A selection of photos from the christening of Blue Dress Park on its fifteenth birthday. With thanks to the many people who helped along the way, we hope you enjoy this Milwaukee time capsule. Image selection: Laura Hunter, Elizabeth Rath, and Paul Druecke. Photo credits: Pete DiAntoni, except invite cover by Paul Druecke. More info below.
Blue Dress Park was christened on June 30, 2000. The project-as-naming-right left the space — an unused slab of concrete — transformed yet physically unchanged. Fifteen years later, the park remains a place of pure potential. Awkward, defiant potential. The conceptual transformation continues in a compellingly minor key and in that spirit, please join us at the park on August 29th. Details forthcoming.
In his 2015 book, The Contemporaries, Roger White writes about Blue Dress Park:
“So Druecke’s act of designation, however wan, was just the most recent in a very long chain. It stretched all the way back to the Algonquian and Siouan peoples who’d lived in the area before the waves of French Canadian traders, missionaries, and soldiers showed up, garbled a few of their place-names, and eventually ended up with the name Milwaukee. And in the context of present-day gentrification, naming something art has serious implications. I suspected that the slightness of Druecke’s intervention pointed to a certain scruple about this fact: a desire to tread the city with the lightest possible footprint.”