In the Haas family, the grape doesn’t fall far from the vine.
Allan Haas ’77 (Industrial Design) never pushed his daughter Karin ’08 (Printmaking) into the arts, or to attend his alma mater, MIAD. He didn’t have to because, as Allan says, she was “an artist from day one.”
“She was always a self starter, always into little projects all the way through school,” Allan said. “When she decided to go to MIAD it was a milestone. There were a lot of things that just all of a sudden clicked. She had a place to go, she was excited and she was happy.”
Art surrounded Karin in her youth. When Karin and her brother were younger, the family would visit museums, gallery openings and music events. Instead of taking pictures, Allan would make pastel paintings when the family traveled.
Allan’s own career in art and design began at MIAD’s predecessor college the Layton School of Art, and concluded in 1977 at MIAD. He has worked in marketing and design since graduation, running his own firm, H2D, Inc., for about 25 years.
Allan’s wife, Kris Jenson, is also an artist. The couple fostered their daughter’s interest, and offered their own feedback to help their young artist grow.
“My parents always told me that I could do better. I didn’t like hearing this when I was young,” said Karin. “I can now appreciate the tough love because it makes me work harder. Both of my parents were always the best at being completely honest with me toward my work and life.”
During her high school years, Karin attended MIAD’s Pre-College program, focusing on printmaking. After the program, Karin scanned over the art she created and knew she wanted to pursue it further.
“I felt like the department had a lot to offer and I saw printmaking as a challenge,” Karin said. “I went to visit other schools, but MIAD’s Printmaking department always stood out.”
Those classes were rewarding, as Karin works in the fashion industry, in addition to being a professional artist represented by the Grace Chosy Gallery in Madison. Karin lives in Chicago, where she collaborates with fashion designer Annie Novotny and works at Apartment Number 9, a high end men’s clothing store. Karin has recently begun to move into textile design. Allan is excited to see what Karin will accomplish and feels that his daughter’s “opportunities are endless” on her current path.
Allan has growing interests too. A new passion led him to open a winery in 2011, Chiselled Grape, with his friend Harald Tomesch. In late fall, the winery received medals for two of its offerings from the American Wine Society. Allan works on the promotional aspects of the company.
After the years of nurturing, and a little bit of pruning, the proud father happily shows off his daughter’s blooming artwork in the winery’s gallery.
Click here to learn more about MIAD’s Printmaking program.
Click here to learn more about MIAD’s Industrial Design program.
Top image: Allan and Karin Haas
Bottom image: Karin’s work on view at Chiselled Grape in fall.