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Black Art & Design Juried Student Exhibition: Faith Allen

Faith stands next to their self-portrait

THEM (detail), 2022. Faith Allen

In their first exhibition, Faith Allen ’25 (Illustration) went big. The Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design sophomore submitted two artworks to the Black Art & Design Juried Student Exhibition and reveled in the freedom to create the largest pieces they could.

“I wanted to do something bigger because I don’t usually get to work as big as I’d like to,” says Allen on their striking self-portrait titled THEM. “I grabbed the biggest board and said, ‘I’m going to make myself huge!’” Allen worked sprawled out on their living room floor to create these large-scale projects. “I’ve fallen asleep on top of my drawings more than once,” they laugh.

As an artist, Allen focuses on intensely detailed ink illustrations. “I like to zoom in on all of my drawings and do piece by piece,” they say. The repetitive process is calming and almost meditative: “I like to get a pattern and just run with it,” they say. PHRAUG, the second artwork that Allen submitted, consists of thousands of tiny illustrated frogs.

Allen appreciates the freedom and the variety of ways to complete assignments at MIAD. “I am definitely enjoying being able to go outside my creative boundaries here at MIAD,” they say. Despite an increasingly digital environment, Allen admires their professors’ “love for traditional art … practical stuff is still appreciated and I can have fun with that.”

View Allen’s work in MIAD’s Black Art & Design Juried Student Exhibition, which is open to the public on MIAD’s first floor in the Community Hub (Room 160) and runs until March 1. Keep up with Faith on Instagram and learn more about MIAD’s galleries!

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