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Mary Bero

 Babette Wainwright


Helen Klebesadel, T. L. Luke, Rebecca Kautz, Jessica Gutierrez, Issis Macias

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Babette Wainwright discovered the pleasure and power of expressing herself with clay, making sculptures which are informed both by her African roots, and by the work of the pre-Colombian people of Haiti, the Arawaks. In 2000, she earned an MFA in Ceramics at UW Madison. She has since been working in both mediums, using the female image as a vehicle for conveying her sense of uprootedness, and her spirituality. Babette’s work is in various collections around the world.

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Mary Bero fearlessly breaks all the traditional rules of fiber art.  She   deftly combines embroidery, painting, and sculptural elements to create exuberant works of art.  She is a virtuoso of color.  Her images are loosely connected, as if part of a daydream or, at times a nightmare.  The various elements in the picture plane come together through a succession of small marks, and build to a cohesive whole.”Jane Sauer, Speaking with Threads exhibition.  

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Katherine Rosing’s immersive installations of translucent hanging fabrics, and the attention to detail in her surface-rich paintings evoke tangible associations with forests and the natural world. Her work is rooted in exploring the complex interrelationships between forests, watersheds, and the carbon and hydrologic cycles. Her nearly forest-scale environments encourage viewers to walk through the interactive spaces, offering a reflective experience to consider ecological issues. Katherine is ‘following in the great tradition of outstanding women fiber artists,” offers juror Simona Chazen. Gail Simpson, also a 2022 juror, sees that Rosing’s gorgeous installations “bring a measure of somber beauty to her consideration of environmental issues.”

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Lilada Gee’s bright, bold graphic paintings celebrate and defend the joy of young black girls. She states her intention is to “use my art to be a light that shows the pathway out of the shadows of darkness to Black girls.” Juror Adriana Barrios describes her as “a valued voice and artist who is deeply invested in highlighting the experiences and stories of black girls and women through a multidisciplinary approach using public art, installation, and painting.” Gail Simpson sees Gee’s art as fitting into the social practice tradition and her work “offering a powerful, uplifting attitude to the community.” 



Katherine Rosing

 Lilada Gee


Sarah Stellino, Sara Meredith, J Myszka Lewis, Angela Johnson, Jennifer Bastian



Yeonhee Cheong

 Alice Traore


Lelia Byron, Leslie IwaiMaria Amalia WoodRebecca Kautz, and Helen Hawley

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Yeonhee Cheong, a Forward Art Prize finalist in 2020, received her MFA in Design Studies from UW-Madison. Yeonhee has strong interest in clothing and textile design and nature, and a deep desire to reframe the narrative about women and their value to society, which has often framed women's experiences as unimportant or less than. Yeonhee's intricate pastel and screen printed works center women's experiences amidst gorgeous botanical patters, given women center stage. Her work is a refreshing, whimsical commentary on women's experiences that have been negated or marginalized. 

Alice Traore is an up and coming self-taught artist in the Madison art community, working primarily in watercolor. Traore creates vibrant paintings that contribute positively to the representation of Black people as dignified and free. Her work is a direct affront to the way Black people have been historically misrepresented, demeaned, or erased, and she seeks to change the narrative by creating portraits of family and friends who are dignified, confident, and self-possessed. Traore uses painting as a form of meditation, inviting viewers to positively recenter Black people, the way she has done so eloquently in her portraiture.  



Adriana Barrios

 Angelica Contreras


Hannah O'Hare Bennett, Mary BeroYeonhee CheongEmily Leach, and Sylvie Rosenthal

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Adriana Barrios creates multimedia work that explores the rapidly deteriorating coastal borderlands of San Diego due to climate change, while drawing on the great disparity of loss between impoverished communities and more affluent ones. Barrios’ work is infused with poetic gesture, rhythm and quietness that belies the social consequences of climate change and its injustice. Barrios works in collaboration with scientific researchers at Scripps Institute of Oceanography, combining printmaking, photography, video, and papermaking to give voice to coastal erosion, tidal patterns, wave activities and detrimental human activity.

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Angelica Contreras studied art in Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico, before settling in Madison. Her bold layered portraits explore the complex relationship between identity, traditions and pop culture using collage and multiple painting techniques. Contreras seeks to bridge various communities with her work, and is a member of Colectivo Synapsis, a group of Latino artists that focus on social justice projects that impact communities in Southern Wisconsin. Contreras was also named a Forward Art Prize semi-finalist in 2019, which came with a $1,000 unrestricted grant from Dane Arts.



Jennifer Angus creates highly provocative site-specific interior installations using hundreds of insects, painstakingly pinned to walls in patterned arrangements that suggest wallpaper and textiles. At a distance, her designs resemble an interior domestic space. However, upon closer inspection, viewers discover that the ornate patterns are formed of insects, causing feelings that fluctuate between wonder, disbelief, and awe. Angus’ goal is to elevate the status of insects, all of which play a vital role in the food chain, pollination, decomposition, and all of life itself.  Recently cited as ‘one of the most important installation artists in the country,’ her solo exhibition is currently on view at the Museum of Fine Arts in St. Petersburg, FL.


Dakota Mace (Diné) is a Navajo artist who investigates cultural appropriation, identity, and her Native culture using photography and textiles. Mace re-contextualizes creation stories, cosmologies, and social structures, incorporating concepts of balance with nature in her work. Through her bold textural work, she creates complex pieces that comment on historical identities and lineage, creates a bridge to understanding Native American traditional practices, and reinforce a positive representation for Indigenous peoples. Mace’s work is currently on view at the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art and at the Art + Literature Lab, in Madison, WI.

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