Art at Bayview
Call For Peace Drum & Dance Co.
Since 1990, Call for Peace Drum Dance Company — a Global Treasure based in Madison, Wisconsin at the Bayview International Center for Education and the Arts — has been inspiring national and international audiences with its performance. “From All Nations They Come Dancing,” — the dream of a new hope for humanity. Having performed at the 4th Global Summit for the Nobel Peace Prize Laureates in Rome, Italy, throughout the United States, in Germany, Russia, Israel and at the Great Pyramids of Egypt, Call for Peace is a must-see spectacular for all ages. Through the universal language of dance, traditional drums and contemporary music, Call for Peace weaves the pageantry of life, the power of hope and the wisdom of our Elders into a tapestry of rhythm, color and dance.
Please visit http://www.callforpeace.org for more information.
A.MAZE.ING.SPACE is a permanent series of colorful outdoor installations of art created by the residents of the Triangle Neighborhood as an environmental beautification project. The Triangle serves an international community of families living in Gay-Braxton, Brittingham, Karabis and Parkside apartments; many of these residents are challenged by low-income, physical disabilities or mental health issues.
The beauty and imagination of the mosaic installation we celebrated on October 6, 2004, attests to the creative spirit in every human being and to the hard work and enjoyment each of us took in making out space more amazing!
In the spring and summer of 2005, colorful sidewalks, a wheelchair path through the median strip on Braxton Place, and a second mosaic created by residents of Gay-Braxton and Bayview youth will be completed.
Bayview: Past, Present & Future
Painted and designed by Bayview youth, the three-panel “Bayview: Future, Present and Past” Mural “depicts scenes from the sometimes violent history of race relations, the diversity of people living at Bayview, and a future of peaceful relations” (The Capital Times, August 1999).
Community Program Art Gallery
We Are All One Child Spinning Through Mother Child
At the Triangle Ethnic Festival on Sunday, August 18, 2002, in Madison, members of the Tai Chi Dancers unwound a scarf to unveil a sculpture done by Madison-area artist Harry Whitehorse. Whitehorse carved “One Child Spinning Through Mother Sky” from a dead Osage orange tree that grew in the city’s old Greenbush neighborhood. Sculptor Harry Whitehorse transformed the tree into a beautiful piece of sculpture graced with the animals, people, and plants symbolic to the ethnic groups that have called the Bayview and Greenbush neighborhood home. The dancers were among performers in the dedication ceremony. It will stand in Bayview Community Center, 601 Bayview, not far from 22 S. Frances St., where it grew for more than 60 years.
Bayview Magic Carpet
In designing the Bayview Magic Carpet mural, Nancy Giffey drew my inspiration from two sources: the international community Bayview has traditionally served and the serene beauty of Monona Bay. By creating intricate borders, much like the borders Giffey observed in Hmong embroidery, Giffey was able to incorporate both images from nature and numerous cultural and religious symbols from around the globe. These symbols will be used as teaching tools in our youth programs as we study ways of life and people around the world.
The central area of the mural is devoted to Monona Bay enveloped in the blues of evening. Two whooping cranes in the lower right of the mural are a hopeful image. These cranes were almost extinct, yet with care and imagination, the Crane Foundation nurtured their resurgence. Perhaps we can all work to restore the precious and beleaguered gifts of the natural world. The many moons are a Native American reference to passage of time.
The lone figure in a small boat represents the solitary journey each of us must make as we navigate the myriad and ever-changing circuses of this life.
Bayview Triangle Mural
The Bayview community annually hosts the Triangle Ethnic Fest, a gala event that brings together people of every ethnic background for a day of cultural and social exchange. Participating are the Bolivian dancers on stage, along with Spanish, Italian, and Mexican dancers in front of the stage. In the audience, one finds Southeast Asians from Laos, Cambodia, and Vietnam, as well as Africans-Americans, Chinese and others. In the upper left is Brittingham Apartments, Bayview’s close neighbor. The earth-sheltering building above the processions of flags is the center of Bayview’s community life and the home of the “Bayview Triangle Mural.” The landscape extending across the top of the first three panels shows some of the natural resources available of the enjoyment of all Madisonians.
