UW Today

September 12, 2014

‘Mad Campus’: Art here, there, everywhere

Artist Alyson Piskorowski, right, looks on as colleagues help her install her untitled work in the Quad outside Savery Hall. Piskorowski, who earned an MFA from the UW in sculpture and public art, is one of several UW alumni showing art during the Mad Campus art exhibition.

Artist Alyson Piskorowski, right, looks on as colleagues help her install her untitled work in the Quad outside Savery Hall. Piskorowski, who earned an MFA from the UW in sculpture and public art, is one of several UW alumni showing art during the Mad Campus art exhibition.Mary Levin

The University of Washington is being transformed into a vast art gallery for a six-week campuswide exhibition called “Mad Campus.”

From Sept. 13 through Oct. 25, ArtsUW will team with the local organization MadArt for an outdoor public art exhibit that spans about 2 ½ miles around campus and encourages visitors to discover art in unexpected places.

The exhibition will feature 12 large-scale, temporary, site-specific works inspired by their locations, from hidden nooks to well-frequented vistas. The exhibited works will include art by eight UW alumni, one of whom, Julia Chamberlain, is pursuing a second undergraduate degree.

Mad Campus events

  • Art walk hosted by Arts Dawgs
    Sept. 28, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
    A free, family-friendly way to experience the campuswide exhibition — meet the artists, take guided tours and grab snacks and swag. It all starts on Red Square, so just show up. Learn more.
  • W-Day
    October 24 | Red Square
    A final chance to tour the exhibition as the campus celebrates Husky pride and the university’s founding with a half-day of activities. Learn more.

Students in the UW School of Art + Art History + Design — the school’s new name as of this year — are helping Mad Campus artists as they prepare their pieces, designing promotional materials, acting as docents and even documenting the artists’ process with a video project.

Come the start of school, several courses will integrate Mad Campus into their curricula.

“It’s a great opportunity for our students to get a close-up view of the entire process behind the creation and installation of a dozen unique sculptures on their own campus,” said Jamie Walker, director of the school.

MadArt is a privately funded organization founded by UW art history alumna Alison Milliman. It is dedicated to supporting emerging artists and sharing their work in unexpected settings. The Mad Campus project was Milliman’s idea.

Milliman and MadArt Director Tim Detweiler, working with UW staff members, invited several dozen artists to send in proposals, and chose 13 Pacific Northwest artists to come to campus and create their temporary installations.

Milliman started MadArt after spending a year in Melbourne, Australia, where she found a lively art scene filled with emerging artists whose works were often down alleys and in unusual parts of the city.

Press and visitors examine "Wave Sine," a sculpture by W.Scott Trimble during a preview of the Mad Campus exhibition on Thursday, Sept. 9.

Press and visitors examine “Wave Sine,” a sculpture by W.Scott Trimble during a preview of the Mad Campus exhibition on Thursday, Sept. 11.Peter Kelley

The group’s first show was The Window Art Project in Seattle’s Madison Park in 2009, and the next year it produced MadArt in the Park, followed by Mad Homes in 2011. That year the group also opened the MadArt Space in South Lake Union, where large-scale artwork is created and the process can be viewed by the public.

In a press preview tour Thursday cheerfully led by Detweiler, Walker said he was proud that the UW quickly agreed to support the project.

As he began the preview tour, Detweiler said there had been no “curatorial hammer” in the process of working with the artists. “We just turned the artists loose on campus. They’re all incredibly professional and have been working hard for a long time.”

Maps of the Mad Campus exhibit will be available online and at the UW Visitors and Information Center, and are available online as well.

 

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