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MMoCA Announces the Selection of Fatima Laster as the Wisconsin Triennial’s First Guest Curator

Image of Fatima Laster by Shalicia Johnson/ArrowStar Photograph

Selection of Fatima Laster as MMoCA’s First Guest Curator Press Release

The Madison Museum of Contemporary Art (MMoCA) is pleased to announce the selection of Milwaukee-based artist and gallery founder Fatima Laster as the Museum’s guest curator for the Wisconsin Triennial, a signature survey of Wisconsin contemporary art that opens in April 2022. Laster is the owner, operator, and curator for 5 Points Art Gallery in Milwaukee, which she opened in November 2018.

It is the first time in the Triennial’s 43-year history that the exhibition will be curated by someone working outside of the institution. Laster’s selection follows MMoCA’sCall for Curators in April 2021, in an effort to fulfill MMoCA’s mission and bring an innovative, inclusive vision and a transformative approach to a cornerstone of MMoCA’s exhibition programming.

The theme of the 2022 Wisconsin Triennial, Laster explained, is influenced by abolitionist and women’s rights advocate Sojourner Truth’s quote and author bell hooks’ book on Black feminism, entitled Ain’t I a Woman?

The Triennial exhibition, Ain’t I a Woman? “addresses the intersection of race and gender and the unfortunate under-representation and hijacked contributions of Black women as a result of being cast to a doubly-discriminated class,” Laster said in her exhibition proposal.“When thinking about racial and gender-based equity and inclusion opportunities, Black men and white women usually dominate the occupancy of these spheres. Ain’t I a Woman? will serve to create a sacred space to highlight the prolific, trailblazing, likely under-recognized, artwork by an inter-generational group of Black women artists in Wisconsin, pushing the genre of art production and narration.”

In response to her selection, Laster said, “I’m honored and enthusiastic about collaborating with MMoCA to jointly demonstrate how to expand the boundaries of what’s considered possible when it comes to conscious, authentic, and equitable partnership and opportunity for artists and industry staffing alike. Not withstanding the very real obstacles that come with being doubly-marginalized, I’m even more rhapsodic about unveiling and sharing with the audience the pervasive talent, majesty, and prolific visual discourse that Black women artists possess and contribute to the art industry. Wisconsin has its own significant concentration of trailblazing Black women artists. Some are younger and making their mark, literally and figuratively, and some have impressive longevity within their art careers. Because it’s seldom done, I’m eager to work with MMoCA to create an exhibit that exclusively and publicly reveres these women and their cultural contribution.”

The 2022 Triennial will be presented in the Museum’s State Street Gallery, as well as additional spaces such as the lobby and The Shop. The exhibition originally was the Wisconsin Biennial, which began in 1978 and was organized by the Madison Art Center, MMoCA’s precursor. In 1987, the biennial became the Wisconsin Triennial. The exhibition has traditionally been organized by the Museum’s curatorial staff.

About MMoCA

The Madison Museum of Contemporary Art offers free gallery admission. Its vision is to be an organization that fosters the exchange of ideas and creates experiences that will inspire a wide audience; be a nexus for the work of emerging and established regional, national, and international artists; serve as a catalyst for the continued development of a vigorous community of artists; and provide a forum that will encourage people to be challenged by, reflect on, and make connections between art and the world around them.

The Museum includes four galleries and The Shop, a recently opened space to provide interactive contemporary art experiences and educational workshops to the community.The Museum’s Rooftop Sculpture Garden provides an urban oasis with an incredible view which serves as a lovely venue for weddings, art openings, dining, and cinema.

MMoCA’s galleries are open Fridays noon to 6 pm, Saturdays10-6 pm, and Sundays from noon to 6 PM. Please visit to learn more.