Select Page

New Studio Practice: Success

MIAD graduates are individuals whose lifelong passions have become lifelong careers. Many MIAD alumni have pursued directly related to their academic program, while others have taken their culmination of skills in many areas and them to interdisciplinary projects and professional opportunities. For many of our graduates, their degree has led them to places they never expected, and they have redefined the role of artist or designer to contemporary society.

Explore this small sampling of the many paths our graduates have followed.

Alumni Profile: Ariana Vaeth ’17

Vaeth

Ariana Vaeth
BFA Fine Arts/Integrated Studio Arts | 2017
Art History Minor

Studio Artist
Milwaukee, Wisconsin

 

“Through MIAD, I gained a strong community of artist and art supporters in Milwaukee. I look forward to exploring the art world through what I have learned.”

The Dream Team. 2017. Oil on panel.


See more of Ariana’s work at:

ARIANAVAETH.COM

Alumni Profile: Georgia Lloyd ’11

Georgia Lloyd

David Century Plants. Digital.

Georgia Lloyd
BFA Fine Arts/Photography | 2011
Art History Minor

Fine Art Photographer
Owner and Lead Photographer, Twin Lens Weddings
Austin, Texas 

“During my four years at MIAD, I learned to see differently – how to develop my vision, and ensure my photos reflect my intent.  The rigorous assignments and critiques at MIAD helped me understand how the visual language works, and this is an essential skill for any creative endeavor.  Having a small, tight-knit community meant I got lots of one-on-one time with faculty who offered me support both during school and after graduation.  Looking back, I think the most valuable aspect of my MIAD education was gaining the confidence to represent myself, sell my work and believe in my skills.”

David Century Plants. Digital.
Millipede Jar. Digital.
Cattail Falls. Digital.
Thunderstorm, Backyard, Night, Marathon. Digital.
Arm, Crystal Necklace, Rainbow. Digital.
Cloud Mountains. Digital.
Various Twin Lens Wedding Photography. Digital.


See more of Georgia’s work at:

GEORGIA-LLOYD.COM
TWINLENSWEDDINGS.COM

Alumni Profile: Jean White ’82

“MIAD helped me to learn to pay attention to the world around and inside of me…”

Jean White 
BFA Drawing, 1982

Jean White is a practicing visual artist, represented by the Elaine Erickson Gallery in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. White feels, “MIAD gave me a very strong foundation, learning the basics in the disciplines of drawing, painting and sculpture.  I fell in love with drawing. So much of creativity is not only about rendering and representation.  MIAD helped me to learn to pay attention to the world around and inside of me.  I learned as much about translating what I saw on to the page, as I did in thinking and observing in new and different ways.  MIAD gave me the tools to help find my own way through art.”

White also said, “Art isn’t only about the physical act of creating.  It is about remaining aware and finding reverence for the world in front of you.  Art has saved my life countless times.  I am grateful for my MIAD experience.”

 

Alumni Profile: Kari Couture ’04

Kari Couture, 2004
Printmaking major
Community Arts Specialist, Milwaukee Public Schools, Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Kari Couture is an artist and arts education advocate who believes strongly in the transformative potential of the arts to empower individuals and unite and build communities. As the Community Arts Specialist in Milwaukee Public Schools, she is the administrator for the 1.5 million dollar Partnership for the Arts and Humanities grant, overseeing grants for roughly 40 different arts education organizations. She has taught art at various community organizations and institutions including the Milwaukee Art Museum, Alverno College, Cardinal Stritch University and at the community print shop she helped create, RedLine Milwaukee. Creating her own work allows her to meditate on ideas and rebuild her energy.  Couture’s work has been shown nationally and internationally and is featured in several publications about political printmaking. In addition to her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from MIAD, she earned a Certificate in Youth Development and values her ten months in the Americorps Public Allies program as an invaluable learning experience.

“Going to a visual art and design college gave me the opportunity to spend four years surrounded by like-minded people who really valued the way I think and learn. I credit many of my MIAD studio and humanities faculty with inspiring my sense of curiosity and pushing me beyond what I thought I was capable of accomplishing. I left with the confidence to express my thoughts and ideas visually, verbally, and in writing, and felt empowered to use my creativity to have a positive impact on my community.”

“Just Between You and I,” mixed media, 2011

“Empty Ouvrante,” mixed media, 2012    |    “Untitled,” installation, mixed media, 2012

Studio and artwork photos: Troy Freund Photography

Alumni Success: Brad Bernard ’93

A Painter Makes His Mark.

  • graduated 1993, BFA Painting
    2003, MFA University of Mississippi
  • currently teaches in the Outreach + Continuing Education Program @ The University of Mississippi
Brad Bernard

Brad Bernard

“The MIAD Career Services Office helped me to establish a diverse client/reference base as well as a versatile portfolio. I also began my first teaching experience through a collaboration between MIAD and the Inner City Arts Council.”

As a child, Brad Bernard hoped to become a comic book artist. His degree in Painting from MIAD led him in different and ultimately unique directions — art education, professional art, and community service. His showing experience is extensive — Milwaukee’s Black Holocaust Museum, the Mississippi Museum of Art, the University of Mississippi-Oxford, as well as several murals to his credit.

Asked about the relationship of artist to community and culture, Bernard responded, “I wish that every living being on the planet would come to the realization that Humanity is about love, reciprocity, and a collective communal understanding. In dedication to the creator.”

Bernard at his Master's Thesis Exhibition.

Bernard at his Master’s Thesis Exhibition.

Bernard Paintings

Bernard Paintings

Alumni Success: Jessica Kaminski ’01

Capturing Evidence of Life.

attended Nathan Hale High School, Milwaukee, WI | graduated 2001 BFA Photography
currently owns a photography business: www.jessicakaminski.com

 

kaminski

Jessica Kaminski

“Putting together my thesis show prepared me for starting my own business. The whole concept of having a deadline, learning to create printed marketing materials, showing a cohesive body of work, and putting in my own physical labor were great lessons that were easily applied to being a small business owner.”

Q. What was your first memorable experience with art and design?

A. I remember being in Kindergarten and being given a simple drawing of a dragon to color. I remember adding things to my dragon, such as lollipops for the scales on his back, because I wanted mine to be different. Unfortunately, everyone at my table started to copy my idea! But the memory I have is about first noticing that being creative seemed to be in my nature.

Q. How did your MIAD education affect where you are today?

A. Putting together my thesis show prepared me for starting my own business. The whole concept of having a deadline, learning to create printed marketing materials, showing a cohesive body of work, and putting in my own physical labor were great lessons that were easily applied to being a small business owner.

Q. What was the most valuable thing you learned at MIAD?

A. One of the most valuable things I learned while at MIAD was to think first. In the photography department during critique, it was always a question of what you were trying to convey, and whether or not it was being done successfully. I am always dealing with different types of clients who all have different needs and objectives, so this was a very important lesson.

kaminski wedding photos

Q. If you had to sum up your job in a single sentence, what would it be?

A. All of the things that are great about my personality – my sensitivity, creativity, and versatility – are all
required of me on a daily basis in my job as a photographer.

Q. What are your goals for the
future, in art/design and in life?

A. I would love to be on set with Annie Liebowitz and watch her create a portrait! I don’t know how to make that happen, but I thought I’d put the thought out there!

Q. What are some of your hobbies/interests?

A. I love traveling, listening to and discovering new music, and learning new things. I am also looking to get back into theater or taking up a dancing class. I’d like to learn Spanish, too… I am half Puerto Rican and would like to be more connected to that side of my heritage.

Kaminski Portraits

 

Kaminski’s photography has appeared in:

  • Seventeen Magazine
  • The Wall Street Journal
  • Movie Maker Magazine
  • Milwaukee Magazine
  • Wisconsin Bride Magazine
  • Remy Bumpo Theater Co., Chicago
  • Milwaukee Shepherd Express
  • Wisconsin Wedding Planner & Guide
  • Waukesha Memorial Hospital

Kaminski’s films have been awarded:

  • Winner for Best Cinematography for Art Direction for “Starlite” by Tate Bunker, Paris Film Festival, 2007
  • Winner for Best Experimental Film, Twin Rivers Media Festival
  • Winner for Best Milwaukee Film, Milwaukee International Film Festival
Kaminski ballet photography

Alumni Success: Linnéa Spransy ’01

Growing Ideas.

graduated 1998, BFA Drawing, 2001, MFA Yale School of Art
currently a studio artist: www.linneagabriella.com

“I have, it would seem, an omnivorous curiosity…”

Linnéa Spransy comes from a self-described “very colorful clan” with a strange set of skills, “from wallpapering to jazz singing”. Her first drawing was on an Etch-A-Sketch of human profile; “I was absorbed and knew from that moment on how I ought to spend my life.” Spransy continued to explore and develop her understanding of the human form as a Drawing major at MIAD.

oil painting, 1998 (student work)

After graduating from MIAD, Spransy completed graduate study at the Yale School of Art. She is now a studio artist, working in “anything that makes a mark frosted mylar and ink, most recently.” Her most memorable showing to date was in China. “Watching such a truly different culture react to my current project was especially fascinating.”

When asked about her future goals, Spransy’s response was simple: “To maintain a vibrant studio life and to share that life and its products in whatever way I can. Till the day die I aim to create… that is my fundamental goal.”

What does Spransy have to say about her current body of work “Tracing Growth”?

“The strange attractions of quantum, chaos, and time theory have pulled me in. Now necessity has led me to invent a method of art-making sensitive to the vaguely mystical twinges of new science. Informed by the architecture of fractal images… which serve as an uncanny segue between the highly abstract and the physically familiar… I now allow structures to build upon themselves and reiterate their own distortions.

In truth, my images grow.”

Fire as Fluid, from the series Tracing Growth, ink on frosted mylar, 2002                                                 Drowsy Gravity (detail)

Selected Exhibitions:

  • • ‘Tumult’, (exhibition and performance with Lia Chavez), Nomas Projects, Dundee, Scotland (2014)
  • • ‘CrossCurrents’, Metcalf Gallery, Taylor Univ., IN (2014)
  • ‘Poiesis’, (exhibition and performance with Lia Chavez), HUSK Gallery, London, UK (2014)

  • ‘Plethora’, (exhibition and performance with Lia Chavez), Soapbox Gallery, Brooklyn, NY (2013)
  • ‘Amass’, Virginia Green Gallery, BIOLA Univ, CA (2013)
  • ‘Linnea Spransy’, Housman Millworks, San Antonio, TX (2012)
  • ‘Linnea Spransy’, Byron C. Cohen Gallery, Kansas City, MO (2010)
  • ‘Art and Theology’, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ (2007)
  • Christine Wang Gallery, Brooklyn, NY [2004] solo show
  • Nordica Gallery, Kunming, China [2002] solo show
  • Wisconsin Triennial Group Show, Madison, WI [2002]
  • The Blue Door, Colorado Springs, CO [2002] solo show
  • Yale Thesis Group Exhibition, New Haven, CT [2001]
  • Michael Wilson Gallery, Cincinnati, OH [2000] solo show
  • International Festival of the Arts, Kunming, China [1998]

Alumni Success: Lila Aryan ’90

Passion = Vision.

