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MIAD showcases Layton School of Art alum Lois Ehlert

This summer, the Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design (MIAD) is pleased to host an exhibition of work by renowned Wisconsin illustrator and artist Lois Ehlert in “Lois Ehlert: A Creative Life.” Ehelrt’s work is joined by an exhibition of work by MIAD students in their transformative junior years.

Best known for illustrating such children’s books as “Chicka Chicka Boom Boom,” “Growing Vegetable Soup” and “Planting a Rainbow,” Lois Ehlert illustrated 52 books between 1961 and 2017, 31 of which she also wrote. Her decades-long personal and professional work extended far beyond to include posters, magazines, workbooks, holiday cards, toy designs, promotional and marketing materials and more. This comprehensive show also includes work from her years as a student at the Layton School of Art, MIAD’s predecessor college, and even some works from her childhood.

During her lifetime, Ehlert received many honors, including an Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, the Caldecott Honor Book award, a Wisconsin Visual Art Lifetime Achievement Award and an Original Art Lifetime Achievement award from the Society of Illustrators. Her work has been featured at the Art Institute of Chicago, the Milwaukee Art Museum and the James Watrous Gallery.

“Lois Ehlert: A Creative Life” runs from June 17 – August 3, 2024 in MIAD’s Brooks Stevens Gallery, with a reception on June 14, 2024 from 5:30 – 7:30 p.m. MIAD invites youth arts groups, library groups and other summer youth programs to visit “Lois Ehlert: A Creative Life” on special days during the summer for a guided tour, art activities and read-alouds. More information and dates are available at

Alongside works from Lois Ehlert’s transformative career, MIAD’s Frederick Layton Gallery features an exhibit of works by students representing all six of MIAD’s majors. “Don’t Call Me Junior! Excerpts from MIAD’s 3rd Year Experience” is on view June 3 – July 20, 2024 and is made up of students who recently completed their third year of college.

The students’ work covers 2D, 3D and 4D projects in Communication Design, Illustration (including Animation Track), Interior Architecture and Design, Fine Art + New Studio Practice, Product Design and Fashion and Apparel Design.

MIAD’s Galleries are open Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. and are free to the public. Gallery Night hours on July 19 are 5 – 9 p.m.

Learn more about and visit MIAD’s Galleries!


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