Jenie Gao is an artist, curator, and entrepreneur. Her specialties include ink drawings, large-scale woodcuts, murals, and public installations. Her work connects the health of nature’s ecosystems with human relationships and systems. As an artist, she creates work for public and shared spaces and believes that art has the power to make us pay attention to and care about our surroundings. She partners with other artists and organizations to use creativity to transform spaces and focus teams around a shared philosophy.
Prior to building her own business, Jenie worked in both for-profit and nonprofit, in the arts, education, and lean manufacturing. She has helped several organizations improve their systems, become less wasteful, and align their day-to-day operations with their long-term visions. She believes that interdisciplinary work and diverse people are necessary to building a strong, sustainable society.
As a business owner, Jenie works to set a precedent for her field. In addition to her own art projects, Jenie takes on curatorial projects and consulting work with arts organizations. She curated a show on politics and the environment, called “Intertwined,” at Promega Corporation in the summer of 2017. Jenie also currently works with Dane Arts Mural Arts (DAMA), as a lead artist and to help them to develop solid pricing models, project management tools, and an infrastructure that supports both the youth that they serve and the careers of artists. She seeks projects that allow her to put challenging, meaningful work in shared spaces and to invest in the careers of fellow creatives. She believes that cultivating creativity is vital to building a prosperous and resilient culture, and uses her diverse experience to advocate for this vision.
Jenie received her BFA in Printmaking/Drawing from Washington University in St. Louis. She has been the artist-in-residence at Proyecto ´ace in Buenos Aires, Argentina, at Museo de Arte Moderno in Castro, Chile, and at the Bubbler at Madison Central Library. She has artwork in both public and private collections across the states and internationally, including artist books at the Kohler Art Library. Her work as been reviewed and published in The Capital Times, StudioVOX, BRAVA Magazine, SGC International’s Graphic Impressions, and Aesthetica Magazine in the UK. She serves on the curatorial board at Arts + Literature Laboratory and as a committee member on the Madison Arts Commission. She was a TEDx Madison speaker in 2016.