The Inception of MadArt
Alison Milliman first conceived of MadArt while living abroad for a year in Melbourne, Australia. While there, she discovered a lively street art scene filled with emerging artists, whose works were often hidden down alleys and in unusual parts of the city. In visiting these locations, her interest in emerging artists and the joy of finding art in unexpected places began to form the core of MadArt’s mission. Further inspiration was found one day when Milliman was visiting her local neighborhood shops and inside their storefront windows was a show of contemporary artwork sharing primary space with everyday retail objects. Immediately upon experiencing this unexpected visual encounter, MadArt was conceived.
After returning to the States, Milliman fostered a keen desire to rethink how and where we view art in our communities, exploring the idea of creating opportunities to see artwork outside the familiar venues. With The Window Art Project in 2009, MadArt’s first show exhibited artwork in storefront windows in Madison Park, Seattle and Milliman’s mission to help people “discover art in unexpected ways” was realized.
The MadArt Team
Alison Wyckoff Milliman, Founder
Alison Milliman is a creative leader in the Seattle arts community, a philanthropist, and a visionary. MadArt Seattle, her invention, is a program that supports the work of emerging artists who showcase their art in surprising venues, themes, and creations. Her work in the community includes leadership positions as chair of the School of the Arts Board at University of Washington, past board member of the University of Washington Foundation Board, and involvement in numerous other non-profits.
A graduate of the University of Washington with a degree in art history, Alison studied at Christies’ Fine and Decorative Art’s Course in London and launched her own appraisal business, Aspen Antique Appraisals, in San Francisco and Seattle.
Alison and her husband, Glen, live in Seattle and have three children.
Emily Kelly, Director
Emily Kelly is an artist, arts educator, and administrator joining the MadArt team from her native Texas, where she was Interim Director of the Visual Arts Center (VAC), a contemporary art space at The University of Texas at Austin. In addition to her work with the VAC, Emily has been an active member of MASS Gallery, a collectively-run nonprofit gallery and project space.
With a background in community-based arts programming, Emily is interested in the dynamic ways contemporary art can act as a catalyst for community development and social engagement. She holds a BS in Marketing and Fine Arts from the University of New Orleans and an MA in Art Education with a specialized portfolio in Art and Cultural Management and Entrepreneurship from The University of Texas at Austin.
Katie Wood, Studio Manager
Katie Wood joined MadArt’s team in 2014, just before the opening of MadArt Studio. Raised in Seattle, she graduated from Gettysburg College in Pennsylvania with a degree in Cultural Anthropology. Her diverse interests then led her to the mountains of Colorado, a Bellevue tech company, a circus school, bodywork, and public art.
Katie has spent much of this time involved in office management, event planning, and communications. She worked for several years overseeing shows and daily operations at Emerald City Trapeze Arts in SoDo, before deciding to shift gears from performing to visual arts. In addition to MadArt, she has worked with local organizations including Art with Heart and Bilinear Art Consulting. When not immersed in the studio, Katie also owns her own practice in Soma Neuromuscular Integration, a type of functional massage therapy.