Visitors to Milwaukee’s RiverWalk are getting a close-up look at large, over-sized decorative jewelry created by UW-L Art Gallery Director John Ready.
Ready, who began his art career as a jeweler but has changed his focus to sculpting, began installing “River Gems” in May for the exhibit that runs through 2010. The works include huge steel rings along the walk, necklaces on bridge houses, earring-like pieces on lights, and brooches on buildings. The pieces will change over time to better integrate them with specific locations along the route.
Ready created the large-sculpted jewels primarily from recycled materials. Among them: bowling balls, aluminum Jell-O molds, cookware, pots, martini shakers, lamp parts, vases, chains and more. He found most of his items for the works from Goodwill and Salvation Army. Ready hopes the pieces will make viewers think about objects they’re planning to toss and how them might re-use them instead of throwing them out.
Ready was intrigued about making art specifically for the city. “I’m motivated by creating sculptural art that works within the context of the city,” he explains. “I’m hoping the pieces become the talk of the town.”
Milwaukee’s RiverWalk is celebrating its 20th year. Ready’s installation is the first public art created for the walk.
See some of the works at: www.onmilwaukee.com/buzz/articles/riverwalkart.html.