Select Page

miad-define-14-1Can an image be art & design simultaneously, or are they always separate entities that should be approached in different ways? This was one question posed during 2014 MIAD DEFINE, a day of college-wide dialogue about contemporary art & design, driven by students, faculty and staff.

MIAD DEFINE returned for its fourth year Wednesday, April 23. The morning session focused on senior thesis projects, and provided an exceptional opportunity for freshmen, sophomores and juniors to gain insight into the exhibition.

miad-define-14-2Seniors described their projects and processes, which allowed them to reflect on the knowledge and experience they gained during their time at MIAD. Underclassmen were encouraged to speak with seniors outside their own major to gain a broad perspective on the possibilities offered by the senior thesis project.

Panel discussions and presentations held in the afternoon brought together students, alumni, faculty and staff who rarely interact due to differing disciplines.

miad-define-14-3One discussion, “‘&’: The Most Overlooked Word in MIAD – Ways to Bridge Art and Design,” was moderated by Reece Ousey ’15 (Integrated Studio Arts), and featured Stephanie Gage ’15 (Printmaking); Milwaukee Art Museum Graphic Designer Nate Pyper ’12 (Communication Design); founder of Imagination Giants Time Stoelting ’10 (Photography); and Sculpture Professor Jill Sebastian.

During the session, the panel discussed the boundless possibilities and problems that exist when integrating fine art & design. As the audience participated in the panel’s discussion, an ongoing conversation regarding the discourse of fine art versus design continued within the MIAD community and exemplified the exciting opportunities for collaboration MIAD DEFINE provides.

Read about 2013 MIAD DEFINE.

9 a.m. – noon Critique and Discussions of Senior Exhibition

The Senior Exhibition is located in the Frederick Layton Gallery, Brooks Stevens Gallery, Lobby and Fourth Floor Gallery. Seniors discuss their work and share their MIAD journey.

1 – 2:15 p.m.
Session I – Panels, Presentations and Discussions|closed}

The Art of Science and the Science of Art
Presenters: Michelle Sharp, Maddy Dall, Katie Haseker, Brooklyn Henke

This discussion will exemplify the intersection of art and science as well as emphasize the importance of creating such work. Each presenter will discuss the importance of science to their work/major or contemporary work they are inspired by, demonstrating that art and science don’t have to be distinct or distant, but can inform each other and make the other more accessible to more people.
Room 470B

Art on the Outside: Producing the Artist’s Life
Panelists: Ariana Vaeth, Audrey Jerebek, Cody Powers, Luke Arndt, Tony Mau, Kayla Karbowski, Alyssa Anderson, Claire Hitchcock-Tilton, CJ O’Connell, Niki Johnson

Niki Johnson and her team of student interns will discuss various aspects of living and producing work as a professional artist. Students will share experiences assisting Niki in her curatorial and artistic endeavors including the orchestration of DIY and museum exhibitions, organizing large-scale exhibition spaces, competing for artist residencies and maintaining a strong studio practice.
Todd Wehr Auditorium

Narrative in Contemporary Poetry” A Reading and Discussion – Part 1
Presenters: Jade Ashburn, Gary Balitskiy, Alexis Bartling, Andrea Bennett, Tom Beran, Vincent Coleman-Copeland, Sinead Eby, Trenice Ferguson, Madeline Folz, Chloë Gribbin
Moderator: Judith Harway

Over the ages, poetry in the English language has evolved from being a medium for keeping tales and histories to being medium for making music with language. Yet narrative strategies endure, and speak to both individual and collective human experience. Students enrolled in MIAD’s Narrative Strategies in Contemporary Poetry will present and discuss their own poetic works and share their exploration of the many ways that storytelling thrives in contemporary poetry.
Room 470A

Performing a Self
Presenters: Kim Miller, Brandon McGee, Caitlin Rooney
Moderator: Nicholas Frank

“Performing a Self” will present three separate performances in which the artists will present deeper aspects of themselves through an audience. Following will be discussion on using personal material as a source for public presentation and how particular properties of this art-form create opportunities to explore deep content through one-to-one connections between audience and live performer.
4th Floor Screening Room

Z Brush for the Artist: New Media, Old Craft
Presenters: Joshua Haining, Abe Kassem

Digital Sculpting is used in the movie industry, video games, animation and jewelry production. This presentation will include a demonstration of digital sculpting using Z-Brush software as well as discuss how it is being integrated into MIAD’s curriculum. Examples of student work created over the last two years by members of MIAD’s Digital Sculpture Club will be shared.
Room 230

Travel and the Artist: Who, What, Why, Where?
Presenters: Midwest Field Reporters – Zachary Hill, Jenna Knapp, Stacy Dahl, Amanda Stein, Ayla Boyle

Travel as a way of experiencing different cultures, landscapes, people and places is an essential part of being a creative individual. Delving into the unknown not only expands one’s knowledge of the diversity in the world, but also provides new perspectives in the known. While jetting to far away locales and indulging in the exotic is an excellent way to gain these insights, what can one gain by investigating the familiar? The Midwest Field Reporters tackle this question by exploring the often overlooked and mundane locations that exist within the Midwest. They will present who they are, why they do it and where they have been since their collective travels began.
Room 285

What is a Photographer? What is Photography?
Panelists: Tara Bogart, Paul Calhoun, Naomi Shersty, Larry Chatman

Photography is an activity millions are involved in. It is also a medium that has been incorporated by many artists who do not consider themselves photographers. As an art form it has become blurred and is either being re-defined or it is becoming non-existent. This group of professional photographers with very different approaches to the medium will discuss what it means to call oneself a photographer today as well as the role of photography in the realm of fine art.
Room 470C

