If you enjoy public art, fun adventures in Milwaukee, and a free place to go, no matter the weather, this GO SEE EXPLORE is for you. Today, come along with us while we visit Black Cat Alley.
Black Cat Alley is located on the East side of Milwaukee. You can find it behind a few local businesses. Entrances can be found either between Merge Restaurant and Axe MKE or on the other end, just look for Sip and Purr Cat Cafe, and you’ll have found the entrance!
In the alley, you’ll get to enjoy many various public art installations. Some of them are permanent, and some will get painted over at some point, so the art will rotate to showcase new artists. The artists featured in Black Cat Alley are both local and national.
Some of my favorite things to notice are the smaller pieces, often found on the pavement beneath your feet. But, don’t forget to look up! Black Cat Alley features murals as tall as the buildings themselves, and it’s an immersive art experience.
You may recognize some Koi fish from other street murals around Milwaukee. If you don’t already know about these, they’re a fun little treasure hunt to do around the city. California-based artist, Jeremy Novy, has made these stencil art fish all around the city. There are even some giant ones on the ground in Black Cat Alley right now.
Each piece in Black Cat Alley will also have a QR code you can scan with your phone, so you can find out more about the piece itself and about the artist who created it. Make sure you have a full battery on your phone or camera because the photo opportunities here are endless!
I’ve added quite a few photos of our most recent trip to Black Cat Alley here, but don’t worry, there are plenty more (really awesome) murals and art in the alley. The best part about it is that you can visit year-round. It’s great for a less sunny day, fall and even winter! Best of all, it’s is FREE to Go, See, Explore! Many of the businesses around Black Cat Alley will have little things to do as well. One bar nearby has a face cut-out cat so that you can become a black cat yourself. I’ll leave that to you to find on your own. Happy Hunting!
If you’re having trouble finding it, this giant frog painting (visible from the street) is a good indicator that you’re close. If you went to UWM, you probably spent at least one late night at Ma Fischer’s, and you’ll be able to see this mural from near there.
If you’re looking to make a day of it, please do yourself a favor and get something to eat before or after at one of the vendors in the Crossroads Collective. It’s the very best food court you’ve ever experienced, and everything is local, delicious, and amazing. (They also have ice cream if you need to bait those with little legs to keep moving).
I really love Black Cat Alley, and I love that I get the chance to share this GO SEE EXPLORE with all of you. I hope you take time to get down to see it, learn about the artists and share your own pictures and experiences there. If you take any pictures, leave them in the comments!