By Livia Peterson
Milwaukee is currently in the transition of dynamic change, with hosting the 2020 Democratic National Convention (DNC) and expanding its name via various channels such as No Studios, a creative hub in downtown Milwaukee. Even the small things, such as food halls are popping up around the city. The Milwaukee Art Museum’s Portrait of Milwaukee, on view in the Herzfeld Center for Photography and Media Arts though Sunday, March 1, 2020, is an elegant tribute to the city’s past, bridges the past and present, and celebrates the major transformation within the city.
Portrait of Milwaukee is divided into five segments, including Photojournalism and Flash Photography, Spirit of Milwaukee, Civil Rights, Faces and Places, and Industry. Each segment is an exploration of the city through different lenses.
The photojournalism and flash photography segment examines why Milwaukee is currently adapting to its significant transformation. Edward Farber’s photographs demonstrate how groups collaborate to ensure positive development and why politics is sometimes beneficial in the midst of the hate. The Trump Administration is dividing us more than ever, but a common goal reunites us to create confidence.
The spirit of Milwaukee segment demonstrates the day in life of Milwaukeeans such as a family visiting a furniture store, as it impeccably encapsulates why living in Milwaukee is equally exciting and overwhelming.
The civil rights segment demonstrates why campaigns are powerful tools to create a respectful image of the city, such as the 2020 Democratic National Convention will establish a significant historical event and puts Milwaukee on the “political map”. The DNC is reshaping our city beyond our politics if we closely observe, as I notice it all the time in the most unexpected places.
The faces places segment is easily a favorite and powerful, as it features Stanley Ryan Jones’ photographs showcasing people’s raw emotions and demonstrates the city landmarks shape our emotions within the city.
The industry segment demonstrates how Milwaukee citizens persisted and objects such as the gas tank provided income. As downtown Milwaukee is in major transition with the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra’s Grand Warner Theatre under construction and Milwaukee Ballet’s Baumgartner Center for Dance recently opened, we continue to persist and develop our arts scene to reflect our growth and more.
Portrait of Milwaukee provides more than one portrait, perspective, and the like. The exhibit provides a beautiful meditation of Milwaukee.