MadArt’s Mission is to support artists in our community, bring art into our lives in unexpected ways, and create community involvement in the arts.
MadArt is a contemporary art organization that serves as a catalyst for creating new large-scale, site-specific works by providing artists with opportunity and support. Started in 2009, MadArt’s initial programming was nomadic and took place in a variety of non-traditional spaces. These included houses slated for demolition, business storefronts, public parks, and The University of Washington campus. By exhibiting in these places, MadArt not only created a forum for the community to connect with contemporary art outside of traditional viewing spaces, but also established rich community partnerships.
In 2014, MadArt moved into MadArt Studio, an architecturally distinct masonry-and-wood build from the 1920s, redesigned by Seattle-based Graham Baba Architects. The impetus for creating a physical space for site-specific exhibition was to further engage public audiences by exposing the installation and making processes of selected artists and to challenge artists to expand on their practices. By remaining free and open to the public during all phases of construction, visitors have an opportunity to engage directly with the artists and their developing work.
The MadArt Team
Alison Wyckoff Milliman, Founder
Alison Milliman is an art historian, creative entrepreneur and philanthropist who grew up in Seattle, WA. As a young adult she had the opportunity to travel extensively which fostered her curiosity in the many forms of public art. Alison became a certified antique appraiser, fascinated both in the how an object was made, as well as why it was made. She first conceived of MadArt while living abroad in Melbourne, Australia, following a desire to rethink how and where we view art in our communities. She received her BA in Art History from the University of Washington and later studied at Christie’s in London, UK.
Emily Kelly, Director
Emily Kelly joined the MadArt team in June 2017 from her native Texas. With a background in arts administration and community-based arts education, Emily is interested in the dynamic ways contemporary art can act as a catalyst for community development and social engagement. Having held leadership positions in a variety of arts organizations, ranging from alternative artist run spaces to university art institutions, Emily brings comprehensive experience to her role as MadArt Director. 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 arrived at MadArt 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. Katie’s professional journey led her through the diverse fields of mobile advertising, performing arts, and art consulting, emerging with skills in office management, event planning, and communications. This background supports her in successfully managing the details that go into making MadArt Studio a unique private event venue in the heart of Seattle. In Katie’s role at MadArt, she also enjoys being able to support both artists and the community by facilitating the creation of new art installations which are always accessible to the public.
Ashley Conradi, Office & Communications Coordinator
Ashley Conradi came to MadArt in the fall of 2018 after spending the prior six years in Bellingham where she attended Western Washington University. She holds a BA from Western’s journalism department in public relations and a minor in French. Ashley has worked with clients across multiple sectors of the communications industry, including corporations, nonprofits, and small businesses such as Allstate and the Downtown Bellingham Partnership. She sees MadArt as an opportunity to further connect with the local arts and entertainment scene and help grow MadArt’s position in the community as an accessible haven for creative engagement.
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Les Milliman, Exhibition Coordinator
Les Milliman joined MadArt in 2020. Born and raised in Seattle, they have been influenced and inspired by the local arts cultivation work of their mother, MadArt founder Alison Milliman. Les earned their BS from Dickinson College with a focus on Earth Sciences, and is interested in exploring how creative expression can help us understand and relate to our surroundings, and conceptualize our agency here and now. Building on their experience working as a fabricator for Seattle-based artists, Les sees their role at MadArt as an opportunity to continue supporting creatives in realizing artistic goals. They enjoy this through hands-on fabrication work as well as through the facilitation of exhibition programming to connect with the community.