Part of the panel also shows an imagined juncture between the new Triangle community and the old Greenbush neighborhood. The left half shows Nigerian immigrants arriving at the edge of the new neighborhood. The woman descending the slope with the baby on her back is a reminder that most newcomers had a difficult journey to their new homes. To the right of the wooded area a Native American stands looking at the Madison landscape, an area sacred to his people. Directly above him and to the left, Southeast Asians approach their new homes in Bayview. One of the first sights for those flying into Madison is the capitol dome, here surrounded by one of Wisconsin’s ubiquitous cornfields. The yellow train of the Milwaukee Railroad brought many immigrants to the Greenbush. Its route runs by St. Joseph’s Catholic Church, and the rock and plaque placed as a memorial to the old neighborhood on the corner of Park and Regent Streets. Above the memorial immigrants are welcomed by a clergyman. Frequently the clergy of the churches and synagogues provided initial physical and spiritual assistance to the immigrants.
A suggestion of daily life in the Greenbush is pictured in the center street scene. Next to St. Joseph’s on the right are two Italian men, one holding the flag of the “old country,” the other holding the U.S. flag. Together, they symbolize the future American citizenship of the Greenbush’s many Italian immigrants. In the forefront is the brick-red building of the Italian Workmen’s Club, believed to this day to be the oldest active Italian organization in the United States. The insignia above the doorway is the Trinacria, head of Medusa with three bent legs, which represents Sicily’s triangular shape. Farther up the street near the right edge of the panel, two Italian women under a grape arbor are involved in the late summer activity of making tomato paste. Heading back down the street towards St. Joseph’s Church is Edward Withers, recipient of the 1951 Look All-American Award for football at the University of Wisconsin.
Sports were an important part of life in the Greenbush, and talented athletes came from all ethnic backgrounds. Near the skyline surrounded by Wisconsin’s rich farmland is the Italian Methodist Church and its beloved pastor, Reverend Antonil Parroni. Future changes for the Greenbush brought by the Triangle Redevelopment Project, an urban renewal project of the 1960’s, are suggested by the yellow blade of the bulldozer beside Reverend Parroni. The designs of the buildings and homes depicted here were derived from photographs and a videocassette detailing the Triangle Redevelopment Project that created today’s Triangle Neighborhood.
Agudus Achim, in the upper left, was just one of Madison’s early Jewish synagogues. In the procession down the winding path, the rabbi is carrying the Torah from its old home to its new home at Beth Israel on Mound Street. At street level below the procession, the old Neighborhood House is shown with its founder, Gay Braxton, seated on the bridge steps that lead to “Southeast Asia.” Many of the programs offered at the Neighborhood House then are very similar to those offered to immigrants at today’s Bayview Community Center. The remainder of the mural is devoted to the origins and plight of Bayview’s Southeast Asian community. The bridge over the Mekong River serves as a metaphor for the transition from their former lifestyle to the new one in Madison.
The bridge stands beside a village whose residents have either left or been killed. An orphaned child, a common consequence of war, stands destitute by his abandoned home and the soldier’s gun that has brought him such loneliness and misery. The once rich farmland above the village has been ruined by frequent bombings, which continue in the distance. In this and the previous panel, white sticks have been sharpened and thrust into the ground as a deterrent to enemy soldiers attempting to parachute into the villages. The large white wooden arrow points the way to the last sighting of the North Vietnamese soldiers. This sort of collaboration with American soldiers cost many lives. Finally, many residents of the countries of Southeast Asia are forced to flee their respective homelands. They carry with them their children, some food, their culture, and their memories. THey have said goodbye to the beauty of the jungles, mountains, plains and rice paddies of their native land and embarked on a long and difficult journey that, for some, will eventually bring them to Madison’s Triangle neighborhood.
A Village in Laos, Coming to America, and Life in Madison, and Other Art
Among the unique art pieces found throughout Bayview that exemplify the Triangle’s rich cultural heritage is the three piece fiber mural, “A Village In Laos,” “Coming to America” [left image] and “Life in Madison” – a permanent fixture of Bayview Community Center. The Southeast Asian community of Madison, especially the Hmong women of Bayview Townhouses, did the stitching of the murals from sketches by SHirley Groy, the Project Director and artist from Reedsburg, Wisconsin. The third mural, “Life in Madison” was completed by Madison Friends of Bayview.
The project itself was coordinated by Marilyn Cooper, who created the original concept and secured the necessary funding through grants from the Bayview Foundation and the Dane County Cultural Affairs Commission. The completed project is a unique piece of history; one which will be enjoyed by future generations.