Marianne Fairbanks: Impractical Weaving Suggestions

Kevin Ponto: Protean Guise


Friday, January 22 – Sunday, February 21, 2016

Opening Reception: Friday, January 22, 5:30 – 7:30 p.m.

Gallery Open on Sundays: Noon – 4:00, Tuesday-Friday: 10:00-4:00 

This side by side exhibition includes two innovative University of Wisconsin-Madison Design Studies faculty. The show encompasses the breadth of the department through the diverse work of Marianne Fairbanks and Kevin Ponto.


Marianne Fairbanks: Impractical Weaving Suggestions

Combining Minimalist influences and domestic weaving practices, the exhibit explores the relationships between the impracticality and practicality of form. The work acknowledges structures and effects embedded in the intersections of cloth that, because of their small scale, often go unseen and unconsidered. By inflating the scale, embedded layers of labor and sophisticated math-based systems are exposed. Wall weaving installations display magnified structures in a radical palette of neon plastic material, while drawings and jacquard weavings quietly pose questions of value, labor, and time.

Marianne Fairbanks is an artist, designer, curator, and an assistant professor in the Design Studies Department at UW-Madison. Her work has been shown nationally and internationally in venues including The Museum of Art and Design, NY, The Smart Museum of Art, Chicago, and Museum London, Ontario.

Marianne Fairbanks gallery talk: Thursday, February 11, 4:30 p.m.

Profile | More of her work | Recent news: WPR interview and Solar Textiles Research | Video



Kevin Ponto: Protean Guise

Continuing his investigation of interactive virtual realities, Ponto unveils a new installation that explores concepts of information, interaction and technology.  The work stretches between the boundaries of the digital and physical worlds, engaging audience members through interactive experiences.

Kevin Ponto is an assistant professor in the Design Studies Department at UW-Madison whose work spans the disciplines of art, science, engineering and design. He has received awards from Prix Ars Electronica in the category of hybrid art and an emerging artist award from Adobe.

Profile | More of his work | Recent news: Virtually real and Virtual Taliesin | Video

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About Design Gallery

The Ruth Davis Design Gallery holds exhibitions that relate to the processes and results of design. Together we encourage research, education and outreach by bringing together the Helen Louise Allen Textile Collection, the Design Gallery and Ruth Ketterer Harris Library, as well as undergraduate and graduate programs in Design Studies. We are located in the new Nancy Nicholas Hall at the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s School of Human Ecology.

Completed in June 2012, the LEED-certified Nancy Nicholas Hall supports the School’s mission to improve the quality of human life, through its education, research, creative endeavors, outreach and engagement. This technology-rich environment facilitates webinars, video conferencing, and interactive learning. Its accessibility, café, roof terrace, and other comfortable community spaces welcome visitors and promote interactions among faculty, staff, students, and visitors. An enlarged, climate-controlled Design Gallery and Helen Louise Allen Textile Collection enhance the visibility of creative works from both students and professional artists.

Support Us

All Design Gallery events and exhibitions are free and open to the public, thanks in part to the generous support from the Anonymous Fund. Support our programming through a gift to the University of Wisconsin Foundation.

More questions?

Please call 608-262-8815. You can also email Gallery Director Lee Gray. For the most up to date information, like us on Facebook.