June 8, 2020

"Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway came up with the idea for the murals and tasked city arts administrator Karin Wolf with the job."

"Wolf says she reached out to community cultural partners the city already has a relationship with in order to tap local artists. 'We definitely wanted to amplify the voices of people who have been directly impacted by racial injustice,' she says.... Not all the murals are part of the city program, says Wolf. Some store owners arranged for their own art and others artists went rogue. 'People didn’t know better,' says Wolf. 'A lot of people wanted to help and didn’t know how.'" — Isthmus reports on the murals of State Street.

There was a noticeable change from the condition of the plywood 4 days ago, the last time I'd checked. There's an effort to replace harsh graffiti with real murals and, as you can tell from the quote above, a prioritizing of black artists — with spaces marked as "reserved" and this message to white artists that "giving up some white privilege means saving this space for artists of color"...

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A space that looked like this 4 days ago...

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Is now painted over in yellow and marked "Reserved for a black female artist/Please respect this space":

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I think some white artists were painting flowers rather than a "Black Lives Matter" image, and this looks as though someone who'd chalked out her design thought better of it, quit in the middle of things, and requested that a black artist "claim this space":

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At the art museum, they were painting out the graffiti, presumably prepping for a nicer mural...


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Some of more on-topic images were colorful and optimistic, like this...

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And this...

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Others had a harder edge, but were, I would say, respectful toward the city:

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I wasn't sure which of the art was part of the city's program. This has more of a graffiti quality but it's also pretty positive...

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This, I think, is the kind of thing the city is trying get painted over...

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95 comments:

I'm Not Sure said...

'People didn’t know better,' says Wolf.

I'm told it's best to wait for government direction in order to properly express creativity, spunk, quirkiness and optimism.

What a maroon.

Oso Negro said...

It's important, I suppose for spaces to be reserved for black females, because they are simply unable to compete or participate in Madison without special privileges.

RK said...

Will the murals on plywood still be there for the next mayoral election? With 40-some businesses not reopening, it's possible. It could be an interesting topic.

Yancey Ward said...

This makes me think of the end of the Harry Potter movies where the groundskeeper is using a broom to sweep up the massive damage to Hogswarts.

I asked this the other day- how long do they plan to leave up the wood sheeting? It won't last very long in the Summer humidity and rain. It will be rotting by August.

Lem said...

Never Forget

Tomcc said...

Legal question: who owns the work?
At such time as the business owners decide to reopen, what becomes of these works?
(And lastly, as a cynic, is anyone, maybe, getting paid for this?)

RK said...

saving this space for artists of color

When the black artists show up, the white women can watch, smile proudly, and snap photos for Facebook. The opportunity for virtue signaling never seems to end.

boatbuilder said...

Nothing quite says "Let's all fight racism" than specifically excluding one race from participation.

Inga said...

What is wrong with reserving spaces for black women artists? This is a special time, coming after huge social upheaval and blow back against police brutality against mainly black people. Is it real that difficult to let Madison’s black community have an extra turn at the community art project at THIS time? It’s a small gesture of good will.

h said...

Have we reached the point where the only alternative to white supremacy is black supremacy? Whites are not superior in physical or mental elements, but blacks are morally superior- all whites are racist and no blacks are racist. And an implication of black supremacy is that only black artists are welcome to paint State Street murals. And as pointed out in a comment thread a couple days ago only a black academic can object to platitudes about race. So blacks have privileges that are not available to whites. I think some will argue that whites have some privileges not available to blacks -- like breaking the laws and then just getting a hearty handshake and a clap on the back. l'll accept this argument with documented examples.

Yancey Ward said...

By the way, here is the US Covid data spreadsheet.

You will also find the Wisconsin update tab at the bottom.

CJinPA said...

Please tell me they have the foresight to designate "Black Only" water fountains nearby if the artists get hot in that sun.

robother said...

"This space reserved for an artist who identifies as Black and female." There, fixed it for you.

Nichevo said...

I wonder if a white male prole worker had the labor of prepping the yellow arch for the black female artist.

ALP said...

Perfect place for my vent - very on topic. At today's department meeting, it obvious one member of our team had put a large "Black Lives Matter" banner in their front window. Was not there last week. Even funnier was when another team member started up with "I really like your room decoration." Person actually in the room looked puzzled. "What are you talking about it is the same stuff on the wall?" "The Black Lives Matter banner..." yada yada I muted at that point. Then began to wonder: crap, are we now going to be required to put some kind of political statement in our video meeting backgrounds? Oh fuck could they possibly be that invasive?

rehajm said...

Banksy did a wall down the street from my house. It was cool for a few days then others joined in and it looked like the bottom 'mural'

rehajm said...

