The Backdrop Project began as a collaborative group project for our Design and Visual Communication program at UW-Milwaukee. For our capstone, we were assigned the following task: research the history of Water Street and find a solution to something that is currently lackluster about the area. In spending time downtown on Water Street, we discovered a lack of artwork and creative interest in the area. So, we started Backdrop. In doing this, we wanted to create a mural that viewers could interact with. In this interaction, we wanted it to be something that could be posted on social media.
The final product includes a color palette that reflects the history of Milwaukee businesses: Pabst Red, Beer Yellow, Lake Michigan Blue, etc. Illustrations within the piece were derived from Milwaukee's architecture, industry, and personality overall. We covered the entirety of the project on Instagram and @backdropproject is still active today. Due to our active social media presence, our murals were able to gain attention and reach us to a wider audience. After our final exhibition, the piece was purchased by The Waxwing—A store on North Avenue that supports local Milwaukee artists. This purchase also lead to the completion of a mural for Milwaukee Home, a storefront located on National Avenue in Walker's Point.