Jenie Gao is a full-time artist, creative director, and entrepreneur. Her arts practice is based in printmaking, public art, social practice, and storytelling. She also has a niche consulting in equitable best practices and systems for cultural organizations. She strives to create records and claim space for resilient, diverse stories.
Jenie pulls from personal experiences as a mixed race Taiwanese-Chinese American woman who grew up in rural Kansas, who worked her way into unexpected roles in the corporate world and beyond. Prior to founding her business, Jenie worked in the arts, public education, and lean manufacturing. Through her interdisciplinary work, Jenie advocates for equity for artists, fair pay for labor, and building equitable communities that work better for everyone. She has hired and mentored 22 paid interns and apprentices through her apprenticeship program at Jenie Gao Studio. She has been in business for six years and currently runs a 1,700 square foot art studio in Teejop (Madison, Wisconsin). The studio is built on unceded Ho-Chunk land and rent from this space contributes to affordable housing in the city, as one part of the endeavor to operate an anti-gentrification business.
Jenie studied at Washington University in St. Louis. Her work has been exhibited, collected, and published in the US, UK, Argentina, Denmark, and more. Her recent solo shows have been at Museum of Wisconsin Art, Diane Endres Ballweg Gallery, and UW Whitewater’s Crossman Gallery. She is a TEDx Madison speaker and former artist-in-residence at Proyecto’ace in Buenos Aires, Museo de Arte Moderno in Chile, Iowa Lakeside Laboratory, Madison Public Library, and Artist Campaign School with Fractured Atlas.