Local Madison artist Nina Bednarski has transformed a vacant storefront on State Street into a calming work of art.

  • Art installation by Nina Bednarski at ULI's commercial property at 341 State Street
  • Art installation by Nina Bednarski at ULI's commercial property at 341 State Street
  • Art installation by Nina Bednarski at ULI's commercial property at 341 State Street
  • Art installation by Nina Bednarski at ULI's commercial property at 341 State Street
  • Art installation by Nina Bednarski at ULI's commercial property at 341 State Street
  • Art installation by Nina Bednarski at ULI's commercial property at 341 State Street

The Gap store on State Street closed earlier this year, leaving what would typically be an empty storefront. Thanks to Nina Bednarski and the BLINK Art Grant from the city of Madison, the windows have become so much more.

The BLINK Art Grant is a program put on by the City of Madison to transform vacant spaces into works of art, which brighten communities and keep residents and visitors engaged. Interested artists can apply and present their ideas for a temporary public art project that “is modest in cost and is feasible, yet unique, bold and ambitious in impact.” It was through this program that Urban Land Interests was introduced to local Milwaukee artist Nina Bednarski.

Nina Bednarski has been creating for years in the commercial display and merchandising field, which made the BLINK Art Grant the perfect fit. Her artwork primarily focuses on color and line that create patterns or landscapes filled with organic forms, plants and animals, and she is dedicated to a “less is more dynamic” in her work. The inspiration for Healing Forest came naturally to Nina, and she used the inspiration to create a linear design that could fit on 13 three foot by ten foot panels, which cover the entirety of the storefront. These panels, which are created from paper, are hung in a non-linear and overlapping fashion that gives depth and interest to the storefront. Color trees are painted on the panels, and adorned with gold leaf and foil, and sculptures flank what used to be the primary entrance to the space. Nina’s use of metallic material and carefully coordinated lighting creates a piece that catches the eye of everyone that walks by, especially in the evening hours, when the artwork truly shines. The artist worked within the space to create and install the pieces within a matter of two weeks, and they will remain in place until occupancy of the retail space resumes.

The addition of artwork to the space brings life and vitality to an unused space, and highlights local art in an area with high foot traffic and much visibility. Urban Land Interests is excited to collaborate with the City of Madison and Nina Bednarski on this endeavor.

More of Nina's artwork can be found on her website and Instagram pages.