'Please respect this space'

- written on the board covering a window broken by looters.

AlbertAnonymous said...

Oh for the love of God. Is there some systemic racism that prevent black artists from finding space where they can paint shit? Seriously.

I bet most of the spray painted graffiti was done by black “artists”. Though, to be fair, most were wearing masks so who knows...

So now all this virtue signaling has moved from the internet to the brick and mortar ?

Narayanan said...

Oso Negro said...
It's important, I suppose for spaces to be reserved for black females, because they are simply unable to compete or participate in Madison without special privileges.
-----------=============
will there be questionnaire to qualify as female? - menstruation or bleeding from wherever?

MayBee said...

"The US Prison System is Legalized Slavery" is very respectful to the city.

Narayanan said...

Tomcc said...
Legal question: who owns the work?
At such time as the business owners decide to reopen, what becomes of these works?
(And lastly, as a cynic, is anyone, maybe, getting paid for this?)
-------============
of course - the city arts person and cronies

BarrySanders20 said...

Love the Spay Safe massage. Great PSA, and Bib Barker approves that message. Can’t get much whiter than Bob Barker.

Which woke group gets to torch the murals?

MayBee said...

Is there something weird about saving places on plywood of businesses that have either been damaged by or are trying to protect themselves from violence....saving those spaces for black female artists?

Here is the death of someone's dream and livelihood. Let's cover that up with a little something something, shall we? Let's get a black woman to do it. She'll feel really good about it!

BarrySanders20 said...

Message, not massage. But that’s nice too

Charlie Currie said...

"boatbuilder said...
Nothing quite says "Let's all fight racism" than specifically excluding one race from participation. "

No, they excluded ALL races, except one. And, in one example, ALL 42 genders, except one.

I'm Not Sure said...

"What is wrong with reserving spaces for black women artists?"

This is the kind of question one would expect from someone who believes that black women can't succeed without special accommodations. Seems awfully racist/sexist to me.

Sally327 said...

The reserved space for a black female artist, that could be considered art just the way it is now so maybe it would be better if it's left like that.

Temujin said...

I've run out of words for all of this insanity.

Narayanan said...

ALP said...(rant on I should say)
Then began to wonder: crap, are we now going to be required to put some kind of political statement in our video meeting backgrounds? Oh fuck could they possibly be that invasive?
------------=============
if you are not 'black' and want your life to matter is this time for cure that causes blackface and blackbody allover - suggested gene-mod -
Colonizing Mars may require humanity to tweak its DNA

tim maguire said...

Inga said...What is wrong with reserving spaces for black women artists?

Back in the day, the professor had a number of commenters who saw their role here as performance art, so you could never be sure if someone was really obtuse or just pulling your leg. When I read your comments, I'm reminded of them.

The Cracker Emcee Refulgent said...

“It’s a small gesture of good will.”

It’s a small gesture of patronizing condescension and implicit White supremacy. How gracious of the White artist to cede her place on the riot plywood to a benighted Black artiste! Any Black person with a shred of dignity would shun that spot like the plague. Or better yet, write, “A White lady says a Black person is allowed to paint here. Go fuck yourself”.

JMW Turner said...

Fantastic. Creative instead of destructive...litany instead of looting.

RK said...

What if a white guy spray-painted "Asshole" across George Floyd's mural. Whoa, Nelly, let the carnage begin again.

RK said...

The black artists will come. Just a bit later. You know, CPT and all that.

Big Mike said...

I assume that Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway and Madison arts administrator Karin ("I can't even spell 'Karen' right but I'll tell on you if you complain") Wolf are of the opinion that black artists, and particularly female black artists, are so utterly incompetent that unless space is reserved for them they just can't compete.

Michael K said...

nga said...
What is wrong with reserving spaces for black women artists?


Nothing ! It just shows they need white lefties like you to hold their hands.

What could be simpler? We now have "black math" in colleges for those who can't do "White math." Just let the rest of us know which designed the bridges.

Some blacks are figuring out how racist you are to assume they need your thumb on the scale. But, if it makes you feel good, what the fuck. It's not about blacks. It's about you.

Narayanan said...

MayBee said...
Is there something weird about saving places on plywood of businesses that have either been damaged by or are trying to protect themselves from violence....saving those spaces for black female artists?

Here is the death of someone's dream and livelihood. Let's cover that up with a little something something, shall we? Let's get a black woman to do it. She'll feel really good about it!
--------------=============
lawyerly commenters - do you foresee eminent domain lawsuits down the line for involuntary takings

Ingachuck'stoothlessARM said...

doesnt the shop owner have the right to put what they want in the window?
Since when has the city mandated what (legal)decorations can go?

their windows smashed, merchandise looted, business is done

... and they dont even have a say as to what goes over the windows?

