Meet some of the artists behind the walls of Madison’s forbidden and tender street art. These are the people who create to help Madison through their art by addressing the ills of inequality and disparity or simply by creating community in a public space.
SHARON KILFOY: The mother of murals
Sharon Kilfoy is a U.S. artist and muralist in Madison. She has a master’s degree in art. She worked at Madison’s childcare crisis center called the Respite Center. This inspired her to create community art projects as a way to empower communities who lack opportunities. She founded the Dane Arts Mural Arts (DAMA) program and now works as the Director of the Williamson Street Art Center, which she also founded. She’s the mother of the murals and addresses social inequality and disparity through her art.
EMIDA ROLLER: The neighborhood muralist
Emida Roller is a Nigerian artist and muralist. She’s DAMA’s current Executive Director and Lead Artist. She sees murals as a tool to create community art projects for at-risk populations in different neighborhoods. She cares enough to beautify a neighborhood to lift up a community’s spirits.
HENRIQUE NARDI: The graphic designer turned into street artist
Henrique Nardi is a Brazilian graphic designer, professor at University of Wisconsin-Madison and street artist. He is from Sao Paulo and grew up seeing illegal graffiti in his hometown. In Madison he became a street artist by painting murals with highly typographic elements and he participated in the The Bubbler’s Madison Mural Alley project. He believes in giving back to society what he has learned.
RiICHIE MORALES: The artist knitting his huipil
Richie Morales is a Guatemalan artist. He sees himself as an artist knitting his huipil, a traditional indigenous Guatemalan blouse, in Madison. He is finding his way through Madison and paints about social topics such as the violence in deportation. He participated in The Bubbler’s Madison Mural Alley project and believes that art serves as a tool to question society.
PETE HODAPP: The equality artist
Pete Hodapp is an artist from Minnesota based in Viroqua. He started as a graffiti artist in his teenage years and then studied in his high school years at the Perpich Center for Arts Education, where he learned the theoretical part of art. He sees murals as an outlet for social interaction in public spaces. He participated in The Bubbler’s Madison Mural Alley project and taught children about equality through art when creating his mural. He believes in people getting treated fairly.
JAMES GUBBINS: The street artist turned into businessman
James Gubbins is a street artist from Chicago who has been living in Madison for the past 19 years. He started as a graffiti artist in his teenager years and was a Marine when he was 18 years old. He worked as a UPS driver as well as a cab driver. Now, he is a business man and opened in 2017 the street art shop called Momentum Art Tech. He also created the Momentum Urban Arts Festival, Madison’s first street art festival. He believes in creating community through street art.