  • attended James Madison High School, Milwaukee, WI
  • graduated 1990 BFA Photography
  • currently owns her own photography business: lilaaryan.com
aryan_01

Lila Aryan

“There is no greater career experience than having a job that is also your passion.”

Q. What did you want to be when you grew up?

A. An artist…

Q. What was your first memorable experience with art and design?

A. My first memorable experience was winning an award for cartoon drawings.

Q. How did your MIAD education affect where you are today?

A. It gave me that springboard from which to jump into my career. It gave me confidence for my career in photography. Confidence is everything.

aryan_02

Q. What was the most valuable thing you learned at MIAD?

A. The most valuable thing I learned at MIAD is how to see artistically/creatively… how to develop a vision and how to market that vision.

Q. What’s the one thing you would tell a high school student who is considering attending MIAD now that you’ve experienced life after graduation?

A. If art is your passion, be persistent and steadfast and work very hard on your vision. There is no greater career experience than having a job that is also your passion.

image | MIAD

Q. If you had to sum up your job in a single sentence, what would it be?

A. I create images that reflect my vision, and sell them to the commercial and art world where they creatively and efficiently communicate my clients’ message.

Q. What are your goals for the future, in art/design and in life?

A. To continue to grow my business; constantly creating visually stimulating images for companies and galleries.

image | MIAD

Q. What are some of your hobbies/interests?

A. I love church, singing, home improvement, softball, gardening, painting and writing poetry. I play soccer religiously! I volunteer as a set painter for my church’s drama ministry, and do volunteer photography for Arab World Fest. I’ve also volunteered as a board member on MIAD’s Alumni Association for fifteen years.

Q. Are there any specific parts of your resume that you’d like to share?

A. I created images for three world-wide jazz CD jackets by Narada records called Nightgrooves. I have many images in the database of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American Art for the Save Outdoor Sculpture project. I recently finished thirteen images for a book on
caregiving that may be marketed nationally with large booksellers. My regular clients include: the Aids Resource

Center of Wisconsin, Alverno College, the Milwaukee Art Museum, the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, Milwaukee Shakespeare, Milwaukee County Transit System, Reinhart Boerner Van Deuren Law Firm and more.

Q. Please define how you saw your major while in school, and how that definition has changed over the years.

A. Well, I really never knew what to expect in the real world, and now I know what it is like. I never knew how much hard work it would really take.

image | MIAD
image | MIAD
image | MIAD

Some of Aryan’s clients include:

  • Sprint
  • Fleishmann-Hillard, Inc. (for Harley-Davidson + Briggs Stratton)
  • Alverno College
  • Blue Horse,
  • Milwaukee Art Museum,
  • Milwaukee Transit System,
  • Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra
  • The Medical College of Wisconsin
  • Narada Productions (music label)
  • Reinhart/ Boerner /Van Deuren, S.C.

Her photography has been exhibited at:

  • The Milwaukee Art Museum
  • Gallery 218
  • Smithsonian’s Museum of American Art (Save the Outdoor Sculpture Project)

Alumni Profile: Philip Gattuso ’14

Tools of the Engraving* Trade

Tools of the Engraving* Trade. Copper Plate Engraving.

Philip Gattuso
BFA Fine Arts/Printmaking | 2014
Illustration Minor

Print Expert/Press Operator, Artistry Engraving & Embossing Co., Inc
Chicago, Illinois

 

“MIAD introduced me to a complex world of creatives; I was quick to learn that education is what you, as an individual, make of it.  Creativity is nothing without direction.”

 

Dragonfly Study. Copper Plate Engraving.

Tools of the Engraving* Trade. Copper Plate Engraving.


Learn more about Artistry Engraving & Embossing Co. at:

ARTISTRYINK.COM

Alumni Profile: Zach Hill ’15

The Watering Hole

The Watering Hole. 2016. Multimedia.

Zachary Hill
BFA Fine Arts/Integrated Studio Arts | 2015

Studio Artist/Founder of After School Special Collective
Winner 2015 Mary L. Nohl Fellowship for Individual Artists (emerging)
MFA Candidate University of Pennsylvania’s PennDesign
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

 

“While at MIAD, I connected with a community of artists and thinkers that pushed me to work harder, take risks, and get involved. These ideals have followed me into my day to day as an artist and arts organizer.”

The Watering Hole. 2016. Multimedia.

 

See more of Zach’s work at:

ZACH-HILL.COM

Alumni Profile: Cassandra Smith ’06

“MIAD exposed me to the art world in a way that I would not have experienced at other schools…”

Cassandra Smith
BFA Sculpture, 2006

Cassandra Smith is a successful, independent artist who annually participates in and curates several group in the Milwaukee area.  Smith’s current body of work, hand-painted deer antlers, has been featured by Anthropology, US Weekly, Harpers Bazaar and Better Homes & Gardens.  Her work can be seen at cassandra-smith.com.

After graduating, Cassandra co-owned the now defunct Armoury Gallery which exhibited contemporary work by local and national emerging artists.  She was also the co-founder and editor of Fine Line Magazine, an international fine arts publication that produced five high-quality, ad-free issues.

“Attending MIAD exposed me to the art world in a way that I would not have experienced at other schools.  Through my studio practice, I learned to be a thoughtful, disciplined creator.  And in turn, what I learned in my studio classes actually translated into owning the gallery and  magazine.  I have come to learn that there are many different facets to being an ‘artist,’ and that sometimes, if you don’t find a job that fits you perfectly, it works out best to just create your own.”

Alumni Profile: Jordan Waraksa

Fiddle & Hammer, Forged and Led by Jordan Waraksa, fidddlehammer.com

“We are a small company dedicated to the creation of handmade heirloom quality furniture. Made from the best materials possible with traditional joinery and a classic, modern aesthetic.”

“Originally a sculptor and violinist, I look to the furniture I create to blend those mediums of that which can be seen and heard into an experience you can feel. When chosen tools do more than create and inspire, they sing. A Fiddle & Hammer.”

Fiddle & Hammer is located in Milwaukee, Wisconsin where a love of wood, music and a rich industrial past is engrained into the work.

Alumni Profile: Amanda Jozaitis ’09

“For me, MIAD was an endurance test…” 

Amanda Jozaitis
BFA Printmaking, Communication Design (minor), 2009

Amanda Jozaitis (Heise) lives in La Porte, Indiana, a suburb of Chicago, located right under Lake Michigan. Jozaitis is a Graphic Designer at The Grossbauer Group, a Chicago integrated marketing agency, and previously worked as a graphic designer at Royal & Langnickel, an international art and beauty product company based in Munster, Indiana.  Outside of her work as a graphic designer, Jozaitis established a small printmaking studio in her home and has been steadily creating and showing prints in solo and group shows.

“For me, MIAD was an endurance test.  I pushed myself in so many ways to develop the style of art and design that I am continuously working on today. I proved to myself with the help of the faculty and staff that anything was attainable as long as I worked hard.  Through MIAD’s Career Services Office and the professional artist course I took senior year, I started believing that I don’t have to be a “starving artist” but that with dedication fine arts is a viable career.”

Alumni Success: Zane Lancaster ’03

Visual Stories.

  • attended Evanston High School, Evanston, WY
  • graduated 2003, BFA Painting
  • currently a studio artist + applying to graduate school
image | MIAD

“Absorb everything…”

Q. How did your MIAD education affect where you are today?

A. My education from MIAD redefined my conceptions of art making and my perception of life in general.

Q. What was the most valuable thing you learned at MIAD?

A. Who I am.

Q. What’s the one thing you would tell a high school student who is considering attending MIAD now that you’ve experienced life after graduation?

A. Absorb everything and don’t take the experience for granted. It will shape who you become.

Fantastic SweaterFantastic Sweater, oil, 2005/2006

Fantastic SweaterFantastic Sweater, oil, 2005/2006

Q. What are your goals for the future, in art/design and in life?

A. Right now, I’m waiting to hear from graduate schools, and that’s kind of blocking anything farther down the line. I’m just going to keep painting and see what happens.

Lancaster's studio

Lancaster’s studio

Q. What are some of your hobbies and interests?

A. The banjo and Arby’s beef and cheddar sandwiches.

EAT, oil, 2005/2006

EAT, oil, 2005/2006

Q. Are there any specific parts of your resume that you would like to share?

A. I recently received an Individual Artists Fellowship from the Wyoming Arts Council, and have an upcoming exhibition at the Jackson Hole Center for the Arts.

I Was Admiring Something, oil, 2005/2006

I Was Admiring Something, oil, 2005/2006

Q. Please define how you saw your major while you were in school, and how that definition has changed over the years.

A. Painting was supreme. Still is.

watercolor + ink paintings, 2005/06

watercolor + ink paintings, 2005/06

Visit Zane’s Facebook Page

Alumni Profile: Tony Matelli ’93

Reality. Replicated (sort of).

born in Chicago, IL | graduated 1993, BFA Sculpture, 1995, MFA Cranbrook Academy of Art
currently a studio artist in NYC: tonymatelli.com

“…it’s just real enough…”

“Tony Matelli is a trickster, a trader in combinatory illusions, a skilled manipulator of the restless mediation between metaphor, meaning and truth.”1

After graduating from MIAD as a Sculpture Major, Tony Matelli certainly didn’t waste any time establishing himself as one of the world’s most significant contemporary artists. He attended graduate school, and soon became a national and international wonder showing work in places such as Sweden, France, Italy, and New York. “I make work that speaks of the need and the frustration of trying to locate oneself in an already set world. My work frequently depicts things finding wayward means of survival.”2

Matelli’s work has been described as playful, sarcastic, dark, witty, intellectual, even vulgar. His hyper-real sculptures and installations invite viewers to look at slices of life (whether personal, environmental, social, or cultural) that are often overlooked, ignored, or altogether avoided. Through his work Matelli forces us to reexamine ourselves, our humanness, including all our faults, insecurities, and imperfections.

