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A Fresh Perspective

Wudeward Urban Forest Products and members of Wisconsin Urban Wood are proud to be part of a travelling art exhibit called Urban Heroes, Urban Wood. This important exhibit was initially created to celebrate Black History Month in Milwaukee. It has caught the attention of local leaders and most recently had the honor of being showcased at the Wisconsin State Capitol building in Madison.

At the end of 2016, Wudeward Urban Forest Products and members of Wisconsin Urban Wood, including Hoppe Tree Service, provided ash wood lumber to Fresh Perspective Art Collective, a group of black professional artists who curate art shows to sell their work.


We helped the group form the lumber into substantial panels measuring 30” x 36”. Each panel serves as the backdrop for a portrait of one of Milwaukee’s most influential black citizens, including:

  • Isaac Coggs (1920-1973) — who served on the Wisconsin State Assembly from 1952 to 1964, and then on the Milwaukee County Board of Supervisors where he fought against housing discrimination.
  • Orville E. Pitts (1933-2015) — a champion boxer and the first African American male elected to the Milwaukee Common Council. He also served the community as a forceful civil rights activist.
  • Annette Polly Williams (1937-2014) — who served on the Wisconsin State Assembly from 1980 to 2011. She was the author of the first school choice legislation in the nation in 1989, though in later years she disagreed with how the program was implemented by the State of Wisconsin.
  • Eric Von (1952-2016) — a prominent Milwaukee radio show host and community leader involved in critical public issues.

Madison3In many ways, the pairing of the people, portraits, and the ash wood are exemplary of the true artistry within our community. Pictured above are photos from inside the Capitol rotunda featuring Fresh Perspective artists, Rep. David Crowley, and Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources Urban Forestry representatives.

Check out the Fresh Perspective Art Collective Facebook page for updates on where Urban Heroes, Urban Wood will be on display next.


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