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Artist Talks provide MIAD student experience in museum world

A person stands next to a work of art in a gallery with a sign saying

Stella Koslowski presents at the Art Institute of Chicago, 2024.

For Stella Koslowski ’24, presenting at the Art Institute of Chicago during University Partner Fest 2024 “is a great way for students to gain experience in the museum world because it takes your research to a more professional setting and encourages you to have discussions with new people.”

Koslowski, who double majors in Illustration and Fine Art + New Studio Practice with a minor in Art History, was one of two MIAD students nominated to give Student Art Talks at the Chicago museum on February 24, 2024. She presented on Robert Matta’s The Earth is a Man and Ezra Liri Zellinger ’24 presented on Francis Bacon’s Figure with Meat.

“I chose Roberto Matta’s The Earth Is a Man,” says Koslowski, currently an intern at the Wisconsin Museum of Quilts and Fiber Arts, “because I was immediately drawn to the bright colors in the work and how it pairs with the movement and chaos. I was also eager to learn about a work that I had never seen before, and an artist that I was only vaguely aware of.”

University Partner Fest welcomed students, faculty and staff of partners, like MIAD, free of charge to the 24 Student Art Talks and gallery activations by faculty nominated from seven institutions. MIAD First Year Experience chair Kate Schaffer and professor Melissa Dorn presented; Chelsea Holton, chair of Art History & Science, coordinated MIAD’s participation.

Entitling their activation “The Everyday Feminist: Dear Eva,” Schaffer says they “cultivated a discussion of museum didactics around the content of the label and website description of Hang Up by Eva Hesse. Then participants wrote letters to Eva, excavating the richness, strength and space of the work, which we will send to Eva’s foundation.”

The two faculty have done activations at Lynden Sculpture Garden, the lobby of Saint Kate – The Arts Hotel and Opalka Gallery in Albany, NY.

A person presents to a group of people in front of an artwork in a museum.

Stella Koslowski presents at the Art Institute of Chicago, 2024.

Koslowski interned last fall at the Haggerty Museum of Art. This fall, she will pursue a master’s in Decorative Art and Design at Sotheby’s in London.

She says, “I decided to minor in art history after taking a class called The History of Illustration and Communication Design Since 1850 with Margaret Schmitz. I just sort of felt a spark about the whole subject and wanted to take more classes and develop my knowledge more…. I think it has helped me a lot with my writing skills which has been great for articulating my own art and has brought me a lot of inspiration through studying the work of other artists.”

Koslowski’s capstone senior projects in Fine Art and Illustration are on view in the MIAD 2024 Senior Exhibition. Her Fine Art project “Is Dream a Memory?” will be on view from April 9 – 12 in the Fine Art + New Studio Practice Group Show 3, while that project and her Illustration project “The Dream Factory” will be on view in the full Senior Exhibition from April 19 – May 11.

Learn more about MIAD’s Fine Art + New Studio Practice major, Illustration major and Art History minor.

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