Selected solo exhibitions

  • Leo Koenig Inc. NYC [2005/02/01]
  • Emmanuel Perrotin France [2005]
  • Kunsthalle Wien Austria [2004]
  • Kunstraum Dornbin Austria [2004]
  • Galerie Andrehn Schiptjenko Sweden [2003/99]
  • Sies+Hocke Gallery Dusseldorf [2003/00]
  • Emmanuel Perrotin Gallery France [2002]
  • Gian Enzo Sperone Italy [2002]
  • Bailey Fine Art Toronto [2002]
  • Art Dealers Invitational France [2001]
  • Ten in One Gallery NYC [2000]
  • Torch Gallery Amsterdam [2000]
  • Gallery du Triangle France [2000]
  • University of Buffalo Art Gallery NY [1999]
  • Basilico Fine Arts NYC [1999/97]
  • Ten in One Gallery Chicago, IL [1997]

Selected group exhibitions

  • ‘The Most Splendid Apocalypse’ PPOW Gallery NYC [2005]
  • Gary Tatintsian Gallery Moscow, Russia [2005]
  • ‘The Ten Commandments’ Hygeine Museum Dreden, Germany [2004]
  • ‘The Uncanny’ Tate, Liverpool England [2004]
  • ‘The Fourth Sex’ MOCA Chicago, IL [2003]
  • ‘Small World’ MOCA San Diego, CA [2000]

1 Fischman, Lisa. Tony Matelli. New York: Leo Koenig, Inc., 2003.
2 http://www.ps1.org/cut/Gny/tmatelli.html

Alumni Success: Steve Sorrentino ’02

Looking for Connections: Finding Collaborations.

attended Zion-Benton Township High School, Zion, IL | graduated 2002, BFA Printmaking
Project Manager at Abbott’s Creative Network

 

The following interview was conducted while Steve was working for Flux Design.

Steve Sorrentino

Steve Sorrentino

“My degree is in Printmaking, & though it remains essential to my art, I think that the power of any major area of study is the way that it ties to other areas. To me, it’s not important what you graduate with, so much as what you can do with the skills that you’ve developed.”

In Steve Sorrentino’s work, people are everything. Whether it’s collaborating with others on personal artistic endeavors, or working as the liaison between the Flux Design/Build Team and it’s clients, Sorrentino is regularly looking for ways to bring creative visions to life. While his career is a daily combination of business and design, Sorrentino continues to create his own works, while exploring the potential of research and collaboration, and seeks out public venues to display.

Q. What is the most valuable thing you learned at MIAD?

A. The strongest thing about MIAD is the way the curriculum is threaded together, from the liberal studies courses to the studio electives– if you’re driven, and willing to critically examine the work that you want to do, MIAD can help you tie everything together. I learned to effectively research, structure my thinking and writing, develop my skills in areas that helped me to make the kind of work that I was driven to make, and all the way I was meeting and surrounding myself with people that were honest, challenging, and beneficial to a career in the arts.

Q. How did your MIAD education affect where you are today?

A. Profoundly. In my current position as Project Manager at Flux, I am working for someone that I met during orientation week at MIAD, Jeremy Shamrowicz (’98). I also attribute many of the venues that I show my work to Jeremy and others that I’ve met though the MIAD community.

Warehouse Lofts Comission

Warehouse Lofts Comission

Q. What is the one thing you would tell a high school student now that you’ve experienced life after graduation?

A. Look for connections. You will quickly learn how few hours there are in a day, how few weeks in a year. College is an institution that, if you’re able, willing and strong enough, can serve to prepare you for life out in the world, on your own. The key to a successful career in the arts, that MIAD fosters, is to unite your natural abilities and your ever-developing skills so that your energy and time can be woven together.

Q. Are there any specific parts of your resume that you would like to share?

A. The line on my resume that I am most proud of is being a co-owner and art coordinator for Gallery 326 for four years while it was in downtown Milwaukee. I was lucky enough to move in with friends, who actually founded Flux Design in that same space, when I was a sophomore at MIAD. Whenever I caught myself whining about the noise and dust, I simply had to remind myself that on the other side of my bedroom wall (after we built it), I could hang my artwork whenever I wanted to.

digital images

digital video stills

Q. Are there any notable shows, product on the market, spaces that you’ve created, etc. that you’d like to share?

A. As a member of Flux Design, I’ve been privileged to be a part of the design and build out of many spaces all over Milwaukee, and elsewhere. But speaking of my own artwork, despite participating in several shows, including a Video Art sequence for the Extreme Benefit for Gilda’s House, I have yet to top the Gallery Night opening for my Senior Thesis Exhibition — I participated in five shows that night. In addition to my Thesis Show at MIAD, I also showed extensive works at Gallery 326, Sauce Restaurant, Eve Restaurant, and at the Gallery TBA (To Benefit Aids) Event.

Alumni Profile: Dominic Chambers ’16

Chambers

Apple Spirits (Dawn). 2016. Charcoal, crayon, oil and pastel on gessoed paper.

Dominic Chambers
BFA Fine Arts/Integrated Studio Arts | 2016

Studio Artist/Visiting Artist/Lecturer & Critic
MFA Candidate Yale University School of Art
New Haven, Connecticut

 

“MIAD provided the academic rigor and the professional support system I needed to further succeed as an artist. The strong professional and educational foundation I developed while at MIAD became the building blocks to achieving higher artistic and academic honors.”

Apple Spirits (Dawn)

Apple Spirits (Dawn). 2016. Charcoal, crayon, oil and pastel on gessoed paper.


See more of Dominic’s work at:

DOMINIC-CHAMBERS.COM dominic-chambers.com

Alumni Profile: Danielle Rosen ’11

Danielle Rosen, 2011
Integrated Studio Arts major, Writing minor
Graduate student at the University of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois

Danielle Rosen is currently a graduate student pursuing a Master of Fine Arts degree at the University of Chicago in Chicago, Illinois, where she lives and works. During her studies, Rosen has worked as a teaching assistant for William Pope L., Karthik Pandian, Geof Oppenheimer, and Scott Wolniak. In addition, she has served as a gallery attendant at DoVA Temporary and as an administrative assistant for the Department of Visual Arts at the University of Chicago. Rosen is in the process of applying for teaching positions across the United States.

“My education at MIAD was integral to my development as an artist and thinker. MIAD helped me to build a balanced practice that employs critical thinking skills and meticulous attention to craft. The generous faculty offered me ample time and provided continuous dialogue and support. That said, I was allowed enough freedom as an Integrated Studio Arts Major to structure a program of study for myself. This enabled me to manage my own research interests and time, a skill that is crucial to the sustainability of an artistic practice. If given the choice to revisit my selection of schools for undergraduate studies, I would whole-heartily return to MIAD.”

"An Encyclopedia," photographic prints, chapbooks, sound works, and microfilm slides, 2011-2013 

Rosen’s work is concerned with forms of empirical knowledge and taxonomic systems used to define the perceptual experiences and reproduction methods of non-human animals.

Alumni Profile: Ryan Mandell ’03

“The strong liberal arts component of the MIAD education was critical…”

Ryan Mandell
BFA Drawing, 2003
MFA Indiana University

Ryan Mandell is currently Assistant Professor and Area Head of Sculpture at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.  He has previously worked as Assistant Professor of Sculpture at Boise State University, and as a Visiting Assistant Professor of Sculpture at Penn State and the University of North Texas.  Mandell received his Master of Fine Arts in Sculpture at Indiana University, in Bloomington, Indiana.  He began studying there in 2004, having taken a year off to work as a carpenter and continue building his portfolio after completing his BFA in Drawing at MIAD in 2003.

“MIAD gave me a solid foundation in art history, a broad array of technical skills, and perhaps most importantly, the frequent and intense experience of critically analyzing my artwork, and the artwork of others.  The strong liberal arts component of the MIAD education was also critical, in that I was pressed to become a much more effective and articulate writer and speaker.  All of these qualities made me an excellent candidate for graduate study, and have continued to serve me to this day.”

Alumni Profile: Julia Kozerski ’12

Julia Kozerski, 2012
Photography major, Art History minor
Freelance Photographer, Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Julia Kozerski is an artist and photographer who lives and works in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Her work explores universal themes of beauty, body image, and identity and has been exhibited internationally. In 2012, Kozerski participated as a member of Center’s "Review Santa Fe 100" and was named a "Top 50 Finalist" in Photolucida’s “Critical Mass.” Kozerski’s images have been printed in Photo District News, Bella and Gente magazines. Her work has also gone viral, where she has been highlighted in Fraction Magazine, on Lenscratch, as well as on the CNN photo blog and “The Picture Show” on NPR. Most recently, Kozerski and her visual stories have transcended the art-world and gone mainstream, appearing on Good Morning America, Inside Edition and Rachael Ray.

“The most valuable part of my MIAD education was the comradery. The faculty, staff, and my fellow classmates, were always there to teach, support, and inspire me. Before, during, and now after my college experience, the relationships I’ve formed throughout the MIAD community have made me who I am today.”

Good morning America story on “Changing Room,” digital, 2011. “Changing Room” documented Kozerski’s 160 lbs weight loss with iPhone photos taken in dressing rooms.

“Half,” digital, 2012.

Alumni Success: Charles Dwyer ’84

Drawn Inspiration.

attended West Bend East High School, West Bend, WI | graduated 1984, MIAD Diploma in Drawing
>currently a studio artist + photographer

 

Charles Dwyer

Charles Dwyer

“When I was seven I wanted to be a pro football player. When I was in third grade, I knew I would be an artist.”

Charles Dwyer is a self-described self-employed artist and photographer, a father, and a “trash-talking bowler”. His Drawing degree has taken him far from restoring Notre Dame’s golden-domed Administration Building to solo shows in New York, California, Chicago, and Europe. “MIAD helped me develop self-discipline and time management skills. I loved college.”

 

 

Dwyer drawings

Dwyer drawings

Immediately after leaving MIAD, Dwyer’s reputation grew quickly with a solo show at the West Bend Art Museum. From there he backpacked through Europe, drawing inspiration from the landscape, people, and history of many of the countries. Dwyer returned to Wisconsin to take a position with the restoration company, Conrad Schmitt Studios. In 1992, Dwyer’s first solo exhibition in New York sold out.

