MIAD students, alumni complete Taxco Apartments mural
This September, four MIAD students and two alumni completed a quilt-themed mural on the new Taxco Apartments in Milwaukee’s Walker’s Point neighborhood. Located near 6th and Pierce Streets, the student and alumni works complement a six-story mural of popular Tejano singer Selena Quintanilla by muralist and painter Mauricio Ramirez and are visible from I-43 on the western façade of the building.
Spanning 200 feet across the first story of the new structure, MIAD’s contribution to the mural illustrates themes central to the Walker’s Point neighborhood and features work by alumni Michael Garcia-Krapfl ’22 (Illustration) and Maddie Renner ’22 (New Studio Practice: Fine Arts) and current students Chad Alexander ’24 (NSP), Mary Hoffman ’24 (NSP/Product Design), Jo Willis ’23 (NSP) and Judith Perez ’24 (NSP). Supporting the group as project manager was Brit Khromer, Adjunct Instructor in New Studio Practice: Fine Arts. Perez, a current student who also worked on the Milwaukee Public Museum’s mural, incorporated “line profiles of people in my personal life that have helped me get to where I am today,” and comments that “…it‘s been so exciting to see the people I love come look at the mural and see themselves on this giant wall.” In order to create a seamless and quilted look, students and alumni linked separate panels together by working in artistic elements from neighboring panels.
The company developing the new apartments, Mandel Group, Inc., contacted the MIAD Lubar Innovation Center to source artists for the project, so the Center assembled a rockstar team of students, alumni and faculty to research, concept and produce the mural. Drew Maxwell, Director of the Innovation Center, hopes that the artwork will continue to be impactful in the coming years. “It’s a painted quilt and as people walk by again and again, they’ll undoubtedly discover something different each time,” he says. Maxwell was especially impressed by the artists’ ability to research and celebrate the Walker’s Point community and capture its playfulness and togetherness in the mural.
“A project like this is great because our students get to put the work they make in their own portfolios, they get experience working with real-world paying clients, and their work gets to be seen on a high-visibility building out in the real world,” says Kyle James, Assistant Director of the Innovation Center. Not only does the Innovation Center support current MIAD students, it also bolsters Milwaukee’s community by connecting MIAD’s students and alumni to local companies and community members in need of creative solutions. In this case, the Center helped to strengthen alumni relationships by “providing a paying project where they can connect back with the school and other students,” James continues.
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