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Black Art & Design Juried Student Exhibition: Noah Teague

Noah Teague next to a painting of a green house with a collage of images of Black women in the foreground

Noah Teague, “A Home is Not Held Together by Plywood,” 2023

Although the show is only up for a few more days, the Black Art & Design Juried Student Exhibition at the Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design remains a gem in the institution. Noah Teague ’25 (Communication Design), one of the 14 students showing work, explains his multimedia collages and creative philosophy.

Teague created “A Home is Not Held Together by Plywood” in several stages following a trip to New York during his senior year of high school where he was hired to photograph a band from Chicago. The mixed media work features an intentionally partially-finished painting of a house behind a collaged foreground of Black women. “Every time we walked outside, we would stop at this house,” he explains. “It really stood out to me because it had a really nice green hue to it that was very calming … you could feel there was a family and people who had lived a full life inside this house.”

Although he created the house painting well before the exhibition, Teague added the collaged images of women a few weeks before submitting the work to reflect his own changed perspectives and narratives on community and home. “I wanted to talk about Black women and give them the spotlight,” he says. The community of women intentionally represent a widely varied spectrum of African-American and African experiences. “I wanted to show how broad the African diaspora can be,” explains Teague.

A multidisciplinary artist, Teague works in graphic design, painting, collage, photography, ceramics, furniture-making: “Anything that I can get my hands on, I’ll take on,” he laughs. Even though he originally planned to study fine art, Teague ultimately decided to pursue Communication Design. “At the end of the day, it’s all just a way of spreading knowledge or explaining an idea,” he says. Teague applies Communication Design philosophy to the rest of his artistic practice, finding that it “makes design a little more accessible to everybody.”

In his artistic practice, Teague explores African diaspora and African-American culture. Reflecting on how each of his making methods informs the other, Teague notes that “each piece can be put together to form a larger picture and communicate the reasoning behind why we do what we do.” In his current favorite class on erratic art, Teague appreciates the flexibility of assignments and the encouragement to “access parts of our artistic abilities that we wouldn’t otherwise access in other classes … It’s been fun to find ways to break out of what they want us to do [in Communication Design] and be able to insert my own ideas.”

While the Black Art & Design Juried Student Exhibition is only up through March 1 in MIAD’s Community Hub (room 160), keep up with Noah on Instagram and learn more about MIAD’s Communication Design major!


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