Thursday, May 7, 2009

milton's big dream

Meeting Milton Mizenberger, Jr. makes a day special.  It doesn't hurt when the day is a prototypical early May stunner.  The sunny skies enhanced Milton's miraculous transformation of an old house in what was once a very battered part of Chicago's south side. And not only the 1883 era  home, which he's rehabbed on the inside and out with parts that others have thrown away, but with art that also lines his yard and several lots nearby.  Together, the whole notion is what he calls the Oakland Sculpture Park.
"You gotta dream big" he told us.  "People pay attention when you do that."  He spoke of the impact that he thinks art can have on communities.   And his hope for an even bigger space someday, with a massive roof under which he can display lots more of it-- particularly from African-Americans who don't have many outlets for showing their work.
Milton's made it through thirteen years of really serious illness, and has come through it as positive as it seems a man could be.  He's made his own little piece of "country in the city," with a fence and some greenery where he figures horses and cows would be right at home.  And now, with his first bronze piece about to be dedicated in a park down the street, he's gone farther than anyone could have ever predicted. 
From his rooftop, Milton's even got a good view of Lake Michigan, which we realized we hadn't really seen enough of.  Once again, what a great day to do it--joining sunbathers and roller bladers, dogwalkers and folks who all seemed very concerned if we were "getting good shots." I'd say we were, but then again, I might just be dreaming big. 

Music In the Van--"Soap and Water" Chuck Prophet, "Miracle of Love" Eleni Mandell, "Action Packed-Best of Jonathan Richman"
Don's Found $$ count--$4.58  
Today's equipment issue(s)--Another cheap headset (mini-plugs suck) broken, HDV camera needs a head cleaning tape  (the Radio Shack guy said "try Best Buy")

1 comment:

Eric Carl said...

I just wanted to tell you guys I love your show! I live in Joplin, Mo, & I've only been aware of it a short time but it's wonderful. You're doing a great service to the world by introducing us to artists & art mediums we may never have encountered otherwise. So from Joplin's burgeoning art community I say thank you.