Gianofer Fields

Material Culturalist

Gianofer Fields is a freelance producer and reporter for NPR, BBC and Madison's WORT Community Radio. She says, “Once you seriously consider the objects you use to fill your emotional and functional needs, you will never see those things the same way ever again. From delightfully intriguing to dangerously obsessive, objects affect our daily lives. They creep into our subconscious. They say volumes about who we are or wish to be, without uttering a single word.”

Gianofer Fields

After operating for nearly 100 years on the east side of Madison, the Oscar Mayer plant closed its doors just over a year ago. Matt Treadaway grew up in the shadow of that plant. He didn't follow in his father's footsteps and become an employee, but he did inherit his dad’s love for all things related to the bologna with a famous first name.

Courtesy of Gianofer Fields

Most people have a preferred pronoun they stick with, like "he", "she", "they" or "them." Madison resident Shawn Padley says he answers to anything, as long as it's not, "she." 

If you ask anyone who has entered his apartment, Padley says they will gladly tell you he is definitely a "thing" person. In this edition of Radio Chipstone, he chats with contributor Gianofer Fields, confesses his love for stuff, and describes how his perspective of some objects changed as he transitioned from female to male. 

Gianofer Fields

Alex Hohlstein is a man of many titles. Husband, father, musician, carpenter, and luthier. That last one is a maker of stringed instruments like lutes, guitars, and mandolins. Hohlstein says he's been playing music a lot longer than he's been making guitars, but was always interested in how the instruments were constructed.

Cedric Johnson

The Latin phrase Vestis Virum Reddit translates to: "clothes make the man." However, for Madison resident Cedric Johnson there also needs to be an equivalent phrase for kids, because he's been dapper all of his life. As the first born son and only grandchild until the age of five, Johnson was dressed to impress. Johnson says it was those formative years that set his sense of style into motion.

Chazen Museum of Art

Drew Stevens is the Distinguished Curator of Prints, Drawings, and Photographs at the Chazen Museum in Madison. While curating has been his thing for 30 years, Stevens says the distinguished bit came after his hair changed color.

Image courtesy of Gianofer Fields

Gloriann Langva is a second year grad student studying Ceramics at UW Madison. Her narrative work reflects her desire to create sculptures that tell a story. This semester she decided to take class​ in Material Culture that focused on Victorian Ceramics. The class project was to curate a show entitled, “What's in a Jug.”

In this edition of Radio Chipstone contributor Gianofer Fields met Langva in the Object Study Room at the Chazen Museum. It's where the jugs live and it's also the place Langva studies works of the past for inspiration:

Chazen Museum of Art, from the Kaplan & Levi Collection

This is the last weekend to see Continent for an Ancestral Modern: Australian Aboriginal Art at the UW-Madison Chazen Museum. Amy Gilman is the Director of the Museum and says the collection spans the Australian continent and its many peoples. The works invite the viewer to reconsider the lenses through which we view the world around us and shift our collective perspective.

Courtesy of Gianofer Fields

In the the early 1840s Wisconsin had a high enough population to meet the criteria for becoming a state. There was a diverse group of people living here, including native peoples, north easterners, and people from the upper south, many of whom originally came to the area during the lead rush in the 1820s. 

adam121 / Fotolia

If there is anything you should know about contributor Gianofer Fields, it's that she doesn't drink coffee to wake up - she wakes up to drink coffee. Next to exploring the avenues of Material Culture, it's her favorite thing.

beautifulcataya / Flickr

There are Native American burial mounds across the United States, but the kind found in Wisconsin and nearby areas of Iowa, Illinois, and Minnesota are distinct to this region. The three- to four-foot-high earthen effigy mounds depict panthers, deer, bears, raptors, and other animals.

Chipstone Foundation

When was the last time you picked up an object and wondered about the person who made it? What do they look like? Where are they from? These questions become even more important when the legacy of artist or craftsperson is lost to history, or was never recorded in the first place.

UW-Madison School of Human Ecology

If you look to your left as you walk into the School of Human Ecology on the UW Madison campus, you will see something wondrous in the Design Gallery window. The exhibit is called "Whirling Return of the Ancestors: Egúngún Arts of the Yorùbá in Africa and Beyond." The garment in the window is worn in what's called a Masquerade.

Madison Public Library

Built in 1965, Madison's Central Library couldn't imagine the challenges of the digital world. So, in 2012 it shut down for two years and re-emerged as something that looks like a cross between a museum, student lounge, and a coffee house - designed to anticipate change and the needs of the community.

Gianofer Fields

It was a Marimekko quilt that first sparked print artist Lesley Numbers' interest in silk screening, but it's vintage everyday objects that populate her work. Her most successful print features the iconic hair and red lips of Dolly Parton and encourages you to "pour yourself a cup of ambition." Parton's likeness is framed by vintage coffee pots, cups, mugs and carafes.

Gianofer Fields

Should you find yourself strolling along the Capitol Square in Madison, you may notice something shiny on North Carroll Street. It's not space ships catching your eye, rather, it’s a series of aluminum Christmas Trees lighting up the night. The trees were produced from the 1960's until the late ‘70s by the Aluminum Speciality Company in Manitowoc.

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