Gianofer Fields

Material Culturalist

Gianofer Fields is a freelance producer and reporter for NPR, BBC and Madison's WORT Community Radio. She says, “Once you seriously consider the objects you use to fill your emotional and functional needs, you will never see those things the same way ever again. From delightfully intriguing to dangerously obsessive, objects affect our daily lives. They creep into our subconscious. They say volumes about who we are or wish to be, without uttering a single word.”

Chipstone Foundation

When was the last time you picked up an object and wondered about the person who made it? What do they look like? Where are they from? These questions become even more important when the legacy of artist or craftsperson is lost to history, or was never recorded in the first place.

UW-Madison School of Human Ecology

If you look to your left as you walk into the School of Human Ecology on the UW Madison campus, you will see something wondrous in the Design Gallery window. The exhibit is called "Whirling Return of the Ancestors: Egúngún Arts of the Yorùbá in Africa and Beyond." The garment in the window is worn in what's called a Masquerade.

Madison Public Library

Built in 1965, Madison's Central Library couldn't imagine the challenges of the digital world. So, in 2012 it shut down for two years and re-emerged as something that looks like a cross between a museum, student lounge, and a coffee house - designed to anticipate change and the needs of the community.

Gianofer Fields

It was a Marimekko quilt that first sparked print artist Lesley Numbers' interest in silk screening, but it's vintage everyday objects that populate her work. Her most successful print features the iconic hair and red lips of Dolly Parton and encourages you to "pour yourself a cup of ambition." Parton's likeness is framed by vintage coffee pots, cups, mugs and carafes.

Gianofer Fields

Should you find yourself strolling along the Capitol Square in Madison, you may notice something shiny on North Carroll Street. It's not space ships catching your eye, rather, it’s a series of aluminum Christmas Trees lighting up the night. The trees were produced from the 1960's until the late ‘70s by the Aluminum Speciality Company in Manitowoc.

Gianofer Fields

Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, Cyber Monday...those who celebrate Christmas/the Holidays are spending large sums of money trying to find the perfect gift. Parents are wrestling with the question of which toy, video, game, song are they willing to listen to, play or step on for the foreseeable future.

In this edition of Radio Chipstone, contributor Gianofer Fields chats with friend and colleague Matt McHugh about what was once something, he cherished: a Red Power Ranger toy he got from his parents when he was eight or nine years-old.

Chazen Museum of Art

Back in September, Dr. Amy Gilman said goodbye to the Toledo Museum of Art and hello to her new position as the Director of the Chazen Museum in Madison. While taking on the direction of a major museum is can be daunting, you would never know it by Gilman’s attitude. In fact, she says that it's everything you want a new challenge to be.

In this edition of Radio Chipstone, contributor Gianofer Fields meets Dr. Gilman in a place she finds both inspiration and comfort:

Overture Center for the Arts

2017 marks the centennial of Wisconsin’s State Capitol. But rather than focusing on the building, Madison Artists Brenda Baler and Bird Ross chose instead to focus on a statue that has been greeting and encouraging the women of Madison since late 1895. Funded by women across the state, the statue, called Forward, was sculpted by Jean Pond Minor and holds court at the Capitol’s east entrance.

Gianofer Fields

Terese Agnew is a Wisconsin artist who, in collaboration with a number of artists, created Writing in Stone, an exhibit designed to foster questions about how we remember those who have gone before us.

Charlotte Kainz

Film Director Wendy Schneider says having a relationship with subjects and people who are involved in projects she's doing has to make sense to both her heart and spirit. As a director, she wants to satisfy the audience with the story and content she believes in and trusts.

Chipstone Foundation

It's the start of another school year. Scrub-faced children all over Milwaukee have said goodbye to summer fun and hello to another year of learning and making new friends.

Even though adults may look back on their formative years with a saccharin-sweet fondness, members of the current elementary school generation may be struggling to fit in. And that's especially true for children with disabilities.

Frederick L.G. Straubel / Wisconsin Historical Society

During the late 19th and early 20th Century, the Fox River Valley in Eastern Wisconsin was a segregated town essentially built for and by white men of means. Irishmen and African Americans living there suffered the most, with women and children close behind.

Those men working in the Fox River Valley paper and wood product factories faced 12 hour days, without breaks and were paid less than a living wage.

Wisconsin Historical Society

Sometimes the things passed down from a father to a daughter belong to a larger family - a greater community.

The object in question is a t-shirt worn by Lee McGhee, who was a member of the N.A.A.C.P Youth Council. Together with Father James Groppi, he participated in the 1967 March on Milwaukee. 


Music can represent a generation or even a social movement. 

Matt Mixon was born in 1951 and spent his formative years living in Milwaukee's central city. As a teen, his family moved to the north side. As he dealt with his own personal transition, the rest of the country dealt with a broader transition to equal justice. Racial tensions were high, and the city was on the brink of something big.  Mixon describes his experiences and observations as a young man during the years surrounding the Milwaukee Riot of 1967:

Museum of Wisconsin Art / Facebook

Usually, when we go to museums, we are looking at objects that are rare or historic. Their value comes from how they help create the narrative of the universal We.