Influenced by Impressionism and Expressionism, Dwyer layers media and materials to create tactile expressions of the female figure. Skilled in many creative processes, drawing remains at the heart of his work. “Drawing is the foundation of everything,” says Dwyer. “It’s kind of primal.” His current work is made “from everything and anything, oil, pastel, collage, photography, textiles, computer imagery.”

And if Dwyer could have one wish: “I’d like to have every household own something original, by an artist of its choice.”

Dwyer drawings

Dwyer drawings

Selected gallery representation

  • Vault Gallery Cambria, CA
  • Eleanor Ettinger Soho, NY
  • Miranda Gallery Laguna, CA
  • Emery Fine Arts Kalamazoo, MI
  • Gallery M Denver, CO
  • R. Roberts Gallery Jacksonville, FL
  • Kingsley Art Gallery Red Bank, NJ
  • Newbury Fine Art Boston, MA
  • Hanson Gallery Carmel, CA

Selected restoration/conservation work:

  • St. Louis Union Station St. Louis, MO
  • University of Notre Dame Notre Dame, IN
  • Cathedral of Notre Dame Notre Dame, IN
  • Hawaii Theatre Honolulu, HI
  • Geary Theatre San Francisco, CA
  • Pfister Hotel Milwaukee, WI
  • Waldorf Astoria Hotel, NYC

(below)

More than ten years ago, Dwyer began a friendship with Gary Pollack. Pollack, a homeless man nearly twenty years older than Dwyer, struggled with alcoholism and mental illness. The two began a collaboration that spanned a number of years and culminated in forty works of art, including these “Lucky Strike” images.

Dwyer and Pollack collaborations

Dwyer and Pollack collaborations

You can read more about Dwyer and Pollack’s collaboration at Wisconsin Academy.

Alumni Success: Dani Marlette ’05

Connecting to Communities.

  • attended Lewiston Community High School, Lewiston, Illinois
  • graduated 2005, BFA Drawing
  • currently works in an Outreach Office at Oregon State University while attending graduate school to obtain a Master’s Degree in College Administration.
Dani Marlette

Dani Marlette

“What is best for any one person is very individual, but I can say that I learned a lot while at MIAD, and not just about art and design. It was a great place to spend some really important stages of my life.”

Growing up in a small, rural town and graduating from high school in a class of fifty-six, Dani Marlette knows a lot about community. “The cozy size, and warm attitude of MIAD made it a place I felt I could be comfortable while having space to grow,” Marlette says, speaking about her college decision, and move to Milwaukee. Since graduating from MIAD, Marlette has moved onto graduate school in Oregon, and works in an Outreach Office on campus reaching out to the community and helping people fulfill their dreams of attending college.

Q. What did you think you wanted to be when you grew up?

A. When I was little, I went through a million different things I wanted to be when I grew up, but I think from a fairly young age I decided to go into art. My mother has done a lot of photography, and participates on an arts council, so I grew up around artists of all different kinds. We lived in a very rural area, and had very little money, so I couldn’t spend all my time watching cable TV or going out to movies, so I grew up reading, drawing, playing with clay, and spending a lot of time outdoors.

handmade kaleidoscopes, copper, 2005.

handmade kaleidoscopes, copper, 2005.

Q. What is your first memorable experience with art and design?

A. When I was very small, I remember watching Bob Ross on PBS and wanting to paint with him. So, I gathered up all the butter knives, old rags, and kitchen sponges from around our house and tried to use them just like he used his tools. The effect was a little different than his, but I know I still had fun.

interior view of kaleidoscope.

interior view of kaleidoscope.

Q. What was the most valuable thing you learned at MIAD, and how has your education affected where you are today?

A. The most valuable thing I learned was that I had to be true to my own instincts in my work, even when it went against what other people expected or wanted which it often did. I learned to really listen and consider people’s suggestions and opinions, and then do what I knew was right for me. The time I spent at MIAD had a huge impact on where I am today. Although I’m not working full time with art, my education constantly influences how I think and feel. I did a lot of growing up at MIAD.

oversized handmade kaleidoscopes, mixed media, 2005.

oversized handmade kaleidoscopes, mixed media, 2005.

Q. What’s the one thing you would tell a high school student who is considering attending MIAD now that you’ve experienced life after graduation?

A. What is best for any one person is very individual, but I can say that I learned a lot while at MIAD, and not just about art and design. It was a great place to spend some really important stages of my life.

Q. If you had to sum up your job, what would it be?

A. I currently divide my time between working in an outreach office at Oregon State University assisting under-represented and minority students in getting into college, and going to school myself to obtain a master’s degree in College Administration. I want to continue working in community outreach and service learning, while creating art.

mixed media drawing, 2004-05.

mixed media drawing, 2004-05.

Alumni Success: Allyson Mellberg Taylor ’00

Continual Learning.

attended J.I. Case High School Racine, WI
graduated 2000, BFA Painting, minor in Printmaking | 2004, MFA University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
currently works as a teacher + professional artist.

 

Allyson Mellberg Taylor

Allyson Mellberg Taylor

“I loved the time I spent at MIAD. I started taking classes there in the pre-college program when I was still in high school. Now, as a teacher, I am still discovering how much I really learned while I was there.”

An extensive résumé sits on top of a stack of papers on my cluttered desk. Single-spaced, and slightly intimidating, it boasts of professional work experience and gallery exhibitions. Since graduating from MIAD in 2000, Mellberg Taylor hasn’t stood still, and her résumé is proves it. In graduate school at UNC-Chapel Hill, Mellberg Taylor gained extensive teaching and curatorial experience. Whether teaching in the classroom, or making it in her studio, art continues to play an integral role in her life. Mellberg Taylor has exhibited work nationwide, from New York to California.

Trying to Eat, collograph, 2002

Trying to Eat, collograph, 2002

Q. As a child, what did you think you wanted to be when you grew up?

A. I learned how to draw, and care about drawing — not just from my drawing teachers, but also from my printmaking and painting teachers.

Q. What’s the one thing you would tell a high school student who is considering attending MIAD now that you have experienced life after graduation?

A. It is completely possible to be a professional artist, teacher, designer. You will always, always have to work hard and love what you are doing.

Q. What are some of your goals, interests, for your future in art?

A. I want to continue working with great people, and to always be making things. In graduate school, I revisited sculpture and started sewing. Not only did I start making sculptures again, but I started making clothing and handbags.

Q. Are there any specific parts of your resume that you would like to share?

A. I show my work often, and with people that I love. I am happy to have shown in galleries and museums with Team LUMP (LUMP is an artist-run gallery out of Raleigh, NC that showcases emerging artists. www.lumpgallery.com). This year I am having my first solo show in New York at Cinders Gallery in Brooklyn. (www.cindersgallery.com)

Underbird, collograph, 2001

Underbird, collograph, 2001

Q. Please define how you saw your major while you were in school, and how that definition has changed over the years.

A. I was a painting major to begin with, and I felt very strongly that painting was the most important thing a person could do. But then, I fell in love with printmaking, and added it as a minor. I am much more of a printmaker, I think like a printmaker, I went to graduate school to focus on printmaking. I am glad that I was involved in both majors at MIAD, and that I stayed an extra year to complete my minor (I added it very late in the game). I’m very glad that I allowed myself to open up to other mediums and ways of making things. I enjoy working on paper, and I still love to paint. Right now, nine years later, I am making egg tempera paintings. When you choose your major at MIAD, you never know where it may take you. I wasn’t sure if I would ever paint again, because I became so immersed in printmaking. But now I do both and I don’t even think about the space between the two. I learned so many things about painting and printmaking during my time at MIAD… I think you store away some of that knowledge for later, you never know when you will need it.

samples of Mellberg-Taylor’s work

Solo Exhibitions:

  • New Works, Cinders Gallery, Brooklyn, NY [2005]
  • Small Girl, T and L Gallery, Raleigh, NC [2004]
  • Ghosts, Garfield Artworks Gallery, Pittsburgh, PA [2002]
  • New Works, Atomix, Chicago, IL [2002]
  • Monsters, Beans & Barley, Milwaukee, WI [2000]

Selected Collections:

  • La Maison Rouge, Paris, France
  • Fogg Museum, Harvard University
  • Milwaukee Art Museum, Print & Drawing Room, Milwaukee, WI
  • Baltimore Art Museum Library, Baltimore, MD

Alumni Success: Katie Musolff ’04

Painting Colorful Life Stories.

attended West Allis Central High School, West Allis, WI | graduated 2004, BFA Painting
currently a studio painter: www.katiemusolff.com

 

Katie Musolff

Katie Musolff

“MIAD was the first place where people put value on intuition.”

Q. What did you want to be when you grew up?

A. I always knew I was going to be an artist. My grandmother painted, my dad is a notorious doodler, and my older sister paints as well. Art was all around me.

Mic at Window, oil on canvas, 2006

Mic at Window, oil on canvas, 2006

Q. How did your MIAD education affect where you are today?

A. MIAD was the first place where people put value on intuition. It was the first time I realized that my intuition deserved a main role in my work.

Q. What’s the one thing you would tell a high school student who is considering attending MIAD now that you’ve experienced life after graduation?

A. The funny thing about art school is that it made such a deep impression on me and shaped my work. While I attended MIAD, someone (actually a number of people) advised me on the fact that I would have to ‘unlearn’ everything learned in school. I am now beginning to understand that. My work and way of thinking is drastically different than it was in school, but without a foundation, I wouldn’t have been able to grow and change.

Jenny Marie on Bed, oil on canvas, 2006

Jenny Marie on Bed, oil on canvas, 2006

Q. If you had to sum up your job in a single sentence, what would it be?

A. Currently, I’m working as a full-time painter.

Q. What are your goals for the future, in art/design and in life?

A. I paint people from all around the community, sometimes on commission. My goal is to continue doing so until I am old and gray, and keep doing it some more. I would be completely content if I could paint full-time for the rest of my life. Painting brings a richness to my life. It serves as a constant education.

Q. Are there any specific parts of your resume that you’d like to share?

A. I have solo shows scheduled at the Sharon Lynne Wilson Center for the Arts (Brookfield, WI) in October 2007, and at the Watrous Gallery at the Madison Overature Gallery (Madison, WI) in March 2008. I recently had a solo show at Elaine Erickson Gallery (Milwaukee, WI) in March 2006.

