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Wisconsin Department of Health Services


About Art: 1 West Wilson State Office Building

Wisconsin Women Ceramics Display Wisconsin Women Ceramics - the late 1800s, 1930s to the early 1960s, and contemporary works.

The Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) has exhibition space for art, located in their historic building at 1 West Wilson Street in Madison, Wisconsin. These spaces include a custom-built display cabinet, as well as designated wall space for hanging art work.

The exhibit space was specifically designed to showcase the work of Wisconsin artists who have a connection to the Department: 

  • DHS employees; 
  • Residents or patients of DHS-operated facilities; or 
  • Family and friends of DHS employees. 

Overall, art displays portray a positive, uplifting message.

All selected artwork is displayed free of charge by the artist in exchange for the opportunity to showcase their artistic talents. The displays run continuously throughout the year. Each artist designates the time period to feature their artwork. Generally, the artwork is displayed for approximately three months at a time. Artists are welcome to sell their artwork once their display period is completed. All sales will be the responsibility of the artist and not the Art Display Team.

Where is the artwork located?

List of current artists and their display dates

  • Display Cabinet - It's located on the first floor near the central elevator lobby.
  • Wall Displays - Look for wall hung art on floors 2B, 1B, 6th and 7th floors.

Who is part of the Art Display Team?

The Art Display Team consists of staff who are involved with the artists in accepting their applications, entering the information into a database, communicating with the artists, interacting with the artists when putting up or taking down the art displays, and formatting and putting the information on the public internet site. The current Art Display Team includes the following people (alphabetical order): Jim Gleeson, Natalie Massey (Lead), Rita Prigioni (Advisor), Jennifer Quale, Valeri Simmons, and Don Wadewitz.

How did the art display program get started?

Rita Prigioni, Director of the Bureau of Continuity Management, Facilities and Operations, had a visionary goal to display artwork in the building she has worked in since the mid-1980s. During 2009, this goal became a reality when she and a few DHS staff began working on this project. They formed the Art Display Committee, chaired by Rita Prigioni, with executive sponsorship by Gina Frank. Initial committee members included Brenda Clifton, Dick DeMarse, Cheryl Judd Weeden, Kathryn Lederhause, and Tim Zinkgraf. After consulting with the Wisconsin Arts Board for guidance and advice, they sorted through the challenges of what type of art to display, where to display the art, how to display the art, and whom to seek the art from. 

One of the first steps in implementing the project was to acquire a display cabinet to showcase the artwork. With the assistance of some of DHS' very own craftsmen at Mendota Mental Health Institute (MMHI), they now have a beautiful hand-crafted display cabinet located near the elevator lobby on the first floor of the building. Special thanks goes to former Crafts Supervisor Trent Thom, carpenters Craig King and Ken Messer, and electrician Gary VanNatta. The team designed and built the exquisite wooden cabinet from natural cherry wood with a linseed oil finish.

For the wall art, the Art Display Committee selected a hanging molding and rod system to display two-dimensional art (e.g., photos, paintings, etc.) on designated hallway space on four floors in the building: 2B, 1B, 6th and 7th.

When did the first displays go up?

In early 2010, a few special cabinet displays of historic significance to the 1 West Wilson Building and to Wisconsin Women Ceramics were featured in January and February while the first call for art went out in mid-January 2010, with the deadline of early February. The first full display period began March 2010.

Who to contact?

If you have any questions regarding the art display program, please contact the Art Display Team at

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Last Revised:  March 12, 2014