UW-Stout: Diversity Week opens with OASIS, an exhibit exploring identities

Menomonie, Wis. – Diversity Week at University of Wisconsin-Stout will open with an art exhibit that asks artists and visitors to reflect on their identities and the journeys they’ve taken to understand themselves.

OASIS, What a Time to Be… features the works of 17 Black, Indigenous and People of Color students and 10 alumni artists and designers. The juried exhibition will open UW-Stout’s Diversity Week with an artists’ reception held from 5 to 8 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 18, in the Student Art Gallery 209, on the second floor of the Applied Arts Building. All are welcome.

Multicultural Student Services Coordinator Vickie Sanchez described OASIS as being part of a journey. “Although difficult at times, there is beauty and joy. Exhibit pieces are about the artists’ journey, identity, story, history, truths, feelings and inspirations.

“Artists reflect on ‘What A Time To Be…’ Black, Indigenous, Brown, Asian, LatinX, Hmong, biracial, multiracial, LGBTQIA+, a student, a protester, an educator, a friend, emotional, hopeful, outspoken, brave, courageous, an artist,” she said.

The exhibit is a collaboration of the School of Art and Design and Multicultural Student Services. Committee and juror members are Sanchez; SOAD Professor and Pre-BFA Program Director Tamara Brantmeier; second-year industrial design student Jon Rosario, of Ijamsville, Maryland; and first-year studio art student Angelina Garcia, of Marshfield, who designed marketing materials for the exhibit.

“At Stout, we don’t see a lot of our BIPOC community artists’ art showcased on the walls of this establishment. We honestly never know the identities of our artists,” Sanchez said. “The exhibit gives an opportunity to highlight and share the talents of students both past and present and occupy gallery space that’s centered around the BIPOC expression. To take notice of individuals whose work is often not seen, heard or felt.

“We hope viewers will take in the emotions that art brings, learn of perspectives that are expressed, and see the beauty and talent of the artists,” she said.

“We are so excited to begin what we hope becomes an annual tradition of creativity, visibility, representation, connection and strength,” Brantmeier added.

Diversity Week events

Diversity Week runs Monday, Feb. 21 , to Friday, Feb. 25. All events are free and open to the public and are coordinated by the Stout Student Association Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Council, in partnership with the university’s Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Unit.

Monday, Feb. 21:

  • JUSTMove: An Afternoon of Music and Storytelling about Race and Culture: 2:30 to 4:30 p.m., Memorial Student Center, ballrooms A and B.
  • Appropriation, Assimilation, Appreciation: 5 to 6 p.m., student center, ballrooms A and B and virtually in Teams.
  • International Mother Language Day event: 6:30 p.m., student center, Great Hall and virtually on Zoom.

Tuesday, Feb. 22:

  • Supporting Military-Affiliated Students: 11:15 a.m. to 12:15 p.m., student center, Ballroom C and virtually in Teams.
  • Latinx Craft Night with Latinos Unidos: 5 to 6 p.m., student center, Ballroom C
  • Queer Magic: LGBTQIA+ Religion and Spirituality Panel: 7 to 8:30 p.m., student center, ballrooms A and B and virtually in Teams.

Wednesday, Feb. 23:

  • Intersectional Spaces: Unpacking the Complexities of Oppression – Race and Gender: 12:20 to 1:20 p.m., student center, Ballroom A and virtually in Teams.
  • Pronouns/Neopronouns and Gender-Inclusive Language Training: 2:30 to 3:30 p.m., student center, Ballroom A and virtually in Teams.
  • Intersectional Coalition Building with Romeo E. Jackson: 5:30 to 7 p.m., student center, Great Hall.

Thursday, Feb. 24:

  • Indigenous Knowledge Systems: Aiding our Collective Understanding: 4 to 5:30 p.m., Merle M. Price Commons, Gilbert Creek room and virtually in Teams.
  • Closet Combat screening with Gus Hinton: 6 to 7 p.m., Price Commons, Gilbert Creek room and virtually in Teams.

Friday, Feb. 25:

  • Ally vs. Accomplice: How to Become a Better Champion for Historically Marginalized Communities: 11:15 a.m. to 12:15 p.m., Price Commons, Gilbert Creek room and virtually in Teams.
  • Accessible Events Checklist with Director of Disability Services Ann Murphy: 1 to 2 p.m., Price Commons, Gilbert Creek room and virtually in Teams.

UW-Stout is committed to inclusive excellence and its FOCUS2030 goal of investing in and ensuring access to equitable, diverse and inclusive learning, student living and work environments that reflect our regional and global connections.

UW-Stout is Wisconsin’s Polytechnic University, with a focus on applied learning, collaboration with business and industry, and career outcomes.