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MIAD alum on maximizing college and intuitive making

Cartoonish statue of a small red humanoid figure on a pillar in a gallery. Paintings are in the background.

Alan A. Peralta Martinez, TASK installation, 2023

From teaching pre-college classes at the Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design to planning international residencies, Alan A. Peralta Martinez ’21 (New Studio Practice: Fine Arts) relies on his intuition. The multidisciplinary fine artist also known as pinchegato recently hosted a solo show at TASK ahead of his two-month residency in Guadalajara.

Much of Peralta’s artistic practice focuses on the act of creation as an intuitive reaction to experiences or events happening in his life. “Sometimes I start making something for no reason at all,” he says, “or the reason is I just want to make something.” As an artist working in a multitude of mediums (most recently electronic music), Peralta always pushes himself to create something new, even when he is inspired by other creatives. “I want to work towards surprising myself and making something that I haven’t seen,” he explains. “That’s a big thing that drives me–novelty.”

This May, Peralta will bring his unique blend of intuitive creativity and improvisational making to Guadalajara, Mexico for a residency with the nonprofit organization Casa Jupiterfab. Supported by internationally recognized muralist Jupiterfab (Fabrizio Bianchini), the residency will allow Peralta to live and work in Guadalajara until June. Over the course of two months, Peralta will create work that reflects and comments on community and society. Although restrictions and requirements sometimes induce a creative block for him, Peralta is unconcerned about this requirement: “Once I land there and start getting a sense of what’s around me, that’s when the work will come.”

Peralta has a personal connection to Guadalajara. His father lives in the city and Peralta grew up visiting him every summer. “I still see myself as a foreigner,” he explains. “It’s important for me to keep that in mind… I am coming in as a foreigner and taking up spaces as such.” He is excited to spend time with his father and explore the city as an adult. “That’s what I’m looking forward to the most, getting a little bit of my childhood back,” he says. “There’s so much going on. When I was a kid, everything there was art to me. Sure, art itself like murals and graffiti. But you’ll also see hand-painted signs everywhere, even ads for concerts… All that has had such a huge impact on me.”

In July, newly inspired from his residency, Peralta plans to come back to Milwaukee to teach high schoolers in MIAD’s Pre-College program. He taught last year’s screen printing class, and found the experience of connecting with young people extremely rewarding. “Walking them through everything felt good,” says Peralta. “These students were so nice to me!” Working to prepare these high schoolers for a potential college career, Peralta says, “I want them to know that college is only what you make it.”

As a student at MIAD, Peralta took advantage of all the resources available to him. “I wanted to experience everything that MIAD had to offer… I was familiar with every lab at MIAD, and every semester I wanted to try something new,” he laughs. Peralta empowers current and prospective students to take charge and ownership of their college experience. “It’s very easy to get stuck on thinking that the art world works in a certain way,” he explains. “A realization I had at MIAD was that the art world is not this isolated experiment or thing that’s happening that you have to insert yourself into. As an artist, you are one of the cogs. You can make it whatever you want.”

Keep up with Alan on his website or Instagram, and learn more about MIAD’s Pre-College program and New Studio Practice: Fine Arts major!


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