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Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

JOURNAL: Coloring Outside the Lines

Cris Siqueira, co-owner of Lion’s Tooth, is an artist, writer, filmmaker, singer/songwriter and journalist. 
Photo by Katie Craig
Lion’s Tooth gives the opportunity showcase local artists.

Lion’s Tooth in Bay View is an artist-owned-independent bookstore, cafe and art space, specializing in giving the opportunity to local artists and authors to showcase and sell their work.

Since their opening in 2019, they’ve supported hundreds of artists as a part of their mission.

Cris Siqueira, co-owner of Lion’s Tooth, is an artist, writer, filmmaker, singer/songwriter and journalist. 

Siqueira began her art career by making her own zines when she was in her teens. Later on, she opened her own bookstore in Brazil before moving to Milwaukee and opening Lion’s Tooth. Today, she is working on her first longform comic project. 

Siqueira said she and her co-owner, Shelly McClone-Carriere, wanted to open a business, but not one that surrounds itself by capitalism; one that held a strong mission to support local artists and focused on the future of the progressing art community. 

“When people come to Lion’s Tooth, they’ll buy something. They go, ‘I just love that this person did this and I just want to support this person,’” Siqueira said. “Even if it’s a sticker, you’re supporting the artist by supporting their design.”

Their mission has remained clear throughout the time Lion’s Tooth has grown as a business.

“Our mission is to support local artists and authors, so we always carry whatever people bring in. We want to help form a community and we want to be a hub like the other many hubs the city has,” Siqueira said. 

Siqueira said any artist can bring in their work, no matter who it is. As long as the work is local and doesn’t include anything hateful, Lion’s Tooth will take it, sell it and support the artist. 

“We’re the most helpful for people who are starting, you can get the experience of doing an exhibit, or with our artist residency, you get the experience of having critiques. We do believe in supporting everybody regardless of age,” Siqueira said. 

Like everything else, art and the way people consume art is everchanging. Siqueira spoke about the future of art and expressed that the only way to move forward is to embrace and support art in local communities.

“I think that people are very tired of social media. There are many ways to work online but I think artists are much better face to face, or at least in direct engagement with galleries, places that can carry their art. I think it’s become a toxic environment for artists,” Siqueira said. 

Posting and publishing art online allows for more people to engage with the art, but not always in a healthy way due to things like online thefts of work and artists not getting compensated for their work. 

In terms of alternatives to disengage with social media and the internet when it comes to art, tactile forms of art are making their way back into people’s lives. Magazines, zines and other forms of physical art are regaining popularity. 

Zines were extremely popular in the 90s, but since the resurgence of tactile art, more and more artists have been pursuing this art form. Some examples of zines that can be found in Lion’s Tooth and on their online storefront include “Bubbles” by Ryan Holmberg, “Arcana de Flora” by Luke Chappelle and “Fake A$$ Rappers by KPolly (Kristopher Pollard).

Many of these zines are geared specifically towards an adult audience and the same goes for some of the comics in store as well. Siqueira’s comic series, which is currently in the works, titled “Cicada” is made for adults.

With artists making these zines and comics that tackle and speak on adult and world issues, it encourages adults to jump back into these art forms once again as readers.

Independent music and art venues around the city have been supporting local artists for many years and together have formed a hub around Milwaukee.

Music venue, the Cactus Club, has been opening its doors to book and art fairs, and has become an essential piece of the hub Lion’s Tooth is a part of as well. This is just one example of one of the many businesses that have played their part in supporting local art. 

To cultivate a city and a hub within the city, it takes a number of artfriendly spaces to ensure the future of local artists. 

“There’s a lot happening in Milwaukee right now and with the way people are supporting each other, it gives me a lot of hope for the future,” Siqueira said. 

From up-and-coming musicians to artists and authors, these hubs around Milwaukee not only want to support artists who have been a part of the community for a long time, but new artists as well. This is to keep art prominent and important throughout cities.

This story was written by Sofía Cortés. She can be reached at [email protected].

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About the Contributors
Sofía Cortés
Sofía Cortés, Assistant Arts & Entertainment Editor
Sofía Cortés is the assistant editor for Arts & Entertainment. She is a junior majoring in journalism and with a writing intensive minor. Sofia is from Puerto Rico and outside of the Wire she enjoys reading, writing poetry, drawing and listening to music
Katie Craig
Katie Craig, Staff Photographer
Katie is a Staff Photographer at the Wire. She is a first-year from Lakeville, MN studying digital media and minoring in advertising. In her free time, Katie enjoys photography and hanging out with her friends. This year Katie is looking forward to getting to know more people and improving her photography skills.

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