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The state’s largest and most eagerly awaited annual show – MIAD’s 2009 Senior Exhibition – opens Gallery Night, Friday, April 17, 5 – 9 p.m., and continues through May 9 in all MIAD galleries. The exhibition celebrates the extensive senior thesis projects and innovative works of 135 artists and designers representing the college’s 11 Bachelor of Fine Arts majors.

New this year is the organization of works into conceptual groupings determined from an extensive list of themes compiled by the seniors.

"The groupings," said Director of Galleries Mark Lawson, "will help deepen connections forged between exhibitors and viewers, and between art and design disciplines." They are Branding & Marketing, Medical & Science, Environment, Abstraction, Identity, Installation, Narrative, Cross-Cultural Issues, Psychology, Religion, Entertainment & Recreation, Instruction & Education, and Soundscapes.

Among this year’s works:

  • A reinterpretation of Hmong folk tales for youth and young professionals through books, story quilts and oral recordings by two Hmong students majoring in Communication Design. The women received support from the Hmong Association of Sheboygan and friends and young professionals in the Hmong community. Read more about this project in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
  • A seat designed for individuals with disabilities for the Milwaukee Sailing Center to help make sailing more comfortable and enjoyable by an Industrial Design student who interned at Kimberly Clark.
  • "22 Years of Inventory" – A performance-based installation of handcrafted museum crates that allows viewers to interact with the space as the crated masterpieces are opened to unveil three-dimensional works. This Sculpture major interned at the Betty Brinn Children’s Museum, and has shown and curated work throughout Milwaukee.
  • An interactive piano installation displaying relief woodcuts and mixed-media drawings that integrates visual and auditory art forms by a student majoring in Integrated Studio Arts who plans to pursue graduate studies in Art Therapy.
  • "Rise and Fall" – photographic works that tell parables of what lies beneath the world we create around us by a student who interned for well-known fashion photographer Greg Kadel in New York and shown his work there as part of the exclusive New York Studio Program.

Many of the works at the MIAD 2009 Senior Exhibition are for sale, and the seniors are on hand to talk about their work on Gallery Night. Graduating seniors will receive their B.F.A. degrees in commencement exercises on May 9.