The University of Wisconsin-Madison hosted a campus celebration on Bascom Hill Tuesday to view new Ho-Chunk-themed banners commissioned as part of UW–Madison’s 175th anniversary.
The banners — three panels, each about 7 feet by 16 feet — will hang from the front of Bascom Hall through the month of November, according to the university, which is celebrated as Native November on the UW–Madison campus. The title of the piece is “Seed by Seed.” The banners will return during the spring semester as part of a regular rotation of themed banners on Bascom Hall.
Speakers at the event included Ho–Chunk Nation President Jon Greendeer; JoAnn Jones a retired judge from the Ho-Chunk Nation and UW–Madison alum; UW–Madison Chancellor Jennifer L. Mnookin; and doctoral student Molli Pauliot, one of the banner artists.
“What you see here behind you is more than just a mural, more than just banners,” Greendeer said at the ceremony. “It speaks volumes to our history, our clan system, our culture. Today is a mark of beauty for our people.
“I can’t express enough appreciation for Molli [Pauliot] and the work that she has done,” Greendeer added. “By looking at this and seeing our clans represented, seeing the art and every symbolism that is in there is deliberate and means something. I am so happy to see something like this. A day like today is absolutely historic.”
The banners are a part of UW’s “Our Shared Future” initiative meant to honor and respect the Ho-Chunk Nation and other First Nations in the state. Along with Pauliot, Marianne Fairbanks, a textile artist and an associate professor of design studies in the School of Human Ecology, and Stephen Hilyard, a professor of digital arts in the Art Department, were the other two artists who worked on the banners.