Wednesday, Oct. 25, the University of Wisconsin Art Department will host artist and activist Jen Rae through the Visiting Artist Colloquium. The event will occur from 5-6:15 p.m. at the Conrad A. Elvehjem Building and is open to the public in-person or online via zoom.

The Visiting Artist Colloquium is the first and only one of its kind, according to the UW Madison Art Department website. It has been running for over 40 years, hosting a variety of professionals in the art industry. From artists to art critics, gallery directors and museum directors, the program has exposed young artists to all aspects of the industry.

The lecturer is able to present however best suits their medium and speak individually to classes. With additional workshops, presentations or critiques, the lecturer nurtures and gives back to the UW community. Since its inception, the program has hosted creatives from all over — not just from the Madison area. Rae is the seventh lecturer this semester.

On her website, Rae describes herself as a practice-led researcher. She is what’s called a creative researcher, someone who explores a topic through performance, novel, drawing or other works of art. The crux comes when the artist-researcher does not simply stop at the creation of a work, but instead analyzes its meaning and nature in light of a greater purpose. There are many types of artistic research, and the definition changes depending on the practitioner and question being posed.

To Rae, artistic research is centered around the creative processes in the hopes of inspiring an impact and social change. Art becomes a tool for collaboration and amplification of ideas into a form that is readily accessible outside of traditional research or contemporary art contexts.

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