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Mural inspires growth among the ashes

Posted at 6:10 PM, Jul 09, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-09 19:10:47-04

MILWAUKEE — To create a six-story mural, artist Emma Daisy takes the small and simple approach to start.

She goes just one line at a time.

"To get these cleaner edges, yeah," Daisy said.

She has been commissioned to create a mural on the metal wall of the old Norman Building at 6th and Wisconsin in Milwaukee that burned down in 1991. She decided to use spray paint as her tool of choice.

"I like spray paint because you can get really vibrant colors," she said.

The mural is almost complete and has been catching eyes as people pass by it. Daisy said people often come up to her and ask her about her flower mural all the time.

Those passers-by haven't always been good encounters, though.

"Actually the first day that I started, someone called the police. ... They thought I had hijacked the lift. ... And I was only doing prep."

This piece doesn't have a name, but it does have a purpose. She chose a flower theme to represent growth. That's fitting for a city block that is now blossoming after a devastating fire in 1991.

"That it inspires hope, and that flowers while they are beautiful and inviting, a whole garden that is as diverse as this is really representative of hard working, of dedication, of abundance, and growth, and change.”

So far, it's taken about three weeks and around 300 spray paint bottles to complete it.

The six-story wall is the biggest canvas she has ever worked on.

"I'd say the difficult part is you can’t step back and see what you are doing and often like when you are that up close things are distorted.”

Which means, sometimes she makes changes on the fly.

“'So. you didn’t like that line before?' 'Which line?' 'This blue line.' 'No, I decided, well this was part of a leaf, which I then decided to put another strawberry here to balance out the red.' 'Just now you decided that?' Yeah'”

Daisy says the mural will probably be done in a few days and hopes the big painting can at least make a small impact on each person who passes by it. The ribbon-utting ceremony is July 19.