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Talk Back

Chapter One: Estate

July 20, 2023 – January 7, 2024

The Allis Art Museum is embarking on a new three-part exhibition series titled "Talk Back,” creating space for contemporary art to “talk back” to the Museum— reflecting on the Allis estate, collection, and land.

The first chapter, "Estate” juxtaposes the work of mixed media artist T.J. Dedeaux-Norris with historical Allis mansion and the will of Sarah Ball Allis.

Explore the many selves of Dedeaux-Norris through painting, fiber, performance and time-based media installations "talking back" to the history of the Allis.


For the duration of the exhibition, the Allis will also have a library "pop-up" to pay homage to the Museum's past as former branch of the Milwaukee Public Library. Featuring books for all ages curated by the Allis, the "little" library will also exhibit archival photos exploring the Allis' community and history.


About the Artist:

T.J. Dedeaux-Norris is a mixed-media artist who employs painting, fiber, performance, video, and music to explore the somatic impacts of racial, gender, and class socialization. In form and content, their work poses a philosophical inquiry into the distinction between Self and Other, with the body as a social microcosm of distinct yet discursive dynamics to observe and question. Everything is both permeable and fractile. 

Dedeaux-Norris completed their BA at University of California at Los Angeles and their MFA at Yale University. Their work has been presented internationally at the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston, Mission Creek Festival, Nasher Museum of Art, Performa, Prospect New Orleans, Rotterdam Film Festival, The Studio Museum in Harlem, Sundance Film Festival, and The Walker Art Center - among other institutions. Dedeaux-Norris has participated in residencies at The Grant Wood Colony, MacDowell, Skowhegan, and Yaddo. They are a 2019-2020 Pollock-Krasner Foundation grantee, a 2022 Iowa Artist Fellow, and a tenured Associate Professor at University of Iowa.