Do any of you remember when Williamson street was under construction a few years back?
Located on the East Side of Madison in the Marquette Atwood Neighborhood, and known as Willy Street, it is a place where small businesses rule and works of art dot the landscape.
The Marquette – Atwood Neighborhood Association saw the demolition of the street as an opportunity to create something beautiful out of the rubble. They gave local artists permission to raise funds to build works of art for the community. What began as a huge pain in the neck for commuters was actually the beginning of a transformation that went beyond the road.
A monumental tree was created by a Metal Artist Erika ( KOY vah nin) Koivunen and her husband, a blacksmith, Aaron Howard. Together, a duo more powerful and dynamic than Batman and Robin.
In late September Koivunen lost her dear husband.
It stands in the Williamson Gateway and is known as the CommuniTree. Currently it is bathed in light in honor of Howards passing. Hopefully, it will remain illuminated for years to come. In this archival edition of Radio Chipstone, contributor Gianofer (JON nah fer) Fields brings us a love story made of metal and fire.
About the host
Gianofer (JON nah fer) Fields is an Art Historian and Material Culture contributor and curates the Radio Chipstone series. She is also the host of Refrangible, available on Spotify, Stitcher, iTunes or wherever else you get your podcasts. The project is hosted by the School of Human Ecology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and funded by the Chipstone Foundation; a decorative arts foundation whose mission is preserving and interpreting their collection, as well as stimulating research and education in the decorative arts.