On view

2024-25: Work In Progress

For the 2024-25 exhibition season, the Center for Design and Material Culture is hosting a range of exhibitions and programs on things “In Progress” – and on the creative communities and processes that made those things possible.

2024-25 Season

Woolen Clouds

Draped felt crosses the image from left to right and overlaps. The felt is slightly translucent and is mostly white with pale blue spread throughout.The Link in Nancy Nicholas Hall
July 29, 2024 – January 5, 2025

Woolen Clouds by textile artist Janice Arnold will float and flow through the central lobby of the School of Human Ecology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, trickling into halls and stairwells like an icy breeze. This two-story immersive installation with video elements will offer a surprising contrast to conventional perceptions of Felt. In conversation with the exhibition Feel The Beat, Woolen Clouds invites us to consider what Felt makes possible. 

Feel the Beat: Percussion Textiles

blue, green, and yellow graphic with a swirl background and "Feel the Beat: Felted Textiles" in the foregroundLynn Mecklenburg Textile Gallery
September 4 – December 1, 2024

Felt is considered to be the oldest constructed textile, predating weaving, knitting and knotted fabric structures. It is created through a process of beating and agitation which causes the wool fibers to mat together forming a solid piece of cloth. This process has led to felt being called a percussion textile because they are often communally made and pounding the cloth in an almost rhythmic manner is essential to their creation. Utilizing felt pieces from the Helen Louise Allen Textile Collection, along with new works from two communities of feltmakers, the Association of Craft Producers (ACP) in Kathmandu, Nepal and those of Unay Muchiku in Iluman, Ecuador, this exhibition will explore the history of an ancient textile and demonstrate its multiple uses today as a symbol of cultural identity, creative expression, and sustainable eco-friendly material used in buildings and industry.

It’s All the Rage: Activism, Aging, and the Raging Grannies of Madison/Dane County

Group of women dressed in bright colors with hats adorned with pins hold a sign with the words "Ragin' Grans of Mad WI". The group stands in front of the Wisconsin state capitol building.Nancy Nicholas Hall Link and 3rd Floor
September 16, 2024 – February 7, 2025

It’s All the Rage: Activism, Aging, and the Raging Grannies of Madison/Dane County grows from a two-year archival and oral history project. This exhibit focuses on several decades of local Wisconsin grassroots activism enacted by the Madison and Dane County Raging Grannies. Featuring an array of granny hats, aprons, songbooks, political buttons, and instruments, as well as video and audio clips of their original songs and engaging stories, this exhibit explores how senior women have engaged in a wide variety of protest activities. Raging Grannies performances center human dignity, democratic values, and inclusivity, along with gender and racial equality. It’s All the Rage explores the past, present and future of this organization, with a focus on the community, engagement with social justice issues, and the friendships formed in the process.

Spheres of Influence: Glass Across UW

A glass scientific laboratory device (called a Kaliapparat) is suspended from the top with a black background.

Material Intelligence
Ruth Davis Design Gallery

October 16, 2o24 – March 9, 2025

The power of shaping glass has played a critical role in the history of UW–Madison. Glass has enabled us to see near, far, into, and beyond. Spheres of Influence: Glass Across UW foregrounds the material intelligence of this unique state of matter. This exhibition celebrates the embodied skills of glassmakers who make possible the imaginations of researchers across the arts and sciences, facilitating UW’s history of innovation. 

Threads: Natural Fiber and Living Lines

X-ray of Albatross 8 by Ann B. Coddington. Inside the handwoven u-shaped structure are discarded plastic and trash picked up by the artist.

Material Intelligence
Ruth Davis Design Gallery

October 16, 2024 – March 9, 2025

Ann B. Coddington works in threads—living lines created by natural fibers. This material invites layered metaphorical possibilities that are not bound by a loom or a specific interpretative category. Her iterative process invites a range of creative approaches to these materials that stretch across millennia and invite reflection on intimate and immense themes—as individuals, as a society, and as part of a changing planet.