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Curating diversity at the Trout Museum of Art

The Trout Museum of Art in Appleton spring exhibition, Unraveled. Restructured. Revealed. Where Contemporary Art and Diverse Perspectives Intersect, is open now through May 23. Sixty-one artists explore personal narrative, social justice, pop culture, socio-political commentary, and identity politics through art.

By Ashley Acker, Marketing Manager, Trout Museum of Art

Ashley Acker

Trout Museum of Art and guest curator, Tyanna J. Buie, are excited to share an authentic exchange of ideas and invite visitors to learn about human experiences from cross cultures, genders, and lives. This exhibition and online video series give an opportunity for all of us to embrace our differences and find strength in our creativity and connectedness.

Ms. Buie was selected as the guest curator for this exhibit by the Trout Museum of Art (TMA) for her influence across communities as an educator, an advocate and for her perspective as an African-American female artist.

Tyanna J. Buie

She brings an important perspective to TMA, a museum which has made moves in the past years to represent all individuals in our gallery spaces. A value of the museum is inclusiveness, to embrace differences and know that the greatest impact can be made when a full range of voices are represented.

“If we were going to be having a show in 2021, amidst everything that has been going on with the pandemic and racial unrest, what has been on everyone’s mind? To me, that was inclusion,” says Buie. “The title, Unraveled. Restructured. Revealed. Where Contemporary Art and Diverse Perspectives Intersect, considers who in contemporary art, and art history, are recognized and represented, and who are not.”


Dominic Chambers is an African-American emerging artist from St.Louis.

The upcoming exhibit includes 61 artists selected based on their unique perspective with material use and display. The art world has long seen an under-representation of diverse perspectives.

A 2019 study, Diversity of artists in major U.S. museums, found that of the 18 major museums in the United States, 85.4% of the works represented in their collections are by white artists and 87.4% are by men. African American artists have the lowest representation at just 1.2%; Asian artists 9%; and Hispanic and Latino artists represent just 2.8%.

Romano Johnson creates in a studio at ArtWorking, a Madison nonprofit program that provides support to artists with cognitive disabilities.

Says Buie:

“When I think of communities not traditionally represented, I think about indigenous communities. I think about the LGBTQIA and Latinx communities, those from the African diaspora, and individuals dealing with immobility and visible or invisible disabilities.

“There are artists out there in these communities and more who are already making statements and doing amazing things, but are not in everyone’s sight. They should be, and now they are.

Artist Patrick Quarm grew up in Takoradi, Ghana.

“In addition, inviting an African American female artist to curate an exhibit in collaboration with Trout Museum of Art is radical in and of itself. Offering me the space and opportunity to say; this is what has been missing” she continued.

“This is the void, and we must do better. I have no doubt that this exhibition will serve as an agent of change for inclusion and could not have happened at a more challenging time while we are in the midst of a global pandemic and ongoing racial unrest.”



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