November 10, 2016 - January 29, 2017


Invented in the 1500’s as an inexpensive method of interior decoration, wallpaper today is enjoying a new era of innovation and attention. In Why Wallpaper, Villa Terrace draws from six leading artists and designers, exhibiting work from the last twenty years that has helped expand and redefine the possibilities of a medium. Employing old and new techniques, these artists and their wallpapers engage aesthetic and social causes, marry decorative and political aims, and move ideas from the background to the foreground and back again.


Featured Artists:

They come from New York, Rhode Island, Jamaica, Milan, Chicago, and Paris, with individual reasons for how and why wallpaper became a prominent feature in their range of work. Organized by artist in the museum's second floor galleries, the exhibition also features paintings, prints, embroideries, furniture, photography and video.

Why Wallpaper is co-organized by Edward Styles, former Curatorial Assistant at the Charles Allis & Villa Terrace Museums and Jenille Junco, Assistant Curator.


Opening Reception: Thursday, November 10, 2016, 6pm - 8pm

Member Preview 5:30pm - 6pm






February 16, 2017 - May 14, 2017

Ornate/Activate examines the use of decorative motifs, architectural elements, cursive scripts, traditional forms, and other forms of pattern making by artists of South Asian origin to merge and reclaim decoration and craft as meaningful and critical art forms. The exhibition, organized by the South Asian Women’s Creative Collective (SAWCC) and curated by Alexander Campos, addresses themes such as inequality stemming from the global economy, loss of language and culture, gender violence, discrimination, segregation, and issues of equality and identity. The artists in Ornate/Activate recognize a need to reclaim tactile and decorative methods of making as a way to address social, political, and economic issues and also to confront the ever-growing presence of technology in everyday life.

Opening Reception: Thursday, February 16th, 2016, 6pm - 8pm

Member Preview 5:30pm - 6pm

Talk by SAWCC Director Monica Jahan Bose followed by gallery walk through by Alex Campos: 6:30pm


From Bangladesh to Brooklyn: Transnational Art Practices

February 17th, 2016 11am Art Center Lecture Hall UWM 2400 E Kenwood Blvd, Milwaukee, WI

Monica Jahan Bose will present her recent projects and consider how South Asia enters conceptual frameworks and art practices in the US, and reflect on the impact and interplay of colonization and globalization on the art world in South Asia and the US.

Ornate/Active - Film screening and art performances

Sunday, April 30 starting at 3:00pm

Exhibition “closing” with performances by Udita Upadhyaya and Marcy Chevali; a screening of Patterns of Interaction, a program of ten artist’s films, curated by Shelly Bahl; and follow-up talk with Ms. Bahl and Negin Sharifzadeh, one of the filmmakers.







Shadow Dance

Staab’s site-specific work at the Villa Terrace Museum will be constructed at the base of a steep bluff, in The Renaissance Garden, a grassy area between the early twentieth-century Italian-style villa and Lake Michigan. Sited on the central axis of the grounds, between an obelisk and a waterfall staircase, the primary view of the sculpture will be from the terrace and the windows of the museum. Visitors may experience the work from the lower grounds. The installation will remain on the Villa Terrace grounds throughout the summer, changing with the season, and engaging and contrasting with the symmetrical beds of trees and flowers.


Shadow Dance will stay on display throughout the winter.