Genevieve Waller awarded P.S. You Are Here grant from Denver Arts and Venues
Since arriving at the University of Denver in January 2019, Genevieve Waller has served as program manager in the Josef Korbel School of International Studies.
While her formal position revolves around managing study-abroad programs, course scheduling and adjunct faculty hiring, Waller is a skilled visual artist who was recently awarded a P.S. You Are Here grant from Denver Arts & Venues. Launched in 2014, the grant supports neighborhood-based, community-led projects that honor heritage and build civic engagement in outdoor public spaces.
As a recipient of the 2021 grant, Waller created a project titled Stars and Precious Gems: Celebrating the LGBTQ+ History of the University of Denver. The installation will be displayed at the start of June 2022 to mark the beginning of LGBTQ+ Pride Month and end in October 2022 for LGBTQ+ History Month.
“As a member of the LGBTQ+ community, I was inspired to pursue this project after learning about three accomplished DU alumni who were/are part of the LGBTQ+ community and part of the DU in the 1940s and ’50s,” says Waller. “This project adds to a larger goal: exploring the non-dominant narratives and recognizing individuals who made impactful contributions to the community.”
Waller’s installation is on display on the concrete walls of the waterway next to Harvard Gulch Trail south of the DU campus. The project features panels with historic photographs, images and text alongside a series of hand-colored images of gems and stars.
In addition to the public display, Waller will bring her work to the Anderson Academic Commons, which played a crucial role in her research.
“I love the resources and staff expertise that the Anderson Academic Commons houses,” says Waller. “I appreciate the high-level academic discourse at DU and the open-minded environment here.”
Beyond working at Korbel, Waller is the community outreach coordinator for Queer University Employees, the advisor for the Queerbel Student Alliance and the co-leader of the DU Community Garden.
“Since I’ve been an employee, I’ve seen improvements in DU’s social inclusivity, diversity and equity,” says Waller. “As an individual who strives to make our campus better for the entire community, I have particularly enjoyed seeing how the graduate students of Queerbel are working to help implement Korbel’s pronoun policy.”
Before arriving at DU, Waller, a first-generation college student, received her B.A. in Art History from Wichita State University. She would later receive a Photography and Art History M.F.A. from Ohio University and an M.A. in Visual and Cultural Studies from the University of Rochester.
“As far as I can remember, I wanted to be an artist, and my mother was my biggest supporter,” says Waller. “Interestingly enough, my mother was taking college courses regularly while raising me and working full-time and we graduated together.”
Since leaving her hometown and college towns, Waller has enjoyed Denver’s supportive artist community.
“I moved to Denver in 2013 to be involved in the large and diverse art scene. In 2019 I founded my art journal, ‘DARIA: Denver Art Review, Inquiry, and Analysis,’ as a love letter to the Denver art scene.”
Beyond Stars and Precious Gems, Waller will have her co-curated exhibition, “In Sickness and In Health,” on display in June 2022 at the McNichols Civic Center Building. Influenced by her Fullbright Scholar experience in Germany, Waller continues to make art using cameraless photography, drawing, installation, sculpture and video.