Client: Working Draft Beer Company
Location: Madison, WI, United States
Completion date: 2018
Artwork budget: $15,000
Jenie Gao Studio
Working Draft Beer Company
This project celebrates the importance of process, sustainability, and the spaces we share. The mural is 200 square feet total, 7 x 26 feet. I painted it on mural fabric and then installed it directly over the brick wall. The decision to work off-site had to do with the building undergoing renovations leading up to the opening date of the brewery, so it was great to be able to work off-site and still finish the mural by their opening date. This wouldn't have been possible had I been limited to working on-site.
The owners of Working Draft cared about responsible sourcing and investing in the arts scene in their local community. They wanted a mural to bring energy and color into a space that is otherwise quite industrial. They hired me during the building renovations, so I worked closely with the team to coordinate installation details and make sure the piece fit well--aesthetically and logistically with the timeline of the renovation and opening of the space.
When I first met the team, they shared three things that are important to them—process, sustainability, and the unique identity of Madison. We discussed the importance of process, and the value of people getting to see firsthand how things are made. We discussed how that focus on process supports sustainable sourcing and investment in the local community. We discussed the team’s vision of a space that endorses the arts alongside the making of great craft beer. From these initial conversations, I sought to create something that would resonate with the people who love this city.
Image-wise, the hands in this mural emphasize the importance of the hand in the creative process. The cupped hands allude to gathering, and also to Madison’s beloved lakes and isthmus. The four main ingredients of beer are present in the mural, a nod to why Working Draft is here, and also why all of us are here, to enjoy great craft beer in the company of people we care about. Together, the four elements of beer become a showcase of what nature and human ingenuity can create. Together, the hands and arms create a social space, a place of connection.