Northwestern Mutual is dedicated to supporting public art, internationally acclaimed artists, and Milwaukee’s exceptional arts scene. Enriching the cultural vitality of Milwaukee, the company has acquired Roxy Paine’s Cleft and will host Maren Hassinger’s Pyramid as part of Sculpture Milwaukee’s 2022 exhibit.
“Sculpture Milwaukee shares Northwestern Mutual’s belief that we can build stronger communities by leveraging the power of art to create connections and inspire imagination,” said Steve Radke, president of the Northwestern Mutual Foundation. “Milwaukee is home to a thriving arts environment, and bringing these unique pieces to our city will create more opportunities to spark meaningful conversations within the community.”
Recognized as one of his generation’s most inventive conceptual artists, Paine’s art focuses on the impact modern technologies have on nature. Part of his “Dendroid” series, Cleft is one of the only pieces the artist has created for himself. The 37-foot-tall stainless steel structure was installed in the Northwestern Mutual Gardens in 2019 and will be relocated to its permanent location in the Gardens this year.
For the fifth consecutive year, Northwestern Mutual is the presenting sponsor of Sculpture Milwaukee. As part of the 2022 exhibit, the company will also host Hassinger’s Pyramid, which will be assembled on-site by Hassinger and students enrolled in the University of Milwaukee-Wisconsin’s Peck School of the Arts.
Inspired by the Northwestern Mutual Gardens and the surrounding ecosystem, Hassinger’s design will be built with sustainable, locally-sourced materials. The materials will be gathered in partnership with Great Lakes Community Conservation Corps, which leverages natural resources in communities along the Great Lakes to help train and educate underserved youth and close the opportunity gap, while also improving water quality and building habitats.
“We are deeply grateful for the support of Northwestern Mutual, which has been our strongest partner since the inception of Sculpture Milwaukee,” said Wayne Morgan, board chairman of Sculpture Milwaukee. “We are thrilled Cleft will permanently remain on Northwestern Mutual’s campus for all who visit and live in downtown to enjoy. Maren Hassinger’s new sculpture is the perfect symbol of the intersection of art, community, and nature as it was installed and fabricated with the help of our community partners at the Great Lakes Community Conservation Corps and the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. We look forward to welcoming the many employees and visitors to Northwestern Mutual’s campus to experience both works this summer and beyond.”
Northwestern Mutual has a decades-long history of collecting original museum-quality fine artwork and leveraging it to enrich its physical and cultural environment, while supporting local creative communities. Today, the Northwestern Mutual art collection includes a spectrum of contemporary artwork by noted diverse artists who are also educators, mentors, innovators and leaders. The collection of artwork, which includes paintings and prints, textiles, sculptures, glass, digital, assemblage and more, is on display throughout Northwestern Mutual’s Milwaukee, Franklin, and New York City campuses.