Within the Folds (Dialogue 1)
Within the Folds (Dialogue 1) by Thomas J. Price

MILWAUKEE, Oct. 8, 2020 - Baird Foundation and Baird Advisors are proud to help sponsor the display of a sculpture created by internationally acclaimed Black artist Thomas J. Price outside of our headquarters at the U.S. Bank Building in Milwaukee. The bronze statue, Within the Folds (Dialogue 1), is one of 19 pieces in Sculpture Milwaukee’s annual art exhibition, which seeks to bring world-class sculpture to Milwaukee and provide free showings of works in public spaces. Baird’s involvement is a joint endeavor with other U.S. Bank Building tenants, Baker Tilly and Foley & Lardner, and seeks to serve as a conduit for supporting ongoing conversations in the community about racial equality.

Price is a British multimedia artist best known for his figurative sculptures. His work has been shown at prestigious London institutions such as the National Portrait Gallery and the Royal Academy of Arts, in addition to various shows throughout Europe and North America. His artistic approach combines Western sculptural traditions with contemporary materials to prompt critical reflection upon issues relating to the underrepresentation and misconceptions of Black people in the art world and wider society.

Baird President & CEO, Steve Booth, expressed his enthusiasm for the sculpture’s installation, saying, “As part of our commitment to cultivating an inclusive environment at Baird and supporting the success of communities where we live and work, we are proud to support initiatives fostering a culture of equality.“

According to Sculpture Milwaukee, the title of Price’s piece, Within the Folds, suggests bringing the figure of a contemporary Black man in modern sportswear “into the fold” of art history. Price’s approach of using a classic posture from Greek sculpture, similar to historical depictions of military generals, patricians and noblemen, challenges our assumptions about public monumentation and invites a conversation about the role of art in the Black Lives Matter movement.

The Price sculpture was created specifically for Sculpture Milwaukee’s 2020 show and was commissioned before racial unrest in the U.S. began earlier this year.

In reflecting upon the sculpture’s significance, Mary Ellen Stanek, Chief Investment Officer of Baird Advisors, said, “Being part of a community effort to raise our collective consciousness about social justice is incredibly important and underscores our core values as individuals and as a firm.”

Background on the sculpture is available here, including a YouTube video and audio guide. Videos are best viewed in Google Chrome.

Read more on Price’s work and Sculpture Milwaukee’s exhibition here (subscription required).