Ron the Miracle Man, oil on canvas, 2006

Ron the Miracle Man, oil on canvas, 2006

Musolff spent three months painting Ron Greenlaw [nicknamed ‘Moses’] at the St. Ann Center for Intergenerational Care (Milwaukee, WI). Greenlaw, at 47, has been confined to a wheelchair since 1982 after shooting himself in the head.

Alumni Profile: Ariana Vaeth ’17

Vaeth

Ariana Vaeth
BFA Fine Arts/Integrated Studio Arts | 2017
Art History Minor

Studio Artist
Milwaukee, Wisconsin

 

“Through MIAD, I gained a strong community of artist and art supporters in Milwaukee. I look forward to exploring the art world through what I have learned.”

The Dream Team. 2017. Oil on panel.


See more of Ariana’s work at:

ARIANAVAETH.COM

Alumni Profile: Georgia Lloyd ’11

Georgia Lloyd

David Century Plants. Digital.

Georgia Lloyd
BFA Fine Arts/Photography | 2011
Art History Minor

Fine Art Photographer
Owner and Lead Photographer, Twin Lens Weddings
Austin, Texas 

“During my four years at MIAD, I learned to see differently – how to develop my vision, and ensure my photos reflect my intent.  The rigorous assignments and critiques at MIAD helped me understand how the visual language works, and this is an essential skill for any creative endeavor.  Having a small, tight-knit community meant I got lots of one-on-one time with faculty who offered me support both during school and after graduation.  Looking back, I think the most valuable aspect of my MIAD education was gaining the confidence to represent myself, sell my work and believe in my skills.”

David Century Plants. Digital.
Millipede Jar. Digital.
Cattail Falls. Digital.
Thunderstorm, Backyard, Night, Marathon. Digital.
Arm, Crystal Necklace, Rainbow. Digital.
Cloud Mountains. Digital.
Various Twin Lens Wedding Photography. Digital.


See more of Georgia’s work at:

GEORGIA-LLOYD.COM
TWINLENSWEDDINGS.COM

Alumni Profile: Jean White ’82

“MIAD helped me to learn to pay attention to the world around and inside of me…”

Jean White 
BFA Drawing, 1982

Jean White is a practicing visual artist, represented by the Elaine Erickson Gallery in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. White feels, “MIAD gave me a very strong foundation, learning the basics in the disciplines of drawing, painting and sculpture.  I fell in love with drawing. So much of creativity is not only about rendering and representation.  MIAD helped me to learn to pay attention to the world around and inside of me.  I learned as much about translating what I saw on to the page, as I did in thinking and observing in new and different ways.  MIAD gave me the tools to help find my own way through art.”

White also said, “Art isn’t only about the physical act of creating.  It is about remaining aware and finding reverence for the world in front of you.  Art has saved my life countless times.  I am grateful for my MIAD experience.”

 

Alumni Profile: Kari Couture ’04

Kari Couture, 2004
Printmaking major
Community Arts Specialist, Milwaukee Public Schools, Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Kari Couture is an artist and arts education advocate who believes strongly in the transformative potential of the arts to empower individuals and unite and build communities. As the Community Arts Specialist in Milwaukee Public Schools, she is the administrator for the 1.5 million dollar Partnership for the Arts and Humanities grant, overseeing grants for roughly 40 different arts education organizations. She has taught art at various community organizations and institutions including the Milwaukee Art Museum, Alverno College, Cardinal Stritch University and at the community print shop she helped create, RedLine Milwaukee. Creating her own work allows her to meditate on ideas and rebuild her energy.  Couture’s work has been shown nationally and internationally and is featured in several publications about political printmaking. In addition to her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from MIAD, she earned a Certificate in Youth Development and values her ten months in the Americorps Public Allies program as an invaluable learning experience.

“Going to a visual art and design college gave me the opportunity to spend four years surrounded by like-minded people who really valued the way I think and learn. I credit many of my MIAD studio and humanities faculty with inspiring my sense of curiosity and pushing me beyond what I thought I was capable of accomplishing. I left with the confidence to express my thoughts and ideas visually, verbally, and in writing, and felt empowered to use my creativity to have a positive impact on my community.”

“Just Between You and I,” mixed media, 2011

“Empty Ouvrante,” mixed media, 2012    |    “Untitled,” installation, mixed media, 2012

Studio and artwork photos: Troy Freund Photography

Alumni Success: Brad Bernard ’93

A Painter Makes His Mark.

  • graduated 1993, BFA Painting
    2003, MFA University of Mississippi
  • currently teaches in the Outreach + Continuing Education Program @ The University of Mississippi
Brad Bernard

Brad Bernard

“The MIAD Career Services Office helped me to establish a diverse client/reference base as well as a versatile portfolio. I also began my first teaching experience through a collaboration between MIAD and the Inner City Arts Council.”

As a child, Brad Bernard hoped to become a comic book artist. His degree in Painting from MIAD led him in different and ultimately unique directions — art education, professional art, and community service. His showing experience is extensive — Milwaukee’s Black Holocaust Museum, the Mississippi Museum of Art, the University of Mississippi-Oxford, as well as several murals to his credit.

Asked about the relationship of artist to community and culture, Bernard responded, “I wish that every living being on the planet would come to the realization that Humanity is about love, reciprocity, and a collective communal understanding. In dedication to the creator.”

Bernard at his Master's Thesis Exhibition.

Bernard at his Master’s Thesis Exhibition.

Bernard Paintings

Bernard Paintings

Alumni Success: Jessica Kaminski ’01

Capturing Evidence of Life.

attended Nathan Hale High School, Milwaukee, WI | graduated 2001 BFA Photography
currently owns a photography business: www.jessicakaminski.com

 

kaminski

Jessica Kaminski

“Putting together my thesis show prepared me for starting my own business. The whole concept of having a deadline, learning to create printed marketing materials, showing a cohesive body of work, and putting in my own physical labor were great lessons that were easily applied to being a small business owner.”

Q. What was your first memorable experience with art and design?

A. I remember being in Kindergarten and being given a simple drawing of a dragon to color. I remember adding things to my dragon, such as lollipops for the scales on his back, because I wanted mine to be different. Unfortunately, everyone at my table started to copy my idea! But the memory I have is about first noticing that being creative seemed to be in my nature.

Q. How did your MIAD education affect where you are today?

A. Putting together my thesis show prepared me for starting my own business. The whole concept of having a deadline, learning to create printed marketing materials, showing a cohesive body of work, and putting in my own physical labor were great lessons that were easily applied to being a small business owner.

Q. What was the most valuable thing you learned at MIAD?

A. One of the most valuable things I learned while at MIAD was to think first. In the photography department during critique, it was always a question of what you were trying to convey, and whether or not it was being done successfully. I am always dealing with different types of clients who all have different needs and objectives, so this was a very important lesson.

kaminski wedding photos

Q. If you had to sum up your job in a single sentence, what would it be?

A. All of the things that are great about my personality – my sensitivity, creativity, and versatility – are all
required of me on a daily basis in my job as a photographer.

Q. What are your goals for the
future, in art/design and in life?

A. I would love to be on set with Annie Liebowitz and watch her create a portrait! I don’t know how to make that happen, but I thought I’d put the thought out there!

Q. What are some of your hobbies/interests?

A. I love traveling, listening to and discovering new music, and learning new things. I am also looking to get back into theater or taking up a dancing class. I’d like to learn Spanish, too… I am half Puerto Rican and would like to be more connected to that side of my heritage.

Kaminski Portraits

 

Kaminski’s photography has appeared in:

  • Seventeen Magazine
  • The Wall Street Journal
  • Movie Maker Magazine
  • Milwaukee Magazine
  • Wisconsin Bride Magazine
  • Remy Bumpo Theater Co., Chicago
  • Milwaukee Shepherd Express
  • Wisconsin Wedding Planner & Guide
  • Waukesha Memorial Hospital

Kaminski’s films have been awarded:

  • Winner for Best Cinematography for Art Direction for “Starlite” by Tate Bunker, Paris Film Festival, 2007
  • Winner for Best Experimental Film, Twin Rivers Media Festival
  • Winner for Best Milwaukee Film, Milwaukee International Film Festival
Kaminski ballet photography

Alumni Success: Linnéa Spransy ’01

Growing Ideas.

graduated 1998, BFA Drawing, 2001, MFA Yale School of Art
currently a studio artist: www.linneagabriella.com

“I have, it would seem, an omnivorous curiosity…”

Linnéa Spransy comes from a self-described “very colorful clan” with a strange set of skills, “from wallpapering to jazz singing”. Her first drawing was on an Etch-A-Sketch of human profile; “I was absorbed and knew from that moment on how I ought to spend my life.” Spransy continued to explore and develop her understanding of the human form as a Drawing major at MIAD.

oil painting, 1998 (student work)

After graduating from MIAD, Spransy completed graduate study at the Yale School of Art. She is now a studio artist, working in “anything that makes a mark frosted mylar and ink, most recently.” Her most memorable showing to date was in China. “Watching such a truly different culture react to my current project was especially fascinating.”

When asked about her future goals, Spransy’s response was simple: “To maintain a vibrant studio life and to share that life and its products in whatever way I can. Till the day die I aim to create… that is my fundamental goal.”

What does Spransy have to say about her current body of work “Tracing Growth”?

“The strange attractions of quantum, chaos, and time theory have pulled me in. Now necessity has led me to invent a method of art-making sensitive to the vaguely mystical twinges of new science. Informed by the architecture of fractal images… which serve as an uncanny segue between the highly abstract and the physically familiar… I now allow structures to build upon themselves and reiterate their own distortions.

In truth, my images grow.”

Fire as Fluid, from the series Tracing Growth, ink on frosted mylar, 2002                                                 Drowsy Gravity (detail)

Selected Exhibitions:

  • • ‘Tumult’, (exhibition and performance with Lia Chavez), Nomas Projects, Dundee, Scotland (2014)
  • • ‘CrossCurrents’, Metcalf Gallery, Taylor Univ., IN (2014)
  • ‘Poiesis’, (exhibition and performance with Lia Chavez), HUSK Gallery, London, UK (2014)

  • ‘Plethora’, (exhibition and performance with Lia Chavez), Soapbox Gallery, Brooklyn, NY (2013)
  • ‘Amass’, Virginia Green Gallery, BIOLA Univ, CA (2013)
  • ‘Linnea Spransy’, Housman Millworks, San Antonio, TX (2012)
  • ‘Linnea Spransy’, Byron C. Cohen Gallery, Kansas City, MO (2010)
  • ‘Art and Theology’, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ (2007)
  • Christine Wang Gallery, Brooklyn, NY [2004] solo show
  • Nordica Gallery, Kunming, China [2002] solo show
  • Wisconsin Triennial Group Show, Madison, WI [2002]
  • The Blue Door, Colorado Springs, CO [2002] solo show
  • Yale Thesis Group Exhibition, New Haven, CT [2001]
  • Michael Wilson Gallery, Cincinnati, OH [2000] solo show
  • International Festival of the Arts, Kunming, China [1998]

Alumni Success: Lila Aryan ’90

Passion = Vision.

