The first urban arts fest comes to Wisconsin

DANE COUNTY, Wis. (WMTV) -- All day Saturday, artists from around the nation turned Madison and Monona into two of the hottest spots for street art.

An artist works on his mural along Cottage Grove Road.

“Wisconsin has never seen an urban arts fest,” Kristie Schilling, one of the organizers for the first Momentum Urban Arts Fest said. The festival was a chance for visitors to walk around the area, mostly along Monona Drive and Cottage Grove Road, and interact with artists as they paint.

Jorge Melara was one of the festival attendees. He brought along his daughter.

“It’s just about exposure to art,” Melara said. “Whether it’s modern art, if it’s fine art or if it’s street art. It’s important for her [my daughter] to see all aspects of art.”

Schilling said that nearly 80 to 90 artists came from around the nation, as far as Los Angeles and Miami. They revamped the walls of nearly 20 local businesses and properties.

For organizers, one of the more symbolic locations was at the new construction site of The Grove Apartments on Cottage Grove Road.

“It’s kind of this come-together moment,” Schilling said. “I’m calling it a kumbaya moment, when we’ve got the support of a construction site. I guarantee you they’re not going to have any problems with tagging because this art is going to be there.”

Schilling said that many, but not all, murals are expected to be on display for several months.