color

I pray that as you make your way through this world
you seek the color in all things;

that you take time to soak up the greens, browns, and whites of the ball field
(don’t forget about the little red stitches);

that you explore the neverending crayon box colors
coursing through culture near and far;

that you treat the life-source of this color
with reverence and awe;

that you appreciate the universe of color in
another’s eyes;

and that you remember always that color tends to be most vivid against the dark of night,
and shimmers something amazing in the rain.

New(er) Paintings: The Rhizome Series - May-June, 2019


Most Recent EXHIBITION:

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ARTWORK BREAKDOWN:

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A Documentarian’s Look at the project

A Visual Case Study of How Create SPACE MKE WORKS

 

About

This project is about collaboration, designing a
relevant exhibition, and transforming our space
into a stimulating and creative environment. 

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We want to hear from you. We want your thoughts on the issues at hand. We want to talk to you about your ideas and visions of the future -these ideas will make their way through our creative filter and into our compositions.

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