2017 marks the centennial of Wisconsin’s State Capitol. But rather than focusing on the building, Madison Artists Brenda Baler and Bird Ross chose instead to focus on a statue that has been greeting and encouraging the women of Madison since late 1895. Funded by women across the state, the statue, called Forward, was sculpted by Jean Pond Minor and holds court at the Capitol’s east entrance.
For Ross and Baker, Forward is the inspiration for Being Forward, a photographic installation at the Playhouse Gallery in Madison’s Overture Center. The work features over 100 photographs of Wisconsin women artists and supporters, including Radio Chipstone contributor Gianofer Fields. The goal of the exhibition is to recognize the contribution of women to the arts, and to create the Women Artists Forward Fund to support the work of female artists in Wisconsin.
In this edition of Radio Chipstone, Fields chats with Brenda Baker and Bird Ross about the project. According to Ross, the inspiration behind the work is multifaceted:
Material culture contributor Gianofer Fields curates the Radio Chipstone series. The project is funded by the Chipstone Foundation, a decorative arts foundation whose mission is preserving and interpreting their collection, as well as stimulating research and education in the decorative arts.