Select Page

First-year students working to decolonize art history

“Works of art history should not be forgotten but instead emphasized within a wider context that might begin to dismantle our society’s engrained western notions of postcolonial nationalism,” said Emily Beall ’24 in a video project presentation. 

Beall was among 250 MIAD first-year students in the spring 2020 semester who looked beyond the scope of Western aesthetics and embarked on independent research projects on decolonizing art history. 

The class project was inspired by painter, sculptor and activist Titus Kaphar, who presented a public MIAD Creativity Series talk in February 2020 about confronting the history and canon of Western art. Kaphar also met with MIAD first-year students and Milwaukee Public School high school students to inspire them to reimagine history and literally paint a more inclusive picture. 

MIAD students analyzed contemporary artwork that rejects Western thoughts or analyzed the story of a historical piece using methodologies such as the critical race theory and postcolonial theory. Here are four of the students’ video presentations showcasing their research: 

Liam Hoey-Kummerow Presentation Image

Liam Hoey-Kummerow’s presentation on Sam Durant’s “Scaffold”

Mikayla Kaufman Presentation image

Mikayla Kaufman’s presentation on Linda Infante Lyons

Emily Beall Presentation Image

Emily Beall’s presentation on Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres’ “Turkish Bath”

Adam Fehring Presentation Image

Adam Fehring’s presentation on Kehinde Wiley

While at MIAD, Kaphar also engaged in conversations about decolonizing MIAD’s curriculum. 

Kaphar is well-known for his TED Talk “Can Art Amend History?” Recently, Kaphar created TIME Magazine’s June 2020 cover and for the first time in history TIME’s signature red border was changed to include the names of 35 victims of police violence. Every purchase of the cover benefits Black-led organizations committed to advancing justice. Learn more. 


Overture Center gallery hosts MIAD alumni

Two alumni from the Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design (MIAD) are exhibiting work at Madison’s Overture Center. Cassandra Smith ’06 (Sculpture) and Stacey Steinberg ’04 (Drawing) both have work on display in separate galleries at the performing arts space.

Battle of the Bands: Product Design class showdown

French Renaissance alt rock met space cowboy country from the future in one Product Design class at the Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design (MIAD). Students in Storytelling: Compelling Narrative of the Design Process were tasked with creating a band, complete with newly designed instruments, stage plots and lighting, costumes and even a feature on the cover of Rolling Stone magazine.

Ordinary people doing extraordinary work: Growing Resistance

In the 50th anniversary year at the Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design (MIAD), the college presents “Growing Resistance: Untold Stories of Milwaukee’s Community Guardians,” an exhibition in the Brooks Stevens Gallery running January 8 – March 2, 2024. Related programs include zine making, a book club, student-guided tours and a story circle with community partners.

Metalwork and molds: MIAD alum on Kohler Residency

Eye-opening and awe-inspiring: this is how Nirmal Raja ’08 (Painting) describes learning to work with liquid metal. The Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design (MIAD) alum recently completed the John Michael Kohler Arts Center Arts/Industry Residency in Kohler, Wisconsin.


Accepting applications for Fall 2024
Apply now!

December 31, 2023
FAFSA available for 2024-25 school year
Use MIAD's school code: 014203

April 27, 2024
Admitted Students Day

June 1, 2024
Tuition Deposit Deadline
Pay your tuition deposit