Narayanan said...

possibly later on a charity auction of the murals to the woke and rich and virtuous?

n.n said...

Diversity and exclusion.

n.n said...

done by black “artists”. Though, to be fair, most were wearing masks so who knows

Diversity is a hard problem when the skin color is not self-evident.

stevew said...

Oh the irony. Prayers for the oppressed artist, their sacrifice is heart wrenching, nearly unbearable. Perhaps a well crafted TikTok would help.

Iman said...

Clowns to the left of me, jokers to the right...

n.n said...

I've run out of words for all of this insanity.

It appears to be a progressive condition, so there will be other opportunities as evolution (e.g. life) diverges to follow the fitness flavor... function of the day.

Butkus51 said...

So now when I think of Madison Wisc, now I think of a ghetto. I dont normally visit ghettos.

D 2 said...

B Bragg sang a song in the 90s penned by W Guthrie in the 40s (?) talking about how ten thousand years from now maybe all the creeds and colours will get all mixed together and so we’d become the same colour and idealized la la la stuff like that. Since he did it with Wilco, I’d say the song came out ok. I like Wilco

It was a sort of universal love song expressing something about equality of the sexes too, and how each sex complimented the other, just like the wild take up with the tame, etc, a realization the songwriter felt, when she came along to him.

The song went on to express hope we’d maybe have all of the fascists out of the way by then. Facists generally being the ones hung up on casting evil on another religion or race - you know the type, the ones who says that — are —. Generally finding some innate fault in, say, a person —ness that makes them irredeemable.

Imagine. Two sexes!! Time to throw those privileged white arses songbooks into the fire.

steve uhr said...

I hear that once the windows are replaced, the murals will be placed in a new museum at the former location of the HQ of the Madison Police Department.

Laslo Spatula said...

Plywood murals on the businesses is the Victory Lap.

I am Laslo.

Kevin said...

"What is wrong with reserving spaces for black women artists?"

Inga’s people used to reserve lunch counters and entire schools for them too.

exiledonmainstreet, green-eyed devil said...

Talking about woke cities, my former residence, Shorewood, is amusing me these days.

SHOREWOOD, WI — A 64-year-old Shorewood woman was arrested twice within 24 hours after police say she spit on a teenage protester Saturday during a protest march, shoved a protester on Sunday in front of her home, and later kneed an officer in the groin before she was taken to jail.

Authorities say Stephanie Rapkin, who works as an estate planning and probate attorney with an office in Mequon, has been booked into the Milwaukee County Jail after she was arrested for a second time. She's facing multiple criminal charges, and a complaint with state law regulators."

Note that Rapkin is NOT some Hawaiian-shirted booglaloo or Trumpist. She signed the Walker recall petition and held a fundraiser for Joanne Kloppenburg (remember sad old Kloppie)? What she is is the sort of entitled Karen Shorewood is stuffed to the gills with, and she apparently became very angry about having her car blocked by a protester. So she showed the usual class and tact normally displayed by leftists toward conservatives, except she made the gravest of errors - she spit on a black kid instead of someone in a MAGA hat (Shorewood would surely forgive the latter).

Then some self-righteous gasbag showed up at her doorstep the next day to yell at her because that's how Shorewood rolls and she committed assault again. And she kneed a cop in the groin, but that act, which her neighbors would consider commendable, or at least forgivable, if she had been throwing a brick though a window on Oakland Avenue, doesn't make up for her earlier, fatal sin.

So now this 64 year old fool is charged with a "hate crime" and the kid who got nasty old lady spit on him on is being treated like MLK at Selma. And Shorewood residents will once again have to search their souls and apologize for the Evil in their midst. Any former service she did in service to the prog cause - nevermind.

Karen vs. BLM - no contest.

chuck said...

Amazon is now recommending books about racism to me. This is the same company that employs the SPLC. Those folks aren't the crispest crackers in the box and now they have gone all Karen. I've already promised to never vote for a Democrat, what more do they want?

Doug said...

It is to puke.

bgates said...

Couldn't black and white artists cooperate on murals? The black artist could do the top half, because as a rule, blacks are slightly taller, and the white artist could do the bottom, because as a rule, the kind of white person who'd paint a mural in Madison would want to kneel and grovel before the black artist.

Laslo Spatula said...

Lord of The Flies Outdoor Shopping Mall.

Know what it really needs?

Balloons.

Colorful balloons.

I am Laslo.

walter said...

Those grass roots aren't gonna water themselves.

