The Gesture of Collage as Practice

Since 1999, over 30 world-class artists have spent a semester at the UW–Madison as part of the Interdisciplinary Arts Residency Program (IARP). Each artist not only instructs a course, but also takes

Rashaad Newsome

part in public events and community outreach, making sure to expand their residency beyond the UW and into the Madison community.

During the spring 2019 semester, we were joined by New York City-based artist Rashaad Newsome. Newsome’s work spans a variety of disciplines, including collage, sculpture, music, film, performance, and even computer programming. Focused on how images used in pop culture communicate distorted notions of power, Newsome draws attention to the contributions of marginalized communities to popular culture, and how these contributions are consumed by mainstream advertising platforms to influence pop culture and society as a whole.

On Thursday, April 18, we will celebrate the completion of Newsome’s residency with “The Gesture of Collage as Practice,” an arts event showcasing the work of students who took Newsome’s course. Including both a collaborative performance and a visual art exhibition of collage works in a variety of mediums, this final event will truly embody the interdisciplinary nature of IARP.

“Many of the students have worked long and hard on their projects bringing to bear their past experience in multimedia,” said Newsome. “Performance, video, sound, paper collage, photography, painting, and installation collide in a truly interdisciplinary experience that reflects the student’s point of view.”

The focus of student work spans a variety of topics important to the creators, including queerness, stereotypes of women, Black joy, racism, and more. Similarly, the mediums used vary greatly between projects. While some works are interactive, others present information through methods including movement, painting, and even structures made of PVC pipes and wood.

“The Gesture of Collage as Practice” will take place on Thursday, April 18 from 6:00 – 8:00 pm in thePaige Court of the Elvehjem Building (Chazen Museum of Art). The event is free and open to the public.