As Foundation students continue the First-Year Experience at MIAD, an important stop along the way is the Professional Portfolio Symposium – an evening of conversation and discovery as students meet with professionals and uncover new insights into potential career paths.
Keynote speaker, Tom Strini, well known Milwaukee art critic and writer, shared 30 years of perspective with students, emphasizing the importance of having “the creative guy” in every company.
“You bring your artistic ability into whatever workplace you inhabit, and you enrich it. When you study art and design, that is going to inform how you see the world.”
As the keynote wrapped, students flooded the rooms of professionals, who included:
- MIAD Time-Based Media Faculty member Philo Barnhart, a former Disney Animator who worked on The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast and more.
- Chelsea Atwell ’10, an art director and designer at Laughlin Constable, who won an OBIE Award for her Lung Cancer No One Deserves to Die Campaign.
- Frank Savage, industrial designer at Harley-Davidson, currently leads Styling design teams on many milestone motorcycles, such as the 2004 update to the Sportster chassis, XR1200, Nightster, 48, Iron and XL1200C.
- Mitch Mortimer ’02, illustrator and graphic artist, has worked on pre-production, and with clients such as Hasbro, Kool-Aid, Nintendo, MTV and Burger King.
Foundations student Noah Arndt-Kelber said, “I enjoyed talking to people in creative fields because they know what it’s like to want to express yourself creatively. The variety of professionals at the symposium helped me to feel better about the path I’m on, as everyone’s career was different, and it made me feel optimistic as to finding exactly what I want to do.”
David Martin, vice president of academic affairs, said, “Tom Strini delivered an exciting talk that had UV-2 students ready to agree and disagree in their classes with his premise that the artists and designers that we are preparing today must consider themselves as creatives who will ‘take their art sensibilities into the marketplace,’ and that while self-expression is important, what artists and designers can do in the community is essential and transformative.”
The Professional Portfolio Symposium allows Foundations students the chance to connect their classroom and studio studies with contemporary practice, and to build on their evening of insight before Major Declaration Day on March 4.