I would like to take the students the students through a mind mapping process to examine how water affects their life and their neighborhood and look at possibilities of sharing their knowledge of water with the community. I hope to inspire them to design a meaningful addition to the neighborhood that clearly comes from their voice. The goal is to make students feel empowered and knowledgeable about water facts and issues in Milwaukee. They don’t have to wait to be water leaders, they can start now.

Proposed site: 9 Pillars beneath the expressway at the crosswalks.

Life-sized wheat paste images of the students offering a glass or water, holding a sturgeon, or other poses based on their input, along with bilingual speech bubbles with water facts. These would be highlighted by painted accents and sealed with a graffiti-proof coating. It would be a fun way to share information while people are waiting to cross or pass through the area.




In the 19th Century, Milwaukee dramatically reshaped the landscape of the near south side to encase and bury from sight a small river that runs through Walker's Square to the Menomonee River Valley.

HIDDEN RIVER will mark the path of the river above ground starting and ending with informational plaques in the park on the south and at 9th and Bruce Streets at the north. Along the path, student artist designed rain gauges will either be on freestanding stakes or attached to buildings. We will secure permission from neighbors, heightening a sense of participation and new knowledge. Research into the relationship between rainfall, ground water and storm water management will be fostered by working with a scientist/engineer and MSD.

The rain gauges will be shaped in bronze around a standard glass calibrated vessel. As lead artist and Professor Emerita at Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design, I will teach Acosta students the lost wax method of bronze casting using MIAD's facilities. The design of the rain gauges and the plaques will be workshopped with attention to the themes and imagery we considered last March on our Watermarks walk.

By making visible the underlying water story, this project will activate the neighborhood with a game of hunt and seek while exposing significant environmental concerns.




Water plays a key role in Milwaukee’s history, identity, and economy. Architecture amplifies that role and is integral to cities and cultures that display a symbiotic relationship with water. This project (currently untitled) is designed to draw attention to and increase the intentional coexistence of water and architecture in Walker’s Point. It will highlight existing ways water and architecture are combined, while visualizing new ways to consider architectural relationships to water. Our current conceptions are out of date and too simplistic for the 21st century.

 The project can be broken down into three parts:

 COLLABORATION: I will begin by collaborating with scientists, architects, and community members to aggregate information about water specific architecture in Walker’s Point and develop visionary ideas for our future.

DRAWING: This research will inform a diagrammatic drawing designed to communicate a holistic visualization of the relationship between water and architecture in Walker’s Point. The drawing is ink on paper, but more importantly a scalable graphic. The graphic will be printed as an oversized poster, for use in classrooms, community centers, public spaces, etc. The graphic will also be produced as a mural sized image (potentially digital, print, or drawing) at UCC-Acosta or nearby.

WORKSHOP: In UCC-Acosta classes we will use this research and drawing to visualize and design graphics related to architecture and water. Six or more of these graphics will be selected by the class for neighborhood installation. Likely installed similar to a sign about parking restrictions, these hand-rendered youth graphics will be produced and installed using the language of official city signage.

This project will involve collaboration with scientists, architects, and community members. UCC-Acosta youth will lead the graphic image and signage part of this project. Graphic sign markers, a mural sized graphic, and a poster will be produced.