UW–Madison’s Office of Multicultural Arts Initiatives (OMAI) is excited to partner with the Division of the Arts to launch a postdoctoral fellowship program that recruits and retains diverse, talented, and highly qualified postdoctoral fellows across arts disciplines.

Tehan Ketema is the inaugural First Wave Hip Hop & Urban Arts and Education Postdoctoral Research Fellow (FW Fellow) in the School of Education’s Art Department. Ketema will be working with faculty mentor Faisal Abdu’Allah, the Chazen Family Distinguished Chair in Art and associate dean for the arts in the School of Education.

“We are fortunate to have Tehan Ketema,” shares Abdu’Allah, “an artist and scholar versed in the respective mediums of photography and printmaking. Her work explores the territory of immersion and invisibility with a visceral tension, addressing the need for societal change. This inaugural fellowship will be the catalyst to educate, mentor, and solicit an environment of inquiry in the arts.”

Ketema is an interdisciplinary artist and educator from the Bay Area, California. Her work explores the formation of new media archives and their impact on understanding history, territory, and identity. In her practice and research, she pulls from the intersections of her experiences as an Eritrean American. Ketema is an undergraduate alumna of UW–Madison as a member of First Wave’s eighth cohort, where she received a bachelor’s degree in life sciences and communications with certificates in studio art photography and digital studies. She received her master of fine arts in photography, video, and imaging from the University of Arizona. Ketema’s work has been exhibited and published internationally; this includes in the Kampala Art Biennial, The UCLA New Wight Biennial, and the 2023 Arizona Biennial.

“I am so thrilled to be the inaugural First Wave Hip Hop & Urban Arts and Education Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the Art Department,” Tehan shared. “It means so much to be able to come back and work with a community that has been incredibly impactful to me and pivotal to my artistic development. I’m really looking forward to my commitment at the University of Wisconsin–Madison for the next two years and being immersed in the art that is happening in the city.”