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Tag: original artwork

Art and Go Big Read: How Curriculum, Creativity, and Evicted Intersect on Campus

This week Wisconsin School of Business students and the Go Big Read program partnered to harness art as a means to further investigate the ideas presented in Go Big Read social justice texts. The result was 20 unique pieces of art, aimed to address social issues.

LEAD students creating their prints in Wheelhouse Studios.

LEAD students creating their prints in Wheelhouse Studios.

LEAD focused on printmaking as a way of securing social change, in partnership with the Go Big Read program

LEAD focused on printmaking as a way of securing social change.

Students part of the LEAD Course: Principles in Leadership, Ethics, Authenticity, and Development (an introductory program for freshman students directly admitted to the Business School) throughout the  semester have “engaged in social entrepreneurship projects aimed at helping solve societal problems” (Angela Richardson, Program Coordinator). One of the main focuses of the course was the integration of Go Big Read texts Just Mercy and Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City.

Art created by LEAD students in partnership with the Go Big Read Program.

Art created by LEAD students.

Reading these texts as part of their curriculum, students were asked throughout the semester “to make an effort to identify the major themes and important takeaways” of the books, as they related to social justice and inequalities ( Noting striking statistics, imagery, and more, “the information [students] gathered and the ideas they generated were then used as inspiration” for the artistic project.

Earlier this week, in Memorial Union’s Wheelhouse Studios, all this prep and brainstorming came to fruition. Drawing on inspiration from historical and current social justice movement posters and evoking their own knowledge from the texts, all 120 students implemented their creativity, collaboratively hand-making 20 beautiful posters.

The project not only allows “students to practice a set of skills that are useful in both business and in life – collaboration, analysis, communication, leadership, creative thinking, and empathy, among others [–]” but, it also gives first year students the opportunity to grapple with challenging social issues like mass incarceration and housing instability in American today.


Art created by LEAD students in partnership with the Go Big Read Program.

Furthermore, “by working together in small groups to design and create their own posters, they add their voices to the on-going dialogue around these issues”, contributing to a more aware and concerned campus community (

We are eager to see what the next set of LEAD students creates in partnership with the Go Big Read program!


Morgan Olsen

Student Assistant, Go Big Read Office

“Draw Your Love Story” at Chadbourne and Ogg

The “Draw Your Love Story” banner at Ogg.
Earlier in the semester, residents of Ogg Hall and Chadbourne Residential Learning Community (CRC) were invited to participate in a unique project: to create pieces of visual art that depicted their individual passions.  The Go-Big-Read-inspired project offered students a chance to show off their own “love story,” a part of themselves which they might not otherwise have shared, and explore the things that mattered to their fellow residents.  Students also had the opportunity to attend a small-group discussion with Lauren Redniss as part of Go Big Read and the “What Matters to Me and Why” lecture series.  Below, two students who helped CRC with the project share their views.

“The ‘Draw Your
Passions’ event that CRC did was a great success! It
was really exciting to see the wide variety of
passions and interests our residents have and the
diverse community that makes up CRC and all of our
residence halls. It provided a great backdrop to the What Matters to Me and Why with Lauren Redniss, as she
talked about all of the things that inspire her as a
writer and artist. Both the CRC’s Passions event and
the What Matters to Me and Why series allow us to
explore the unique experiences and interests we have
that impact where we go in life.” –Ashley Trewartha

“We were inspired
to have students draw their passion in anticipation of
Lauren Redniss’ visit to Chadbourne, because
Radioactive explores the ways in which Marie Curie’s
passions influenced her life and her work. Hers is a
story that reminds us all that if we persevere in our
passions, we will have a huge impact on our chosen
field. Having residents draw their passions not only
asked them to think about what had given them purpose
thus far, but also what was motivating them to get to
where they want to go.” –Elise Swanson

Lauren Redniss was thrilled to see the displays when she came to campus, and was presented with a gift bag from Chadbourne.
Marie Curie puts in an appearance!
The display of artwork at Chadbourne.

Cyanotype Workshop at MPL

Two of the wonderful librarians (and graduates of the UW-Madison School of Library and Information Studies) at the Library as Incubator Project helped document a public library cyanotype workshop last weekend.  They were over at the Madison Public Library’s Sequoya branch, where artist Aliza Rand led a cyanotype workshop.  You can read the full post about their experience on the Incubator, but below, check out a few samples of the beautiful work that was produced.  Click to enlarge.

Cyanotype project from Madison Public Library workshop, October 2012. Photo by Erinn Batykefer.

Cyanotype project from Madison Public Library workshop, October 2012. Photo by Erinn Batykefer.

Cyanotype project from Madison Public Library workshop, October 2012. Photo by Erinn Batykefer.