What a Brief HIstory of Literature in English Tells Us About “Them” and Ourselves: Student Insights, Observations and Questions for the Future
Presenters: Alex Dittmer, Erica Festge, Hyeonjin Kang, Alexx Marshall, Gabriela Riveros, Sarah Sickles, Nate Splide, Kellymarie Stamper, Spencer Thode, Amelia Trejo, Nhia Vang
Moderator: Debra Ripley

Students from MIAD’s Now to Beowolf class will present observations about the human experience based upon literary pieces from current times back to the earliest writings in English. Audience members will be encouraged to engage in conversation with presenters about this humanist inquiry through stories and poems. What issues come up? How are they handled? And what did they mean (as nearly as we can tell)? How can we use this knowledge to better engage our own historical moment and our own work?
4th Floor Critique Room

Defining Artist Books
Presenters: Leslie Fedorchuk, Shawn Simmons

But what IS an artist book? This presentation will include a discussion on the definition of an artist’s book, as well as a survey of artists and designers who work in the artist’s book format. Digital images of both printed and digital books will be shared as well as the private artist’s book collections of both presenters.
Room 270

2:30 – 4 p.m.
Session II – Panels, Presentations and Discussions|closed}

Investigating Sacred Texts and Contemporary Art Forms: Why?
Presenters: Leslie Fedorchuk, Ayla Boyle, Michelle Sharp, Tawnee Kerner

Participants form the Sacred Texts class will discuss their experiences and the ongoing questions they have researching different faith traditions and book forms. What has it added to their studio life and practice? What does looking at ancient traditions and texts offer to those of us who are practicing artists and designers today? In a world that is so full of conflicts that can be traced back to these traditions – what might the experience of opening up our thinking about them bring to our understanding?
Room 270

Art, Pray, Love
Presenter: Ricky Heldt

Ricky Heldt, MIAD photography alum and Associate Director of Student Services, will share photos from his most recent trip to India and discuss the journey as a discovery of spirituality and art/cultural history through the sculpture, architecture and temples. How does spirituality influence art from a historical and personal perspective? Join in this discussion and view his work documenting the Elora and Ajanta Caves.
4th Floor Critique Room

Seeing + Thinking for Making: A Process-Based Method to Enhance Visual Literacy
Presenters: Debra Ripley, John Caruso

This workshop/lecture explores a process for engaging objects (fine art, design, architecture, text, etc.) in such a way that we form a scaffold for visual literacy habits of mind -regardless of your current level of acuity. Through a series of engagements with objects and the challenges these objects pose, we develop strategies through which we become increasingly capable of meaningful dialogue that articulate knowing and making visible expertise.
Todd Wehr Auditorium

Narrative in Contemporary Poetry: A Reading and Discussion – Part 2
Presenters: Erica Festge, Zach Handziak, Parker Hren, Kayleigh Karbowski, Erin Krembs, Fernando Licon, Jillian Turbessi, Rebecca Mader, Brian Schneider, Manuja Waldia, Marcus Wendricks
Moderator: Judith Harway

Students enrolled in MIAD’s Narrative Strategies in Contemporary Poetry will be presenting and discussing their own poetic works to share their exploration of the many ways that storytelling thrives in contemporary poetry. Presentations will support a broader discussion of creative process, and the relevance of writing and humanities to an art school education.
Room 470A

Beyond the Book: A Milwaukee Book Designer on Digital Publishing
Presenter: Stacey Williams-Ng

Four years ago, Milwaukee designer Stacey Williams-Ng had a unique opportunity to design and illustrate an interactive children’s story for Apple’s then-new iPad tablet. The project inspired her deeply, and since then, she has been featured in a Creative Spark documentary ( and started a hybrid print/digital press for children’s publishing here in Milwaukee, winning design awards along the way. Stacey will screen a portion of the documentary and then present an overview of the digital publishing landscape. How do these “storybooks” fit into the canon of children’s literature? What are some of the historical precedents for interactive books? And where will it go from here?
Room 470C

“&”: The Most Overlooked Word in MIAD – Ways to Bridge Art and Design
Panelists: Stephanie Gage, Jill Sebastian, Nate Pyper, Tim Stolting
Moderator: Reece Ousey

In conjunction with Swim Team’s upcoming exhibition, “Six by Six: An Art and Design Exchange,” artists and designers will discuss the relevance of design-art in contemporary art. The panelists will first attempt to define the two practices and then describe how art and design overlap in their personal work. This discussion intends to challenge our typical notion of art and design education and encourages us to reevaluate our own practice. Are we artists? Are we designers? Are these programs so different?
4th Floor Screening Room

Broadening Creativity through Study Abroad
Panelists: Emily Bury, Emily Ebert, Joshua Zelasko, Keri Wheeler, Samantha Wilson
Moderators: Chris Szczesny-Adams, Ph.D., Phil Belair 

Join students and faculty who have participated in international study abroad experiences through MIAD’s programs. Student panelists will discuss how their creative thinking, art and design endeavors, and personal viewpoints have been impacted through this unique experience. Faculty will reflect on changes they’ve seen in student participants as well as share their own personal growth leading these programs.
Room 470B

“In The Flesh”
Panelists: Aiesha Anglin, Kim Miller, Bob Smith

This panel discussion will focus on portraiture and the presentation of the human body through painting, photography and other contemporary art mediums. An overview of contemporary artists who have gone beyond traditional portraiture to form a new visual language of beauty, identity and human form will be presented, followed by discussion and dialogue between panelists and the audience on how these approaches celebrate, define and reveal the human form.
Room 285