  • attended James Madison High School, Milwaukee, WI
  • graduated 1990 BFA Photography
  • currently owns her own photography business: lilaaryan.com
aryan_01

Lila Aryan

“There is no greater career experience than having a job that is also your passion.”

Q. What did you want to be when you grew up?

A. An artist…

Q. What was your first memorable experience with art and design?

A. My first memorable experience was winning an award for cartoon drawings.

Q. How did your MIAD education affect where you are today?

A. It gave me that springboard from which to jump into my career. It gave me confidence for my career in photography. Confidence is everything.

aryan_02

Q. What was the most valuable thing you learned at MIAD?

A. The most valuable thing I learned at MIAD is how to see artistically/creatively… how to develop a vision and how to market that vision.

Q. What’s the one thing you would tell a high school student who is considering attending MIAD now that you’ve experienced life after graduation?

A. If art is your passion, be persistent and steadfast and work very hard on your vision. There is no greater career experience than having a job that is also your passion.

image | MIAD

Q. If you had to sum up your job in a single sentence, what would it be?

A. I create images that reflect my vision, and sell them to the commercial and art world where they creatively and efficiently communicate my clients’ message.

Q. What are your goals for the future, in art/design and in life?

A. To continue to grow my business; constantly creating visually stimulating images for companies and galleries.

image | MIAD

Q. What are some of your hobbies/interests?

A. I love church, singing, home improvement, softball, gardening, painting and writing poetry. I play soccer religiously! I volunteer as a set painter for my church’s drama ministry, and do volunteer photography for Arab World Fest. I’ve also volunteered as a board member on MIAD’s Alumni Association for fifteen years.

Q. Are there any specific parts of your resume that you’d like to share?

A. I created images for three world-wide jazz CD jackets by Narada records called Nightgrooves. I have many images in the database of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American Art for the Save Outdoor Sculpture project. I recently finished thirteen images for a book on
caregiving that may be marketed nationally with large booksellers. My regular clients include: the Aids Resource

Center of Wisconsin, Alverno College, the Milwaukee Art Museum, the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, Milwaukee Shakespeare, Milwaukee County Transit System, Reinhart Boerner Van Deuren Law Firm and more.

Q. Please define how you saw your major while in school, and how that definition has changed over the years.

A. Well, I really never knew what to expect in the real world, and now I know what it is like. I never knew how much hard work it would really take.

image | MIAD
image | MIAD
image | MIAD

Some of Aryan’s clients include:

  • Sprint
  • Fleishmann-Hillard, Inc. (for Harley-Davidson + Briggs Stratton)
  • Alverno College
  • Blue Horse,
  • Milwaukee Art Museum,
  • Milwaukee Transit System,
  • Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra
  • The Medical College of Wisconsin
  • Narada Productions (music label)
  • Reinhart/ Boerner /Van Deuren, S.C.

Her photography has been exhibited at:

  • The Milwaukee Art Museum
  • Gallery 218
  • Smithsonian’s Museum of American Art (Save the Outdoor Sculpture Project)

Alumni Profile: Philip Gattuso ’14

Tools of the Engraving* Trade

Tools of the Engraving* Trade. Copper Plate Engraving.

Philip Gattuso
BFA Fine Arts/Printmaking | 2014
Illustration Minor

Print Expert/Press Operator, Artistry Engraving & Embossing Co., Inc
Chicago, Illinois

 

“MIAD introduced me to a complex world of creatives; I was quick to learn that education is what you, as an individual, make of it.  Creativity is nothing without direction.”

 

Dragonfly Study. Copper Plate Engraving.

Tools of the Engraving* Trade. Copper Plate Engraving.


Learn more about Artistry Engraving & Embossing Co. at:

ARTISTRYINK.COM

Alumni Profile: Zach Hill ’15

The Watering Hole

The Watering Hole. 2016. Multimedia.

Zachary Hill
BFA Fine Arts/Integrated Studio Arts | 2015

Studio Artist/Founder of After School Special Collective
Winner 2015 Mary L. Nohl Fellowship for Individual Artists (emerging)
MFA Candidate University of Pennsylvania’s PennDesign
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

 

“While at MIAD, I connected with a community of artists and thinkers that pushed me to work harder, take risks, and get involved. These ideals have followed me into my day to day as an artist and arts organizer.”

The Watering Hole. 2016. Multimedia.

 

See more of Zach’s work at:

ZACH-HILL.COM

Alumni Profile: Cassandra Smith ’06

“MIAD exposed me to the art world in a way that I would not have experienced at other schools…”

Cassandra Smith
BFA Sculpture, 2006

Cassandra Smith is a successful, independent artist who annually participates in and curates several group in the Milwaukee area.  Smith’s current body of work, hand-painted deer antlers, has been featured by Anthropology, US Weekly, Harpers Bazaar and Better Homes & Gardens.  Her work can be seen at cassandra-smith.com.

After graduating, Cassandra co-owned the now defunct Armoury Gallery which exhibited contemporary work by local and national emerging artists.  She was also the co-founder and editor of Fine Line Magazine, an international fine arts publication that produced five high-quality, ad-free issues.

“Attending MIAD exposed me to the art world in a way that I would not have experienced at other schools.  Through my studio practice, I learned to be a thoughtful, disciplined creator.  And in turn, what I learned in my studio classes actually translated into owning the gallery and  magazine.  I have come to learn that there are many different facets to being an ‘artist,’ and that sometimes, if you don’t find a job that fits you perfectly, it works out best to just create your own.”

Alumni Profile: Jordan Waraksa

Fiddle & Hammer, Forged and Led by Jordan Waraksa, fidddlehammer.com

“We are a small company dedicated to the creation of handmade heirloom quality furniture. Made from the best materials possible with traditional joinery and a classic, modern aesthetic.”

“Originally a sculptor and violinist, I look to the furniture I create to blend those mediums of that which can be seen and heard into an experience you can feel. When chosen tools do more than create and inspire, they sing. A Fiddle & Hammer.”

Fiddle & Hammer is located in Milwaukee, Wisconsin where a love of wood, music and a rich industrial past is engrained into the work.

Alumni Profile: Amanda Jozaitis ’09

“For me, MIAD was an endurance test…” 

Amanda Jozaitis
BFA Printmaking, Communication Design (minor), 2009

Amanda Jozaitis (Heise) lives in La Porte, Indiana, a suburb of Chicago, located right under Lake Michigan. Jozaitis is a Graphic Designer at The Grossbauer Group, a Chicago integrated marketing agency, and previously worked as a graphic designer at Royal & Langnickel, an international art and beauty product company based in Munster, Indiana.  Outside of her work as a graphic designer, Jozaitis established a small printmaking studio in her home and has been steadily creating and showing prints in solo and group shows.

“For me, MIAD was an endurance test.  I pushed myself in so many ways to develop the style of art and design that I am continuously working on today. I proved to myself with the help of the faculty and staff that anything was attainable as long as I worked hard.  Through MIAD’s Career Services Office and the professional artist course I took senior year, I started believing that I don’t have to be a “starving artist” but that with dedication fine arts is a viable career.”

Alumni Success: Zane Lancaster ’03

Visual Stories.

  • attended Evanston High School, Evanston, WY
  • graduated 2003, BFA Painting
  • currently a studio artist + applying to graduate school
image | MIAD

“Absorb everything…”

Q. How did your MIAD education affect where you are today?

A. My education from MIAD redefined my conceptions of art making and my perception of life in general.

Q. What was the most valuable thing you learned at MIAD?

A. Who I am.

Q. What’s the one thing you would tell a high school student who is considering attending MIAD now that you’ve experienced life after graduation?

A. Absorb everything and don’t take the experience for granted. It will shape who you become.

Fantastic SweaterFantastic Sweater, oil, 2005/2006

Fantastic SweaterFantastic Sweater, oil, 2005/2006

Q. What are your goals for the future, in art/design and in life?

A. Right now, I’m waiting to hear from graduate schools, and that’s kind of blocking anything farther down the line. I’m just going to keep painting and see what happens.

Lancaster's studio

Lancaster’s studio

Q. What are some of your hobbies and interests?

A. The banjo and Arby’s beef and cheddar sandwiches.

EAT, oil, 2005/2006

EAT, oil, 2005/2006

Q. Are there any specific parts of your resume that you would like to share?

A. I recently received an Individual Artists Fellowship from the Wyoming Arts Council, and have an upcoming exhibition at the Jackson Hole Center for the Arts.

I Was Admiring Something, oil, 2005/2006

I Was Admiring Something, oil, 2005/2006

Q. Please define how you saw your major while you were in school, and how that definition has changed over the years.

A. Painting was supreme. Still is.

watercolor + ink paintings, 2005/06

watercolor + ink paintings, 2005/06

Visit Zane’s Facebook Page

Alumni Profile: Tony Matelli ’93

Reality. Replicated (sort of).

born in Chicago, IL | graduated 1993, BFA Sculpture, 1995, MFA Cranbrook Academy of Art
currently a studio artist in NYC: tonymatelli.com

“…it’s just real enough…”

“Tony Matelli is a trickster, a trader in combinatory illusions, a skilled manipulator of the restless mediation between metaphor, meaning and truth.”1

After graduating from MIAD as a Sculpture Major, Tony Matelli certainly didn’t waste any time establishing himself as one of the world’s most significant contemporary artists. He attended graduate school, and soon became a national and international wonder showing work in places such as Sweden, France, Italy, and New York. “I make work that speaks of the need and the frustration of trying to locate oneself in an already set world. My work frequently depicts things finding wayward means of survival.”2

Matelli’s work has been described as playful, sarcastic, dark, witty, intellectual, even vulgar. His hyper-real sculptures and installations invite viewers to look at slices of life (whether personal, environmental, social, or cultural) that are often overlooked, ignored, or altogether avoided. Through his work Matelli forces us to reexamine ourselves, our humanness, including all our faults, insecurities, and imperfections.

