Project Description


Sculpture Milwaukee, Milwaukee, WI

Paula Crown Atelier is pleased to announce the installation of the iconic sculpture JOKESTER at Sculpture Milwaukee 2020. Established in 2007, Sculpture Milwaukee galvanized Milwaukee’s place among the Midwest’s robust arts industry. This annual event has evolved into a beacon that attracts spectators, art lovers, tourists, and families to the heart of downtown Milwaukee every Summer.

JOKESTER takes Crown’s solo cup series and brings it to a monumental scale. The work serves as a reminder of consumption, waste, pollution, and re-use, embodying Crown’s commitment to tying her artistic practice to concrete social change – specifically, the mounting climate crisis. The signature 10-foot red sculpture acts as a stop sign, encouraging individuals to pause and examine how we shape our world, how our world shapes us, and the marks we leave behind in transient moments.

The Third Ward is a deliberate site for the work. As the area adjacent to Milwaukee’s Summerfest grounds that plays host to “the world’s largest music festival,” and numerous concerts and ethnic festivals held throughout our warmer-weather seasons, the Third Ward becomes that ground zero for cleaning up refuse left behind by transient visitors.

Like all sites of human habitation, Milwaukee was founded on the shores of a great body of water that sustains life, food, agriculture, manufacturing, sport, and recreation. Yet each pond, stream, river, lake, and ocean is increasingly under threat from the chemicals that are released through the city’s sewer system, the airborne particulate matter that settles from the sky, and the tons of garbage that finds its way into the very lifeblood of the earth. Crown’s giant red cup, crafted to perfectly mimic the throw-away culture we live in, becomes a shameful reminder of how we treat Mother Nature.

Listen below to Paula Crown’s guided tour about JOKESTER’s newest installation in Milwaukee to learn more about the series and this installation.

Sculpture Milwaukee’s guest curators for 2020 include Michelle Grabner, Lisa Sutcliff from the Milwaukee Art Museum, and Mary Jane Jacob of School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Russell Bowman is the founding art advisor of Sculpture Milwaukee and Marilu Knode has been the co-curator of the show since 2018.

Photo credit: Kevin J Miyazaki for Sculpture Milwaukee 2020