Boxed In

March 26 through July 17, 2022

Boxed In is an exhibition conceived by the MMoCA Teen Forum, a group of ten Dane County teenagers selected to learn about the workings of a museum. Drawn from the MMoCA Permanent Collection, the exhibition responds to the 2022 Wisconsin Triennial: Ain’t I A Woman?

When considering the concept of being Boxed In, the only true characteristic to emerge is that the experience of “the box” is entirely unique and determined by each individual’s personal perspective. In attempting to understand what “the box” means—who is inside the box and how they got there, how one fits inside the box, and what happens if the box is destroyed—two themes began to unfold: Confinement and Conformity and Perspectives of Power.

Confinement and Conformity speaks to societal and individual expectations and exclusions. Instead of asking ourselves “who am I?,” we continually ask ourselves “who must I become to be accepted?” or “what must I repress?” Perspectives of Power examines how these same expectations and exclusions often result from the struggle for power. When differing perspectives grapple for power, the outcome always results in loss and its many definitions—damage, harm, defeat, reduction.

This exhibition is designed for the viewer to reflect upon these themes, and to think about what the box means to each individual, diverse communities, and the position we all occupy in relation to being Boxed In. Yet the exhibition also proposes the possibility to break through and exist unapologetically beyond the box.


Exhibitions in the Henry Street Gallery are generously funded through an endowment established by the Pleasant T. Rowland Foundation. Additional support for the Teen Forum provided by Dane Arts with additional funds from the Endres Mfg. Company Foundation, the Evjue Foundation, Inc. charitable arm of the Capital Times, the W. Jerome Frautschi Foundation, and the Pleasant T. Rowland Foundation.