Tommy Duncan said...

Austin Powers was way ahead of his time:

"As long as people are still having promiscuous sex with many anonymous partners while at the same time experimenting with mind-expanding drugs in a consequence-free environment, I’ll be sound as a pound!"

Mr. Forward said...

Christo in Plywood.

Fernandinande said...

They could use a few Navajo good luck symbols to liven things up because good luck and multi culti.

narciso said...

Neil ferguson being the scientist version of austin powers.

jaydub said...

Enough with all these masochistic machinations and sops to the saps, empty gestures are not going to satiate the Black thirst for righteous revenge. Why not offer up a white virgin for human sacrifice and be done with it? Perhaps the Black female art contest winner could have the honor of cutting out the beating heart of the live virgin with an obsidian knife, assuming that is not considered too mesoamerican for an Afrocentric contest.

It's likely both of the virgins at UW would enthusiastically volunteer for such a unique virtue signaling opportunity.

FullMoon said...

What if a white guy spray-painted "Asshole" across George Floyd's mural. Whoa, Nelly, let the carnage begin again.

How about Floyd pointing la pistola at pregnant woman's stomach during home invasion robbery?

NCMoss said...

Jar Jar Binks would be nice with the caption, "Wesa got a grand army. That’s why you no liking us meesa thinks."

Ken B said...

“ Plywood murals on the businesses is the Victory Lap.”

Well put.

For those missing the point, the CCP would, after executing a man, send his family a bill for the bullet. Now the business owner has to thank the mob for the lovely, lovely painting.

robother said...

Couldn't a young black thu--err, artist, who threw a brick through the store front window last week claim that his performance art has been suppressed by whoever put up the plywood, and demand that the plywood be taken down? The continued looting of the restocked store is obviously an integral part of the ongoing performance.

Michael K said...

Clueless as government.

Original Mike said...

" Is it real that difficult to let Madison’s black community have an extra turn at the community art project at THIS time? It’s a small gesture of good will."

We could set aside special privileges for African Americans. What a novel idea.

Calypso Facto said...

Maybe that black female artist could name the work she puts in the space she's being asked to perform her ethnic work on command in "Ms Bojangles"

Narr said...

Your tag says "race and pop culture." How 20th century.

Now, race IS pop culture.

Narr
All race all the time

Drago said...

Inga: "What is wrong with reserving spaces for black women artists? This is a special time, coming after huge social upheaval and blow back against police brutality against mainly black people. Is it real that difficult to let Madison’s black community have an extra turn at the community art project at THIS time? It’s a small gesture of good will."

Democrat Inga lectures republicans on what is needed after democrats riot in democrat controlled cities and burning down democrat housing areas and democrat businesses due to actions taken by democrat controlled police departments.

Discuss.

Francisco D said...

Inga said...What is wrong with reserving spaces for black women artists? This is a special time, coming after huge social upheaval and blow back against police brutality against mainly black people.

Are you kneeling and wearing Kente cloth, Inga?

Do you realize how patronizing and condescending that is?

I'm tired of the theater and the twits who think it is real.

Yancey Ward said...

Steve Uhr does have a sense of humor!!!!

walter said...

"Not all the murals are part of the city program, says Wolf. Some store owners arranged for their own art and others artists went rogue. “People didn’t know better"
--
Business owners should get to choose from the options.

Rabel said...

The phrase "Cheese Eating Surrender Monkeys" comes to mind.

Lewis Wetzel said...

If a company hires a less qualified black person instead of hiring a better qualified white person, is that an example of racial injustice or racial justice?

eddie willers said...

Please tell me they have the foresight to designate "Black Only" water fountains nearby if the artists get hot in that sun.

The sad thing is many BLMers won't even catch your irony.

chickelit said...

MayBee said...Here is the death of someone's dream and livelihood. Let's cover that up with a little something something, shall we? Let's get a black woman to do it. She'll feel really good about it!

The irony is too much for me. I sincerely doubt that Althouse gets it. She's just trying now to put a positive spin on something quite horrific, actually.

I grew up near Madison and went to college there. I used to visit my mother there until she died last year. Now I feel as if I no longer even know it. Where is the old Madison hiding/cowering? Madison seems dead to me now.

n.n said...

Colorful balloons.

Rainbow-colored balloons, excluding black, brown, and featuring the divided remains of white.

Char Char Binks, Esq. said...

Photography has superseded drawing and painting, making these arts, and artists, unnecessary, much like the cotton gin did for cotton picking, and cotton pickers.

Tina Trent said...

