The new building at Olin Park hosts an exhibition of art celebrating Madison

City of Madison Mayor Satya Rhodes Conway selected Reflected Memories by Christopher Sweet, for the 2023 Mayor’s Purchase Award. The 4’ x 4’ painting is on display at the new Parks Department building at 330 E Lakeside St, Madison, WI 53715.

Christopher Sweet is an enrolled member of the Ho-Chunk Nation and is also a descendant of the White Earth Band of Ojibwe in Minnesota. Sweet studied at the Institute of American Indian Arts in Sante Fe, New Mexico, and his work has been exhibited across the region. Using vibrant colors and a blend of realism and abstraction, Sweet’s paintings capture traditional native ways of life, both past and present. Sweet is often inspired by traditional regalia, storytelling and spiritual connectedness, and he brings these inspirations to life using compositions that draw the viewer in.

The new Parks building also hosts recent works by Madison-based Guatemalan artist Richie Morales. His large scale diptych Taking flight / Tomando vuelo uses saturated colors create a vibrant and inviting work. Part of his series “The Effects of Time on Memory (Los efectos del tiempo sobre la memoria),” the paintings are composed of dozens of layers of paint that build up and reference the way memories form in our minds and how we compose our histories.

In the main lobby, an ash bench by artist Richard Judd ties into the wood trim across the room. This work was created by the artist for the 2018 exhibition “Phoenix from the Ashes” and was constructed using ash wood from trees decimated by the emerald ash borer.
In the entryway hang two works that have been part of the municipal art collection for years, and that an inspiring and welcoming tone to the space. Above the elevator is David’s Boat by Marian J. Kane from 1996, and above the stairs is Daisaku Ueno’s Cloud, a woven wood sculpture that was a gift of Madison-Obihiro Sister Cities in 2016.

On Wednesday, May 24th there will be an open house from 5:00 – 7:00 pm, offering guided tours of the new Parks Lakeside Offices at 330 E Lakeside Ave. Enjoy the lake views, yard games and activities from MSCR’s Fit2Go, plus dinner for purchase from Carts in Parks - Taquitos Marimar and Thailand in a Truck.

The Madison Arts Commission (MAC), an 11-member citizen commission appointed by the Mayor to advise the City about matters of arts and culture. MAC’s mission is to foster arts appreciation by initiating partnerships, developing new audiences, and sponsoring diverse artistic activities by emerging and established artists and arts organizations while preserving Madison’s rich artistic tradition. To support a full creative life for all, The Madison Arts Commission commits to championing policies and practices of cultural equity that empower a just, inclusive, equitable city.


City Arts, Museums, Awards