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MIAD student projects fully funded by Grilled Cheese Grant

For the second year in a row, all five Grilled Cheese Grant finalists—including two Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design (MIAD) students—had their projects fully funded. In its ninth year, the MIAD alumni-run and crowd-funded grant awards funding to artists working in Southern Wisconsin.

At the Grilled Cheese Grant event, which took place on Saturday, March 23, 2024 at MIAD alum-owned Vanguard Sculpture Services, attendees enjoyed grilled cheese sandwiches and cast their votes for their favorite finalists. MIAD students Makenna Schibler ’25 (Fine Art + New Studio Practice) was awarded first place and Stella Koslowski ’24 (Illustration and Fine Art + NSP) received second place. Both artists’ projects will be fully funded.

Koslowski, who is in the midst of preparing her capstone project for MIAD’s Senior Exhibition, is grateful to have had her project fully funded. “It really helps me feel less stressed about completing my thesis and has allowed me to get more fully immersed into the work itself, rather than worrying about the cost,” she says. “It was also nice to know that complete strangers liked my work enough to support it. Sometimes I can get lost when I’m working on something for so long, and become unsure if I am even doing anything good anymore. But having people’s support really reinvigorated my excitement and confidence!”

Koslowski’s work will be on view at MIAD’s Fine Art + New Studio Practice Group Show 03 from April 9 – 12. A closing reception is scheduled for Friday, April 12, 6 – 8 p.m. The Fine Art group shows precede MIAD’s 2024 Senior Exhibition, where work from all 210 MIAD seniors will be on view from April 19 – May 11, 2024.

For the first time in its history, the Grilled Cheese Grant has expanded to accept applications from any emerging visual artist working in Southern Wisconsin. Previously, only students in their senior year at MIAD or UW-Milwaukee were eligible to apply.

Schibler is currently a junior at MIAD. “The immense support from the Milwaukee art community is so full of passion and desire to want to see others succeed as well as themselves,” she says. “Milwaukee is my family away from home, and feeling a fresh motivation from this family is completely validating in my person and my practice. I’m reminded that my work is motivating my viewers which fuels my passion to make.”

Koslowski continues, “I think it is so important to support local emerging artists because … it can really make a difference in an artist’s confidence in themselves. A little financial aid and support can be the make or break for someone who is just starting, and without new local artists, the community loses out on new perspectives and ideas.”

“Being able to be involved with like-minded artists, such as in the community I’m becoming accustomed to, is a magical experience,” finishes Schibler. “Keeping connection is what keeps artists evolving and changing in the community. Just living in Milwaukee for three years and having that exposure to the art scene and its goers shaped me into a completely different person and artist.”

Keep up with Koslowki and Schibler and learn more about MIAD’s Senior Exhibition!


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