Our friend Rae: Artist’s lasting influence


Jackson Crossen

Rae Senarighi speaks at a gallery event at the Truax Campus in September.

T Clearwater, Staff Writer

At our school we have had some wonderful art exhibits and have even more planned! Most recently was the exhibit Transcend with The Transpainter, Rae Senarighi. He gave us a great exploration of trans and non-binary beauty, resilience, and belonging in everyday life in all aspects of life.  

He and I had a wonderful conversation, and I am so very glad to have talked to him. Not just as a fan, but a fellow member of the same community: the trans and non-binary community and the art community.  

We had a conversation about methods and greater perception through art. We very much felt that art is such a powerful place to change perspectives through expression, and that is what we like crafting our arts for.  

I very much found new inspiration from him to continue forward with some of my own work that I got the chance to share the concept of with him. It was great to know that at least one other person feels that my upcoming art, highlighting a crossroads of my own identity, would be an art piece well needed and well-received. 

Another way Rae has not only impacted me but also our community was that he, along with multiple other artists and organizations, contributed financially to the Pride Walk project. The project took course over three years, slowed down because of COVID-19, and was completed using a special industrial painting machine that seems to have only sprayed layers on layers of paint. 

The entire project cost $35,000 and was brought to Rae’s attention via Karen Wolf, who also works on The Friends of Madison Arts Commission.  

The Art Commission had a big part in the fund raising for the project, which was in a race this past spring and summer to finish raising the funds for the project. While Rae takes no credit for the beginning of the idea, he was there for the grand unveiling besides being a financial backer and supporter. You can also read about it in “Our Lives,” a LGBTQ+ magazine here in Madison. As for me, I look forward to taking any form of mentorship or advice from him as life goes on.