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MIAD alum designs Kohl’s collection for Hispanic Heritage Month

For Hispanic Heritage Month in September and October, Whitney Salgado ’15 (Illustration) was selected to produce several surface designs for Kohl’s textiles to celebrate Hispanic heritage. The Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design (MIAD) alum, who also earned a minor in Communication Design, works as a freelance digital painter and illustrator in Milwaukee.

“Sometime last year, Kohl’s reached out to me for their Hispanic Heritage Month collection,” explains Salgado. “I was surprised but ultimately happy to partner with them! I haven’t really explored working with textiles or patterns and being able to see them out in stores now makes me want to branch out more and consider making my own prints. Especially as an artist that mainly works digitally, it’s so nice to see my work as more than just light on my screen!”

The collection, available online and at Kohl’s, features two designs by Salgado for the family capsule. “Inspired by nature and floral patterns found in Mexican textiles, Whitney Salgado’s illustrations celebrate the beauty within Latine traditions, culture and vibrancy for life. Their artwork is designed to pull people in with its color and lightheartedness, bringing happiness,” reads the artist biography on the collection’s website.

As a Latine creator and artist, Salgado takes inspiration from their culture and draws on themes of mental health, emotions and identity in their work. “This art [for Kohl’s] and colors for my designs are always heavily inspired by the textiles and bright color palette found within my culture,” they continue. “As someone who grew up feeling like they couldn’t embrace who they were, hopefully the visibility can inspire other Latine creatives to draw inspiration from and embrace their heritage.”

On their experience at MIAD, Salgado reflects on learning what kind of art they wanted to make. “It definitely took me a while to lean into working with themes I find meaningful and I have been making art about that since. What stands out the most is learning how to take different perspectives from multiple people and learning how to apply that to the path you want to follow,” says Salgado.

Salgado is glad to “be given the opportunity to show more Latine art on a large platform.” Their goal as an artist, to make relatable art that is a vehicle for community and connection, lent itself well to the Kohl’s Hispanic Heritage Month project. “I’m so excited to see what comes up next!” finishes Salgado.

Keep up with Salgado on Instagram or their website, and learn more about MIAD’s Illustration and Communication Design programs!


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