Arts & Culture

Interviews and stories about art, culture, music, books, food / dining and sports.

Gianofer Fields

If you're a regular listener to Lake Effect Weekend, you know that we regularly feature stories about material culture produced by contributor Gianofer Fields. 

The segment has called It's a Material World - a name Fields says came to her in a dream and for a while it was a perfect fit. The project has been and continues to be funded by the Milwaukee-based Chipstone Foundation and now, like a blushing bride, the series will also take its partner’s name and become Radio Chipstone. 

Wisconsin Historical Society

An exhibit at the Madison History Museum might seem straightforward at first – full of watercolor paintings of Wisconsin landscapes. But look a little deeper into the artist's life...and you'll find there's a history mystery here.

This is what we know: In the late 1800’s German Immigrant Paul Seifert arrived in Wisconsin’s Driftless area and put down roots. He graduated from a Forestry Academy and made his living as a farmer and taxidermist.

Special Collections at Wofford College / Flickr

Lake Effect contributor Gianofer Fields has visited the Wisconsin Veterans Museum several times, and with each trip we learn more about military history and the objects that survived the wars. 

In this edition, we return to the museum and meet up again with Kevin Hampton, the Curator of Research and Public Programs, who talks about some of the other items Civil War soldiers brought with them to stay connected to home:

Boston Bill / Flickr

Our notions of what makes a place “home” are as varied as we are. Photographer Jess Horn is a bit of a tumbleweed – spending a great deal of time on the road. Horn met Material Culture contributor Gianofer Fields in Madison's Tenney Park by the duck pond and explained that even though home isn’t confined to one place, that doesn't mean there is a lack of connection.

Wally Argus / Flickr

This is the time of year when people who have things to sell are pulling out all stops to get folks to buy their stuff. So what makes a good ad? How is it possible for a seller to get notice when so many are vying for attention?

Hallie Zillman-Bouche is the lead graphic designer for the Willy Street Co-op in Madison. She's also the daughter of an ad man.  She tells contributor Gianofer Fields that she's been selling things for so long she can't even really remember her first ad:

Untitled (Woman Painting), ca. 1907-1908 Monotype, 4 1/8 x 3 1/8 inCredit American Monotypes from the Baker/Pisano Collection / Chazen Museum of ArtEdit | Remove

Like most artists who have a place in the popular consciousness, Georgia O'Keefe is associated with some very specific images: bleached New Mexican landscapes, a close up of an iris, or even a giant animal skull. However, in this case the O'Keefe is smaller than a breadbox. 

Camel Teapot with Snake Handle, ca. 1745.Credit Chazen Museum of ArtEdit | Remove

In Madison’s Chazen Museum, there is an exhibit of 18th Century Ceramics that was curated by students and the Chipstone Professor in the Department of Art History Ann Smart Martin.

If the only image the word embroidery conjures for you is one of dainty flowers cross stitched onto a tea towel, Melissa Reiss wants you to take another look.

Reiss’ blog states, quite emphatically, that embroidery can be anything. As she tells Lake Effect’s Material culture contributor Gianofer Fields, embroidery doesn’t have to be baby ducks and girls in bonnets doing “women’s work”:

The Kohler Art Library is located on the UW Madison Campus. It was established in the 1960s at the same time as the Art Department’s courses in letterpress, printing and paper making. There are now over 1,000 books in the library's collections.  Some are one of a kind. Others are produced in limited editions and housed in libraries across the country. But Material Culture contributor Gianofer Fields wondered, what makes a book an art book?

With inspirations drawing from the likes of: Bob Dylan, Tom Petty, Sam Cooke, Billy Dee Williams and…Han Solo and E.T. (Yes, that one alien from the movie), it’s no surprise that singer/songwriter, Alex Dezen, is capable of creating music that can touch on any number of topics. Just about 15 years ago, Alex and three others came together and formed a band, The Damnwells, who would go on to be pretty successful.  Seven years ago marks the last time anyone has seen a new project from the band and its original members.