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MIAD announces Ruth Arts Grant recipients

The Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design (MIAD) has announced the 10 recipients of the inaugural Ruth Arts + MIAD Artist Grant program. Selected from a pool of 47 applicants encompassing full-time faculty, adjunct faculty and staff, the recipients’ projects span sculpture to film works.

As a recipient of the Ruth Foundation for the Arts (Ruth Arts) Legacy Fund, MIAD was invited, alongside two other Milwaukee organizations, to pilot and administer a Wisconsin Artist Grant program. Through an award of $75,000 from Ruth Arts for the 2023/24 academic year, MIAD is supporting the 10 recipients with amounts of $5,000 and $10,000 per individual. Faculty, adjuncts and staff will use the funds to develop their own independent fine art practices, and the program will support the artists with promotion and celebration of work.

The recipients of the 2023/24 Ruth Arts + MIAD Artist Grant are as follows:

  • Alexia Brunson (Faculty, Interior Architecture and Design and Liberal Studies)
  • Matt Kuhlman (Adjunct Faculty, Fine Art)
  • Matthew Lee (Faculty, First-Year Experience, Illustration and Product Design)
  • Mira Rychner (Supervisor, Sculpture Lab)
  • Andi Sciacca (Faculty, Liberal Studies)
  • Sara Sowell (Interim Faculty, Fine Art)
  • Stacey Steinberg (Executive Director of Marketing & Communication)
  • Matthew Vivirito (Adjunct Faculty, Interior Architecture and Design)
  • Jason Yi (Faculty, Fine Art)
  • Rina Yoon (Faculty, Fine Art)

The projects will be completed in December 2024 and will be presented at a reception. Some of the proposals the Ruth Arts + MIAD Artist Grant is supporting include:

  • A series of meditative layered colored pencil drawings installed to hang from an exhibition space’s ceiling.
  • A synthesis of historic oil painting materials and methods applied to artworks depicting paleontological field work in Montana.
  • A two-channel film installation shot on 16mm film stock interpreting Man Ray’s autobiography Self Portrait.
  • A series of large-scale, collaged depictions of destroyed houses that meld sculpture and printmaking.
  • Work that explores molten metal sculpture in response to local bodies of water.

Of the 47 applicants, 23 were faculty members, 14 were adjunct faculty and 10 were staff members. Lisa Beth Robinson, associate professor at the School of Art and Design at East Carolina University in Greenville, NC, juried the grant applications.

“This was an intense and challenging task; MIAD has more than its share of creative people,” said Robinson in a juror statement to the applicants. “I looked for original art that spoke to a broad audience and responded to current issues.”

Learn more about the Ruth Arts + MIAD Artist Grant, explore Ruth Arts and read more about the Legacy Fund and the Wisconsin Artist Grant.


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