Selected solo exhibitions

  • Leo Koenig Inc. NYC [2005/02/01]
  • Emmanuel Perrotin France [2005]
  • Kunsthalle Wien Austria [2004]
  • Kunstraum Dornbin Austria [2004]
  • Galerie Andrehn Schiptjenko Sweden [2003/99]
  • Sies+Hocke Gallery Dusseldorf [2003/00]
  • Emmanuel Perrotin Gallery France [2002]
  • Gian Enzo Sperone Italy [2002]
  • Bailey Fine Art Toronto [2002]
  • Art Dealers Invitational France [2001]
  • Ten in One Gallery NYC [2000]
  • Torch Gallery Amsterdam [2000]
  • Gallery du Triangle France [2000]
  • University of Buffalo Art Gallery NY [1999]
  • Basilico Fine Arts NYC [1999/97]
  • Ten in One Gallery Chicago, IL [1997]

Selected group exhibitions

  • ‘The Most Splendid Apocalypse’ PPOW Gallery NYC [2005]
  • Gary Tatintsian Gallery Moscow, Russia [2005]
  • ‘The Ten Commandments’ Hygeine Museum Dreden, Germany [2004]
  • ‘The Uncanny’ Tate, Liverpool England [2004]
  • ‘The Fourth Sex’ MOCA Chicago, IL [2003]
  • ‘Small World’ MOCA San Diego, CA [2000]

1 Fischman, Lisa. Tony Matelli. New York: Leo Koenig, Inc., 2003.
2 http://www.ps1.org/cut/Gny/tmatelli.html

Alumni Success: Steve Sorrentino ’02

Looking for Connections: Finding Collaborations.

attended Zion-Benton Township High School, Zion, IL | graduated 2002, BFA Printmaking
Project Manager at Abbott’s Creative Network

 

The following interview was conducted while Steve was working for Flux Design.

Steve Sorrentino

Steve Sorrentino

“My degree is in Printmaking, & though it remains essential to my art, I think that the power of any major area of study is the way that it ties to other areas. To me, it’s not important what you graduate with, so much as what you can do with the skills that you’ve developed.”

In Steve Sorrentino’s work, people are everything. Whether it’s collaborating with others on personal artistic endeavors, or working as the liaison between the Flux Design/Build Team and it’s clients, Sorrentino is regularly looking for ways to bring creative visions to life. While his career is a daily combination of business and design, Sorrentino continues to create his own works, while exploring the potential of research and collaboration, and seeks out public venues to display.

Q. What is the most valuable thing you learned at MIAD?

A. The strongest thing about MIAD is the way the curriculum is threaded together, from the liberal studies courses to the studio electives– if you’re driven, and willing to critically examine the work that you want to do, MIAD can help you tie everything together. I learned to effectively research, structure my thinking and writing, develop my skills in areas that helped me to make the kind of work that I was driven to make, and all the way I was meeting and surrounding myself with people that were honest, challenging, and beneficial to a career in the arts.

Q. How did your MIAD education affect where you are today?

A. Profoundly. In my current position as Project Manager at Flux, I am working for someone that I met during orientation week at MIAD, Jeremy Shamrowicz (’98). I also attribute many of the venues that I show my work to Jeremy and others that I’ve met though the MIAD community.

Warehouse Lofts Comission

Warehouse Lofts Comission

Q. What is the one thing you would tell a high school student now that you’ve experienced life after graduation?

A. Look for connections. You will quickly learn how few hours there are in a day, how few weeks in a year. College is an institution that, if you’re able, willing and strong enough, can serve to prepare you for life out in the world, on your own. The key to a successful career in the arts, that MIAD fosters, is to unite your natural abilities and your ever-developing skills so that your energy and time can be woven together.

Q. Are there any specific parts of your resume that you would like to share?

A. The line on my resume that I am most proud of is being a co-owner and art coordinator for Gallery 326 for four years while it was in downtown Milwaukee. I was lucky enough to move in with friends, who actually founded Flux Design in that same space, when I was a sophomore at MIAD. Whenever I caught myself whining about the noise and dust, I simply had to remind myself that on the other side of my bedroom wall (after we built it), I could hang my artwork whenever I wanted to.

digital images

digital video stills

Q. Are there any notable shows, product on the market, spaces that you’ve created, etc. that you’d like to share?

A. As a member of Flux Design, I’ve been privileged to be a part of the design and build out of many spaces all over Milwaukee, and elsewhere. But speaking of my own artwork, despite participating in several shows, including a Video Art sequence for the Extreme Benefit for Gilda’s House, I have yet to top the Gallery Night opening for my Senior Thesis Exhibition — I participated in five shows that night. In addition to my Thesis Show at MIAD, I also showed extensive works at Gallery 326, Sauce Restaurant, Eve Restaurant, and at the Gallery TBA (To Benefit Aids) Event.

Alumni Profile: Dominic Chambers ’16

Chambers

Apple Spirits (Dawn). 2016. Charcoal, crayon, oil and pastel on gessoed paper.

Dominic Chambers
BFA Fine Arts/Integrated Studio Arts | 2016

Studio Artist/Visiting Artist/Lecturer & Critic
MFA Candidate Yale University School of Art
New Haven, Connecticut

 

“MIAD provided the academic rigor and the professional support system I needed to further succeed as an artist. The strong professional and educational foundation I developed while at MIAD became the building blocks to achieving higher artistic and academic honors.”

Apple Spirits (Dawn)

Apple Spirits (Dawn). 2016. Charcoal, crayon, oil and pastel on gessoed paper.


See more of Dominic’s work at:

DOMINIC-CHAMBERS.COM dominic-chambers.com

Alumni Profile: Danielle Rosen ’11

Danielle Rosen, 2011
Integrated Studio Arts major, Writing minor
Graduate student at the University of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois

Danielle Rosen is currently a graduate student pursuing a Master of Fine Arts degree at the University of Chicago in Chicago, Illinois, where she lives and works. During her studies, Rosen has worked as a teaching assistant for William Pope L., Karthik Pandian, Geof Oppenheimer, and Scott Wolniak. In addition, she has served as a gallery attendant at DoVA Temporary and as an administrative assistant for the Department of Visual Arts at the University of Chicago. Rosen is in the process of applying for teaching positions across the United States.

“My education at MIAD was integral to my development as an artist and thinker. MIAD helped me to build a balanced practice that employs critical thinking skills and meticulous attention to craft. The generous faculty offered me ample time and provided continuous dialogue and support. That said, I was allowed enough freedom as an Integrated Studio Arts Major to structure a program of study for myself. This enabled me to manage my own research interests and time, a skill that is crucial to the sustainability of an artistic practice. If given the choice to revisit my selection of schools for undergraduate studies, I would whole-heartily return to MIAD.”

"An Encyclopedia," photographic prints, chapbooks, sound works, and microfilm slides, 2011-2013 

Rosen’s work is concerned with forms of empirical knowledge and taxonomic systems used to define the perceptual experiences and reproduction methods of non-human animals.

Alumni Profile: Ryan Mandell ’03

“The strong liberal arts component of the MIAD education was critical…”

Ryan Mandell
BFA Drawing, 2003
MFA Indiana University

Ryan Mandell is currently Assistant Professor and Area Head of Sculpture at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.  He has previously worked as Assistant Professor of Sculpture at Boise State University, and as a Visiting Assistant Professor of Sculpture at Penn State and the University of North Texas.  Mandell received his Master of Fine Arts in Sculpture at Indiana University, in Bloomington, Indiana.  He began studying there in 2004, having taken a year off to work as a carpenter and continue building his portfolio after completing his BFA in Drawing at MIAD in 2003.

“MIAD gave me a solid foundation in art history, a broad array of technical skills, and perhaps most importantly, the frequent and intense experience of critically analyzing my artwork, and the artwork of others.  The strong liberal arts component of the MIAD education was also critical, in that I was pressed to become a much more effective and articulate writer and speaker.  All of these qualities made me an excellent candidate for graduate study, and have continued to serve me to this day.”

Alumni Profile: Julia Kozerski ’12

Julia Kozerski, 2012
Photography major, Art History minor
Freelance Photographer, Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Julia Kozerski is an artist and photographer who lives and works in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Her work explores universal themes of beauty, body image, and identity and has been exhibited internationally. In 2012, Kozerski participated as a member of Center’s "Review Santa Fe 100" and was named a "Top 50 Finalist" in Photolucida’s “Critical Mass.” Kozerski’s images have been printed in Photo District News, Bella and Gente magazines. Her work has also gone viral, where she has been highlighted in Fraction Magazine, on Lenscratch, as well as on the CNN photo blog and “The Picture Show” on NPR. Most recently, Kozerski and her visual stories have transcended the art-world and gone mainstream, appearing on Good Morning America, Inside Edition and Rachael Ray.

“The most valuable part of my MIAD education was the comradery. The faculty, staff, and my fellow classmates, were always there to teach, support, and inspire me. Before, during, and now after my college experience, the relationships I’ve formed throughout the MIAD community have made me who I am today.”

Good morning America story on “Changing Room,” digital, 2011. “Changing Room” documented Kozerski’s 160 lbs weight loss with iPhone photos taken in dressing rooms.

“Half,” digital, 2012.

Alumni Success: Charles Dwyer ’84

Drawn Inspiration.

attended West Bend East High School, West Bend, WI | graduated 1984, MIAD Diploma in Drawing
>currently a studio artist + photographer

 

Charles Dwyer

Charles Dwyer

“When I was seven I wanted to be a pro football player. When I was in third grade, I knew I would be an artist.”

Charles Dwyer is a self-described self-employed artist and photographer, a father, and a “trash-talking bowler”. His Drawing degree has taken him far from restoring Notre Dame’s golden-domed Administration Building to solo shows in New York, California, Chicago, and Europe. “MIAD helped me develop self-discipline and time management skills. I loved college.”

 

 

Dwyer drawings

Dwyer drawings

Immediately after leaving MIAD, Dwyer’s reputation grew quickly with a solo show at the West Bend Art Museum. From there he backpacked through Europe, drawing inspiration from the landscape, people, and history of many of the countries. Dwyer returned to Wisconsin to take a position with the restoration company, Conrad Schmitt Studios. In 1992, Dwyer’s first solo exhibition in New York sold out.

Influenced by Impressionism and Expressionism, Dwyer layers media and materials to create tactile expressions of the female figure. Skilled in many creative processes, drawing remains at the heart of his work. “Drawing is the foundation of everything,” says Dwyer. “It’s kind of primal.” His current work is made “from everything and anything, oil, pastel, collage, photography, textiles, computer imagery.”

