'I thought I’d do something good:' Local artist creates piece for familiar spot in Hales Corners

HALES CORNERS -- If you need a pick-me-up, there are a collection of feel-good stories at ShareLemonade.com.

It's a place to celebrate the good.

One freshly-picked story from the site features a woman who is using her time and talents to create beautiful works of art.

Katherine Cannistra

Katherine Cannistra loves to build and create.

"If you look at the way the structures are, there are these LED tubes that kind of loop back on themselves and they give this kind of feel like atoms with electrons moving around the way the LEDs move" said Cannistra.

This member of Milwaukee Makerspace never imagined the giant light display, called Atomic Forest, would end up in the parking lot of her own parent's restaurant in Hales Corners, Clifford's.

"It's one of those things where coronavirus sucks, but had it not happened, it never would have ended up here," said Cannistra.

This art piece took Cannistra 2,600 hours to build and create.

"It’s not exclusive to people who are just eating here," said Cannistra. "Anybody can access the art, anybody can enjoy it. But we do appreciate people that do also support Clifford’s and help it stay healthy and alive."

The pandemic forcing Clifford's, like many other restaurants, to change strategies to keep business flowing.

Beyond the menu, you'll find art classes on the patio.

"There’s art out here, we have a creative community that’s a lot of times sitting at home and not feeling very connected, and so even my extended family comes out and helps with those things where we can bring and invite the community to do projects," said Cannistra.  "The way we set it up is that everything is far enough apart that you can even social distance outside while your doing fun things like water color, or pendulum painting, or whatever we have going on at the time."

And whatever is going on, you can be sure staff here are really taking lemons and making lemonade.

"To make people happy," said Cannistra. "To give them something to do and see. Parades are canceled, fireworks are canceled, events are canceled and I had a bunch of time on my hands so I thought I’d do something good with it."