Art for Everyone

10/2/2017 - Jared Rasmussen

Arts & Culture, Family-Friendly
Public Art in the Kenosha Wisconsin Area
Public Art in the Kenosha Wisconsin Area
Public Art in the Kenosha Wisconsin Area
Public Art in the Kenosha Wisconsin Area
Public Art in the Kenosha Wisconsin Area
Public Art in the Kenosha Wisconsin Area

According to German philosopher Erich Fromm, art is “not an individual ‘leisure time’ occupation added to life – it is an integral part of life.”  In his book The Sane Society, Fromm says that the creation and observation of art “is at least as important as literacy and higher education” to a civilization.

According to a bumper sticker I saw once, “life without art is stupid.”

Two ways of expressing a similar thought, both Dr. Fromm and the motorist ahead of me would be happy to hear that the City of Kenosha embraces this philosophy.  On September 14, the HarborPark Sculpture Walk welcomed its newest tenants as several existing pieces were relocated, and new ones took their place.  This is the fourth configuration of sculptures along the lakefront as part of an ongoing project by the Kenosha Community Arts Fund to bring art to the public.  This round of sculptures will remain installed until 2019 when, hopefully, another new configuration will take its place, keeping the art and the downtown promenade itself feeling fresh and encouraging many return visits.

This changeover prompted a larger conversation about public art in Kenosha.  For that, I jaunted around town taking photographs of what I consider public art. You can see a few photos in this blog post, but I recommend a visit to enjoy the creations yourself.

Before I share my findings, note there are many private businesses that sell amazing art which deserve a visit.  Among these locales are Sazzy B and The Buzz Café (home to my personal favorite cup of coffee in Kenosha) and Harborside Common Grounds, which has art for sale from Lemon Street Gallery, as well as a mural on its decked seating area.  These were not subject to my hunt because they are private businesses, though you can definitely see the art there for yourself – your enjoyment of which may even be enhanced by the hot beverage of your choice!

Additionally, the Kenosha Public Museum has a beautiful art gallery on its second floor that houses a rotation of touring exhibits, often highlighting local artists.  I did not photograph these as they are within the building and not on the grounds; that is, you cannot see the art from the sidewalk.  Again, though, it is worth the trip! I digress… on to the Public Art.

This led me to the following definition of public art:  creative works that you can experience without entering a building or trespassing on private property.  So how much of this type of art can we find in Kenosha? A lot.

For starters, here are the new additions to the HarborPark Sculpture Walk, which includes the following pieces:

“Window” by Paul Bobrowitz Jr.

“Night in Tunisia” by Ron Gard

“Strumming My Life Away” by Paul Bobrowitz Jr.

“Portcullis” by August Kochanowski

“Wending” by Ted Sitting Crow Garner

“The Struggle against Death” by Ron Gard

“Spatial Harmony Series” by Bruce A. Niemi

“Windswept” by Gary Kulak

“Connected” by Maureen Bergquist Gray

“Nautilus” by Suzanne Horwitz – actually in front of the Kenosha Area Convention and Visitors Bureau though installed along with HarborPark Sculpture Walk rotation

But wait, there is more! The walk also includes pieces that are permanent fixtures in the collection that do not rotate. These are pieces that always live in HarborPark even when other works change:

“Millennium Gate” by David Floyd

“S.S. Kenosha” by Dan Blue

“Christopher Columbus” by Michael Martino

Many of the pieces from the Sculpture Walk have found new homes in the Kenosha Area at such venues as Carthage College and the Pleasant Prairie RecPlex, and even some private residences!

Beyond the concentration of art at the Sculpture Walk, there is art to be found all over the Kenosha Area. All you have to do is look for it.  Many of these do not have visible nameplates, but the creativity and asthetic that they add to our community is undeniable.  Here is a list of some of places to enjoy public art that I have found and encourage you to seek out, too! Some of these stops have more than one work of art on site!

  • Friendship Park – 58th St and 6th Ave
  • Kenosha Public Library – Simmons Library Campus – 711 59th Pl
  • Parking lot behind (north) of Public Craft Brewing – 711 57th St
  • Civic Center Park – 10th Ave between 56th St and 57th St
  • Dinosaur Discovery Museum – 5608 10th Ave
  • Kenosha Area Convention and Visitors Bureau – 812 56th St
  • Alley-Oop, alley behind Robin’s Nest Cakery – 7th Ave between 56th St and 57th St
  • Alley behind Mike Bjorn’s Clothing – 56th St between 6th Ave and 7th Ave
  • Place de Douai – east of 3rd Ave between 57th St and 58th St
  • Lake Front Park – East of 3rd Ave between 57th St and 58th St
  • Parking lot behind Civil War Museum – 1st Ave between 54th St and 55th St
  • O. Fred Nelson Water Production Plant – 100 51st Pl
  • “The Nest” – east of O. Fred Nelson Water Production Plant
  • North Pier Lighthouse – north edge of Kenosha Harbor
  • Modern Apothecary – 4924 7th Ave
  • Captain Jim’s Yacht Sales – 5136 Sheridan Rd
  • Veterans Memorial Park – 52nd St and 6th Ave
  • Re:Vision Gallery & Artist Studios – 4625 Sheridan Road
  • Lemon Street Gallery – 4601 Sheridan Road
  • Parking lot behind Artworks – 45th St between 8th Ave and Sheridan Road
  • Union Park – between 45th St and 46th St, 7th Ave and 8th Ave
  • 8 Bit Barcade – 5301 22nd Ave
  • Columbus Park – 54th St between 20th Ave and 21st Ave
  • DeBerge’s Framing and Gallery – 2008 63rd St
  • Kemper Center – 6501 3rd Ave, behind building on north side of parking lot


Jared Rasmussen

Community Blogger

Carthage College Graduate. Kenosha Resident by way of Racine.  Roommate to Allie, the cat. Living near HarborPark. Interests include art, animals, sports, music, and dining at Kenosha restaurants.