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Arts in Milwaukee

A Public Service Of Milwaukee Artist Resource Network

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  • “Chakra Tree”Chakra Tree

    Oil on Canvas. 12"x24". Private Commission.

  • “Crystasany”Crystasany

    22"x24". Oil on Canvas. Goddess portrait of Crystasany Turner.

  • “Wedding Portrait”Wedding Portrait

    Oil on Canvas. 22"x24". Private Commission.

  • “North Division CLC community empowerment mural”North Division CLC community empowerment mural

    Acrylic on MDO. 8'x8'. Magic Foods Liquor - 16th and Locust St, Milwaukee, WI. Teens at North Division Boys and Girls Club were supported in creating this mural showing activities they engage in to deter them from drug and alcohol abuse. The composition and wording at the bottom were conceptualized entirely by the participants. The central figure is a portrait of the young man who designed the image.

  • “Agape Community Center 'Hope' mural”Agape Community Center 'Hope' mural

    Acrylic on masonite. 4'x6'. Milwaukee, WI. This mural was a collaborative effort between myself and youth ages 7-10 at Agape Community Center. Students shared stories about their hopes and dreams which included friendship, traveling to Africa and into outer space, and fishing. Photos were taken of them and projected onto the surface which they traced. They were supported in painting the final image.

  • “STITCH Community Mural Project”STITCH Community Mural Project

    Acrylic on plywood panels. 16'x8' (2013). Installed in two locations: Alice's Garden, 20th and Brown, Aztek Inc Tattoo Shop, 1230 S. Cesar Chavez. I co-facilitated this mural process with a group of 15 racially diverse adults over 3 months with Jeannette Martin of STITCH Milwaukee. The image is born from stories the group shared through a series of talking circles about growing up in Milwaukee, statistically ranked as #1 most racially segregated city in the US. They were supported in conceptualizing the images drawn from their own stories, designing and painting. The talking circles are intentionally a safe space in which each person can share their voice and be heard. The discussions are meant to be grounded in stories from personal lived experiences. It permits vulnerability where necessary, leaving room for stories that often go unheard. The key component of this facet of the work is that the resulting mural is born from and grounded in the voices and stories of the participants, which manifests as a deep sense of ownership of the final product. Each half of the finished mural is installed at two locations, on two racially segregated sides of the city - on the north side (primarily African-American) and the south side (primarily Latino) to 'STITCH' Milwaukee together.

  • “Goddess of the Dawn Raven”Goddess of the Dawn Raven

    Oil on Canvas. 32"x22" (2013). The raven represents the divine feminine, mystery, the unknown. Out of the darkness comes the light, that which becomes known. The goddess Isis marries these two together, bringing the unknown world to the world of the known.

Tia Richardson

  • Art
  • Design
  • Theatre
I am an Art Professional I am a Design Professional I am a Theatre Professional

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artist bio

I'm a visual artist based in Milwaukee using many mediums including oil, acrylic, watercolor, ballpoint pen and colored pencil. My favorites are acrylic and oil and am using those almost exclusively in my personal work. My areas of expertise are portraiture, murals, working with groups of youth and/or adults, bookmaking, and papier-mache. I'm also a founding member of Playback Milwaukee Theatre Company.

My formal training has been in fine arts and Graphic Design, of which I graduated with a degree in 2003. After getting laid off from my job as a graphics specialist in 2007, I began freelancing as a designer and working exclusively as a resident fine artist in community centers, neighborhood organizations, and public schools around Milwaukee. To date I have completed over 30 collaborative murals and other creative projects with youth around the city.

Some of my past projects have included:
~ Acrylic outdoor and indoor murals. The smallest being 4'x8', the largest over 192 sq. ft.
~ Papier-Mache. My favorites were a 6' ornamental tree, and an igloo (K5-2nd grade).
~ Bookmaking. I helped two classes write a story on the life cycle of a bean from the bean's perspective; bind and illustrate their own books. I've also turned bookmaking projects into real bound books using Shutterfly for a class.
~ Portraiture. I specialize in oil portraiture, both people and pets. Please visit my website for my portfolio.

artist statement

My focus right now is community-based art, i.e.. collaborative murals with youth and the community. I use talking circles to generate deep listening to each other so that every voice can be heard. I believe in the power of listening and creating relationship through a common experience, such as doing a mural around issues affecting us individually or as a group, and then reflecting on the experience. I believe in giving equal value to the process; that the experience is what heals and the outcome - the mural - is not just a product but a testimony. I'm available for residencies after school during the school day, after-school, and year-round.

My artistic goals are to facilitate more collaborative efforts between artists and the community, produce works of inspirational art, writing and illustrating for children and adults.

Through the work I do I seek to express qualities of beauty and confidence, and relationship to self, each other, and the Earth.