Proposed projects

Bike and car commuters on Madison’s East Side could see a new piece of public art there come fall.

The city is considering three proposals for a work of public art to be installed at Pennsylvania Park, located at 1915 E. Johnson St. Less than an acre in size, the tiny but highly visible park stretches for a block along Johnson Street between First and Second streets.

The Madison Arts Commission on Tuesday saw final proposals from Milwaukee-based artist Ray Chi, New York-based artist Suikang Zhao and Stoughton-based artists Actual Size Artworks, a partnership of UW-Madison art faculty members Gail Simpson and Aristotle Georgiades.

Concept for "The People's Pronouns" by Ray Chi

Artist: Ray Chi, Milwaukee

Title: “The People’s Pronouns,"

Description: Two sculptures made from embellished perforated aluminum that spell out the words “WE” and “OUR."

Design for "Split Column" by Suikang Zhao

Artist: Suikang Zhao, New York

Title: “Split Column”

Description: A 17-foot-high cast bronze column with text in relief, embedded with a vertical glass plate designed to create a sundial effect.

Concept for "Flourish" by Actual Size Artworks

Artist: Actual Size Artworks, of Stoughton, a partnership of UW-Madison art faculty members Gail Simpson and Aristotle Georgiades

Title: “Flourish”

Description: A towering stainless steel sculpture with bright colors designed to reflect the “positive spirit of the community.”

The $40,000 for the project, drawn from the city’s federal Community Development Block Grant entitlement funding, is part of an effort to revitalize the East Johnson Street corridor. Feedback on the public art designs will be accepted through Jan. 23 at; comments will become part of the public record.

The public art committee of the Madison Arts Commission will select an artist Jan. 29, and the choice will go to the city council for final approval.

More about the three finalists is available at


Gayle Worland is an arts and features reporter for the Wisconsin State Journal.