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Critters are everywhere in East Tosa, but don’t worry, it’s not what you think. Raccoons, tigers, and colorful geometric shapes help make up a seven-part mural project which took place in the summer of 2019. The art installations can be seen along the North Avenue corridor in the North Mural Arts District or “NoMAD.” If you’re planning a trip to Tosa and feeling artsy, these murals are a must-see!
The Nobleman Barbershop
Eric Ricks of Maryland, painting at 6831 W. North Ave.
Maryland based artist Eric Rick’s multi-colored 3D anamorphic mural titled “Taste the Sweetness” is truly captivating. Hidden throughout this vibrant geometric design are butterflies; most of which are not immediately visible to the naked eye. At the heart of the mural is a hummingbird surrounding a multi-layered lotus flower which can be seen melting into the concrete sidewalk. Through his painting, visitors are encouraged to find their “inner peace” and to “taste the sweetness.”
The Heartland Information Research Building
Christina Persika of Wauwatosa, painting at 6434 W. North Ave.
Wauwatosa native artist Christina Persika’s mural titled “What Blooms is Us” comes as a vibrant representation of “mother nature.” Throughout the mural, you will find little details, including flowers and other botanicals, which symbolize the growth and resurgence of the community.
Christina views her art as a source of healing that promotes inclusivity. Shown in her painting is a woman in the middle of a lush green bush, creating a feeling of abundance and hope. The woman is wearing a cloak embroidered with elements of nature, which brings to mind a feeling of diversity and unity. Her impassive look asks the observer to consider their own relationship with nature, without being influenced.
The Voline Garage Central Gas Station
Matthew Mederer and Max Komarov, both of Chicago, painting at 6902 W. North Ave.
Chicago-based artists Max Komarov and Matthew Christopher’s two-sided mural titled “Whoopsie Daisy” wraps around Voline Auto Service Station. This black and white psychedelic design can play tricks on the observer’s eye as its lines swirl around the building, creating a kind of vortex. The red accents are the cherry on top of this whirlwind of a mural!
Daniel Leonard of Ireland, painting at 6901 W. North Ave.
Ireland Artist Dan Leonard’s mural is titled “Roan the Raccoon,” named after his son, Roan. Using spray-paint as his medium, Dan’s techno-colored raccoon carrying the skeleton of a fish stems from his love for cartoons and his appreciation for the graphic simplicity style from the 90’s era. Many of Dan’s mural subjects are animals which he attributes to his mother’s interest and deep respect for animals.
Ivan Roque of Florida, painting at 6734 W. North Ave.
Miami based Cuban-American contemporary artist and muralist Ivan Roque’s abstract rendering of a giant goldfish entangled in a weed of sunflower stems is titled “A Life of Gold” representing fortune, joy, and prosperity. During the creative process, Ivan draws from concepts of birth, death, renewal, and social struggles.
Adam Hernandez of Ohio, painting at 6817 W. North Ave.
Adam Hernandez’s mural titled “Tiger Godmask” symbolizes a mythological, post-apocalyptic world known as “Land of the Thunderbirds.” Using bright colors and patterns, the tiger’s multiple sets of eyes represent seeing beyond the surface and the “mask” represents Adam’s childhood struggles with anxiety. Adam’s painting can be seen on the side of a local stylish yet relaxed Mexican-fusion restaurant, BelAir Cantina.
Alfa Flower & Wedding Shop
Nykoli Koslow of Milwaukee, 7001 W. North Ave.
Muralist Nykoli Koslow brought “Myth Spinning: The Fiery Bythos and the Forgotten Salmacis” to life on the side of Alfa Flower & Wedding Shop layer by layer.
Starting with spray paint and later moving into paint, Nykoli added freshness, fluidity, and flush representations of life and growth with the addition of each layer. Nykoli hopes that when people walk past the wall, they do their own “myth spinning, tell their own stories, and bring their own magic into the mix.”
If you end up wandering the murals of East Tosa during your visit, make sure to tag us with #VisitWauwatosa #DiscoverWauwatosa #VisitTosa #DiscoverTosa or #TosaStory and snap some photographs. We want to see your best art selfie in our little magical town!