If you’d like to try your hand at cyanotype, don’t worry!  You have not missed your chance!  Aliza Rand will be hosting another cyanotype workshop this Sunday, October 21st, at the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art.  The event is free and open to the public, and runs from 1pm until 3pm.  Click here for more info.

Brooke, GBR grad student

Marie Curie & Radium

The talented trainers at DesignLab have done it again.  A few weeks ago, we showed you the Radioactive-inspired pages they made as part of their “training boot camp” (if you haven’t checked those out, definitely do so now!).  Today, DesignLab TA Kevin Gibbons sent us a comic he created, depicting Marie Curie’s “love-kill” relationship with radium, as part of a workshop on e-writing assignments. (Click to enlarge.)

Want to make your own comic or other media project?  Visit the DesignLab website and find out how to set up an appointment with one of their talented TAs.

As a sidenote, we love it when people send us visual work inspired by or relating to Radioactive!  If you’d like one of your creations to be featured on the blog, send us an email at  Please refer to this post for further information about submission guidelines.

Brooke Williams, GBR grad student

Call for cyanotype submissions

We’re loving the beautiful work sent to us by Cid Freitag, a Learning Technologist in DoIT Academic Technology who works in several
visual media and has an avid interest in science, among other topics. Her work
is a stunning example of a process called cyanotype – the same process that Go
Big Read author Lauren Redniss used to depict the life and work of Marie Curie
in Radioactive.
Visual artists: we’re looking for some more cyanotype art pieces
to showcase on the Go Big Read blog throughout the year.  If you’d like to share your work with a wider
audience, please provide the following information.  We would also welcome submissions of other
creative work inspired by or related to Radioactive
Submission details:
Send a photo or digital file of your piece(s) to
All files should be .jpegs sized approximately 2MB or smaller, 813×1056 or 1632×1056.
Include artist name, affiliation (department for
students, faculty and staff; parallel information for community members); title
of work, and year of creation.
Include any information you’d like us to share
about the process used to create the work. 
Please note that ownership/copyright of all
artwork remains with the submitting artist. By submitting your piece to the Go
Big Read email address, you grant us permission to share your work on the Go
Big Read blog.
Work will be posted on the Go Big Read blog as it is received. Follow
the cyanotype tag to follow this special art showcase.
Questions? Email

Cyanotype Work by UW-Madison Artist Cid Freitag

“Waiting for a Train,” Cid Freitag, DoIT Academic Technology. (Click to enlarge)

What does the above image have to do with Radioactive?  Simple: it’s another example of cyanotype, the technique used to create the unique colors, look and feel of the book.  This gorgeous piece was created by Cid Freitag, a Senior Learning Technology Consultant at UW-Madison’s own DoIT Academic Technology.  The aesthetic is decidedly different from that created by Lauren Redniss in Radioactive, demonstrating the diverse array of effects cyanotype can produce. Simpler cyanotype processes are even accessible to children (with
careful supervision), and we’ll be featuring a series about cyanotype this year. 

Below, Cid elaborates on her process using “1980s technology – a combination of darkroom and professional graphic arts equipment.” 

Process used to create “Waiting for a Train.”  (Cid Freitag, 1988)

  • 35mm black and white negatives enlarged and printed on Kodalith at intended final size.
  • Developed with FineLine developer, which gave a mezzotint-like texture.
  • Using a punch-registry system, the Kodalith positives assembled into place in carrier sheets.
  • Unwanted parts of each positive covered with masking paper or paintable opaque.
  • Final negative produced by compositing the positives using the punch-registry system and contact printing vacuum frame.
  • Cyanotype emulsion (ferric ammonium citrate and potassium ferricyanide) applied to Rives BFK paper.
  • Cyanotype exposed with carbon arc lamp in contact printing vacuum frame.
  • Exposure approximately five minutes.

DesignLab creates their own Radioactive images

DesignLab will be supporting projects associated with this year’s Go Big Read program.  During training boot camp, the DesignLab TAs each produced a response to the content and aesthetics of Radioactive by responding to one of the stories or sections of the book by creating an additional page or layout of a 2-page spread.

DesignLab is located in College Library, room 2250.  To find out more or to make an appointment with a TA, check out the DesignLab website here.  In the meantime, enjoy these gorgeous Radioactive-themed pages.  (Click to enlarge–it’s worth it!)

“Eusapia,” Dominique Haller

“Scintillating,” Melanie Wallace

“Glo Paint,”T.J. Kalaitzidis

“The Other Curie,” Erin Schambereck


“Radioactive Articles,” Steel Wagstaff


“Radioactive Man,” Mitch Schwartz

“Family,” Kevin Gibbons

“Conversation,” Dan Banda

Content Submitted by Rosemary Bodolay
Associate Director for Design Lab