You tnink it's "positive" and "colorful" to plaster boarded-over windows with the agitprop of a terrorist organization dedicated to murdering police while accusing all whites of enslaving blacks -- today -- as your city government convulses in its efforts to bow to the increasingly insane and increasingly anti-white demands of the race lobby, and the people who own these businesses are suffering financially from the rioters but know they dare not even slightly criticize them publicly for fear of being physically targeted by rioters and socially targeted by the all-powerful social justice mob, so they've taken to apologizing while boarding up their store windows?

Are you joking? That's a deeply disturbing amount of cognitive dissonance. Thhe protesters mean what they write when they accuse us. They won't spare you.

rhhardin said...

It's like the funeral of a clown. I think Gahan Wilson probably did that one, clown in the funeral home.

wildswan said...

The one overall idea I get from all that plywood with scribbles is: "Don't go there."

rhhardin said...

"In language, the African tradition aims at circumlocution rather than at exact definition. The direct statement is considered crude and unimaginative; the veiling of all contents in ever-changing paraphrase is considered the criterion of intelligence and personality. In music, the same tendency toward obliquity and ellipsis is noticeable..."

Ernest Boneman, in Jazz, eds. Hentoff and McCarthy. Cited by Cavell _The Claim of Reason_ p.8

Jon Burack said...

The obscenity and hypocrisy of this is breathtaking. Smash a store and its owner's dreams and then pretend to be "POSITIVE" in decorating its tombstone.

Patrick Henry was right! said...

So when do they come for the MLK statutes?
He would have abhored the notion that black folks are so inferior that they need mural set asides.
The governor of KY just said he was going to provide health care for black people, not all people.
Crazy times.

Nichevo said...

rhhardin said...
"In language, the African tradition aims at circumlocution rather than at exact definition.


Was he talking African African or African American? Because for the latter I see the tradition includes lots of repetition. That video of the Chicago woman screaming about the "A Y R A B S!!!" (who had the NERVE to go Roof Korean and defend their stores with armed men so I guess black people couldn't loot - don't judge me, find the video) for nine minutes was edifying, but could have been much more concise. So could the looter or passerby or perhaps Good Samaritan standing over and videoing the death of David Dorn.

The problem may be an atrophied vocabulary, but the best writers write simply; you just don't need to say the same thing fifty times over, it doesn't help. Say it once, twice, three times perhaps? Then move on. Even if using choice epithets like "dawg" or "cuz."

Todd said...

Yet more events in the "Virtual Signaling Olympics". Thanks, but no thanks. I think I will just boycott the entire thing.

Leland said...

Do the businesses get any say on what the city is doing to their property? After all, the land and the board is owned by the business owner, no?

Todd said...

RK said...

What if a white guy spray-painted "Asshole" across George Floyd's mural. Whoa, Nelly, let the carnage begin again.

6/8/20, 8:20 PM


More likely (based on history) is that a person of color decides that there has not been enough "change" nor enough follow-on racist activities and does it themselves, which will be captured on video and released a week after the new round of riots gets going...

Jupiter said...

"We definitely wanted to amplify the voices of people who have been directly impacted by racial injustice."

"There's ... a prioritizing of black artists — with spaces marked as "reserved" and this message to white artists that "giving up some white privilege means saving this space for artists of color"...

So, by "people who have been directly impacted by", she means, "people who are direct beneficiaries of". Got it! It's actually pretty easy to understand these people, once you get the range.

Kirk Parker said...

rhh,

"... the African tradition... "

This sort of phrase signifies either that the writer doesn't know what he's talking about, trying to pull the wool over your eyes, or just as likely both.

There is no "the African tradition"! The continent is yuuuuuge, and the cultural differences between, say, the cattle people and the farmers in just one country like Sudan where I lived and worked are likewise vast. Some are, indeed, about circumlocution and indirection but others are the direct opposite.

Roger Sweeny said...

Maybe I'm simple-minded but isn't "Reserved for a black female artist" a double violation of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which at the time was considered to be the great achievement of the Civil Rights Movement?

Jim at said...

Tired of the pandering yet? I sure would be.

Jim at said...

It’s a small gesture of good will.

No. It isn't. It's condescending. It's patronizing. It's insulting.

mikee said...

Would a representation of Donald Trump with the February stats for nationwide Black and Hispanic employment be allowed?

Would a representation of Obama with "Celebrating 40+ Years of Democrat Party Leadership For Our City!" be allowed?

How about "2Peter 2:22" with or without the text?

Jupiter said...

"Plywood murals on the businesses is the Victory Lap."

I think a better metaphor comes from Islamic cultures, where it isn't rape if the rapist agrees to marry the victim. These beautiful murals are the bride's gown. Isn't she lovely, as she dances with the groom's brothers and uncles?