And if Dwyer could have one wish: “I’d like to have every household own something original, by an artist of its choice.”

Dwyer drawings

Dwyer drawings

Selected gallery representation

  • Vault Gallery Cambria, CA
  • Eleanor Ettinger Soho, NY
  • Miranda Gallery Laguna, CA
  • Emery Fine Arts Kalamazoo, MI
  • Gallery M Denver, CO
  • R. Roberts Gallery Jacksonville, FL
  • Kingsley Art Gallery Red Bank, NJ
  • Newbury Fine Art Boston, MA
  • Hanson Gallery Carmel, CA

Selected restoration/conservation work:

  • St. Louis Union Station St. Louis, MO
  • University of Notre Dame Notre Dame, IN
  • Cathedral of Notre Dame Notre Dame, IN
  • Hawaii Theatre Honolulu, HI
  • Geary Theatre San Francisco, CA
  • Pfister Hotel Milwaukee, WI
  • Waldorf Astoria Hotel, NYC

(below)

More than ten years ago, Dwyer began a friendship with Gary Pollack. Pollack, a homeless man nearly twenty years older than Dwyer, struggled with alcoholism and mental illness. The two began a collaboration that spanned a number of years and culminated in forty works of art, including these “Lucky Strike” images.

Dwyer and Pollack collaborations

Dwyer and Pollack collaborations

You can read more about Dwyer and Pollack’s collaboration at Wisconsin Academy.

Alumni Success: Dani Marlette ’05

Connecting to Communities.

  • attended Lewiston Community High School, Lewiston, Illinois
  • graduated 2005, BFA Drawing
  • currently works in an Outreach Office at Oregon State University while attending graduate school to obtain a Master’s Degree in College Administration.
Dani Marlette

Dani Marlette

“What is best for any one person is very individual, but I can say that I learned a lot while at MIAD, and not just about art and design. It was a great place to spend some really important stages of my life.”

Growing up in a small, rural town and graduating from high school in a class of fifty-six, Dani Marlette knows a lot about community. “The cozy size, and warm attitude of MIAD made it a place I felt I could be comfortable while having space to grow,” Marlette says, speaking about her college decision, and move to Milwaukee. Since graduating from MIAD, Marlette has moved onto graduate school in Oregon, and works in an Outreach Office on campus reaching out to the community and helping people fulfill their dreams of attending college.

Q. What did you think you wanted to be when you grew up?

A. When I was little, I went through a million different things I wanted to be when I grew up, but I think from a fairly young age I decided to go into art. My mother has done a lot of photography, and participates on an arts council, so I grew up around artists of all different kinds. We lived in a very rural area, and had very little money, so I couldn’t spend all my time watching cable TV or going out to movies, so I grew up reading, drawing, playing with clay, and spending a lot of time outdoors.

handmade kaleidoscopes, copper, 2005.

handmade kaleidoscopes, copper, 2005.

Q. What is your first memorable experience with art and design?

A. When I was very small, I remember watching Bob Ross on PBS and wanting to paint with him. So, I gathered up all the butter knives, old rags, and kitchen sponges from around our house and tried to use them just like he used his tools. The effect was a little different than his, but I know I still had fun.

interior view of kaleidoscope.

interior view of kaleidoscope.

Q. What was the most valuable thing you learned at MIAD, and how has your education affected where you are today?

A. The most valuable thing I learned was that I had to be true to my own instincts in my work, even when it went against what other people expected or wanted which it often did. I learned to really listen and consider people’s suggestions and opinions, and then do what I knew was right for me. The time I spent at MIAD had a huge impact on where I am today. Although I’m not working full time with art, my education constantly influences how I think and feel. I did a lot of growing up at MIAD.

oversized handmade kaleidoscopes, mixed media, 2005.

oversized handmade kaleidoscopes, mixed media, 2005.

Q. What’s the one thing you would tell a high school student who is considering attending MIAD now that you’ve experienced life after graduation?

A. What is best for any one person is very individual, but I can say that I learned a lot while at MIAD, and not just about art and design. It was a great place to spend some really important stages of my life.

Q. If you had to sum up your job, what would it be?

A. I currently divide my time between working in an outreach office at Oregon State University assisting under-represented and minority students in getting into college, and going to school myself to obtain a master’s degree in College Administration. I want to continue working in community outreach and service learning, while creating art.

mixed media drawing, 2004-05.

mixed media drawing, 2004-05.

Alumni Success: Allyson Mellberg Taylor ’00

Continual Learning.

attended J.I. Case High School Racine, WI
graduated 2000, BFA Painting, minor in Printmaking | 2004, MFA University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
currently works as a teacher + professional artist.

 

Allyson Mellberg Taylor

Allyson Mellberg Taylor

“I loved the time I spent at MIAD. I started taking classes there in the pre-college program when I was still in high school. Now, as a teacher, I am still discovering how much I really learned while I was there.”

An extensive résumé sits on top of a stack of papers on my cluttered desk. Single-spaced, and slightly intimidating, it boasts of professional work experience and gallery exhibitions. Since graduating from MIAD in 2000, Mellberg Taylor hasn’t stood still, and her résumé is proves it. In graduate school at UNC-Chapel Hill, Mellberg Taylor gained extensive teaching and curatorial experience. Whether teaching in the classroom, or making it in her studio, art continues to play an integral role in her life. Mellberg Taylor has exhibited work nationwide, from New York to California.

Trying to Eat, collograph, 2002

Trying to Eat, collograph, 2002

Q. As a child, what did you think you wanted to be when you grew up?

A. I learned how to draw, and care about drawing — not just from my drawing teachers, but also from my printmaking and painting teachers.

Q. What’s the one thing you would tell a high school student who is considering attending MIAD now that you have experienced life after graduation?

A. It is completely possible to be a professional artist, teacher, designer. You will always, always have to work hard and love what you are doing.

Q. What are some of your goals, interests, for your future in art?

A. I want to continue working with great people, and to always be making things. In graduate school, I revisited sculpture and started sewing. Not only did I start making sculptures again, but I started making clothing and handbags.

Q. Are there any specific parts of your resume that you would like to share?

A. I show my work often, and with people that I love. I am happy to have shown in galleries and museums with Team LUMP (LUMP is an artist-run gallery out of Raleigh, NC that showcases emerging artists. www.lumpgallery.com). This year I am having my first solo show in New York at Cinders Gallery in Brooklyn. (www.cindersgallery.com)

Underbird, collograph, 2001

Underbird, collograph, 2001

Q. Please define how you saw your major while you were in school, and how that definition has changed over the years.

A. I was a painting major to begin with, and I felt very strongly that painting was the most important thing a person could do. But then, I fell in love with printmaking, and added it as a minor. I am much more of a printmaker, I think like a printmaker, I went to graduate school to focus on printmaking. I am glad that I was involved in both majors at MIAD, and that I stayed an extra year to complete my minor (I added it very late in the game). I’m very glad that I allowed myself to open up to other mediums and ways of making things. I enjoy working on paper, and I still love to paint. Right now, nine years later, I am making egg tempera paintings. When you choose your major at MIAD, you never know where it may take you. I wasn’t sure if I would ever paint again, because I became so immersed in printmaking. But now I do both and I don’t even think about the space between the two. I learned so many things about painting and printmaking during my time at MIAD… I think you store away some of that knowledge for later, you never know when you will need it.

samples of Mellberg-Taylor’s work

Solo Exhibitions:

  • New Works, Cinders Gallery, Brooklyn, NY [2005]
  • Small Girl, T and L Gallery, Raleigh, NC [2004]
  • Ghosts, Garfield Artworks Gallery, Pittsburgh, PA [2002]
  • New Works, Atomix, Chicago, IL [2002]
  • Monsters, Beans & Barley, Milwaukee, WI [2000]

Selected Collections:

  • La Maison Rouge, Paris, France
  • Fogg Museum, Harvard University
  • Milwaukee Art Museum, Print & Drawing Room, Milwaukee, WI
  • Baltimore Art Museum Library, Baltimore, MD

Alumni Success: Katie Musolff ’04

Painting Colorful Life Stories.

attended West Allis Central High School, West Allis, WI | graduated 2004, BFA Painting
currently a studio painter: www.katiemusolff.com

 

Katie Musolff

Katie Musolff

“MIAD was the first place where people put value on intuition.”

Q. What did you want to be when you grew up?

A. I always knew I was going to be an artist. My grandmother painted, my dad is a notorious doodler, and my older sister paints as well. Art was all around me.

Mic at Window, oil on canvas, 2006

Mic at Window, oil on canvas, 2006

Q. How did your MIAD education affect where you are today?

A. MIAD was the first place where people put value on intuition. It was the first time I realized that my intuition deserved a main role in my work.

Q. What’s the one thing you would tell a high school student who is considering attending MIAD now that you’ve experienced life after graduation?

A. The funny thing about art school is that it made such a deep impression on me and shaped my work. While I attended MIAD, someone (actually a number of people) advised me on the fact that I would have to ‘unlearn’ everything learned in school. I am now beginning to understand that. My work and way of thinking is drastically different than it was in school, but without a foundation, I wouldn’t have been able to grow and change.

Jenny Marie on Bed, oil on canvas, 2006

Jenny Marie on Bed, oil on canvas, 2006

Q. If you had to sum up your job in a single sentence, what would it be?

A. Currently, I’m working as a full-time painter.

Q. What are your goals for the future, in art/design and in life?

A. I paint people from all around the community, sometimes on commission. My goal is to continue doing so until I am old and gray, and keep doing it some more. I would be completely content if I could paint full-time for the rest of my life. Painting brings a richness to my life. It serves as a constant education.

Q. Are there any specific parts of your resume that you’d like to share?

A. I have solo shows scheduled at the Sharon Lynne Wilson Center for the Arts (Brookfield, WI) in October 2007, and at the Watrous Gallery at the Madison Overature Gallery (Madison, WI) in March 2008. I recently had a solo show at Elaine Erickson Gallery (Milwaukee, WI) in March 2006.

Ron the Miracle Man, oil on canvas, 2006

Ron the Miracle Man, oil on canvas, 2006

Musolff spent three months painting Ron Greenlaw [nicknamed ‘Moses’] at the St. Ann Center for Intergenerational Care (Milwaukee, WI). Greenlaw, at 47, has been confined to a wheelchair since 1982 after shooting himself in the head.

circle-square-triangle