Project Black Board

As Milwaukee’s first wine tap featuring inventive haute dogs and irreverent sheep art, Black Sheep knows a little something about pleasing patrons with the unexpected. In June, Black Sheep and creative studio Plaid Tuba unveiled their first collaboration — an ongoing chalk art show called Project Black Board. The artwork of Reginald Baylor Studio and Sara Bott kicked off the first installment of the one-year exhibit, which will rotate with new artists every four months. Each exhibit will be carefully curated by Plaid Tuba, featuring both a chalk art piece and a piece that represents the traditional medium of each artist.

The project is the brainchild of Plaid Tuba’s Reginald Baylor and Heidi Witz, who saw the potential in the wine tap and eatery’s off-beat yet welcoming atmosphere and interior décor. “We see Project Black Board as a marketing opportunity to further enhance Black Sheep’s patron experience through an exhibition of fine art done entirely with chalk on canvas exclusively for the Black Sheep aesthetic,” says Baylor. “It’s a dynamic project and natural partnership for Black Sheep and Plaid Tuba creative affiliates because sitting near great art, eating excellent food, and drinking delicious wine is a voluptuous experience and makes for a perfect lifestyle.”

In true gallery fashion, all artwork is for sale, and can be purchased directly through Black Sheep. A “Menu of Art” educates guests about the artists, artworks and pricing. When a chalk art piece is sold, Plaid Tuba will coordinate the “sealing” of the chalk artwork so the once temporary piece becomes a permanent work of art. Oversized custom easels will be installed by Black Sheep to mount the rotating gallery of art.

The trademark “sheep” artwork that currently hangs in Black Sheep has been relocated to other areas of the wine tap and eatery, and some of it was stored. Keith Harenda, owner of Black Sheep, says this partnership is another step in Black Sheep’s mission to celebrate all that is unique about Milwaukee’s Walker’ Point neighborhood. “Milwaukee is a gold mine for original artistic talent and creative risk takers,” says Harenda. “We are absolutely thrilled to be working with Plaid Tuba, and can’t wait to see how they translate their impressive skills to the medium of chalk art.”