MIAD Values Recognition Award: Sarah Eichhorn
Sarah Eichhorn, Visiting Instructor of Fashion and Apparel Design, received the October 2023 MIAD Values Recognition Award at the Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design (MIAD). Eichhorn’s nominations speak to her Kindness, Inclusiveness, Innovation and support of MIAD’s Community.
The MIAD Values Recognition Award (VRA) celebrates faculty and staff who consistently model MIAD’s values of courage, integrity, kindness, community, innovation and inclusion. After employees nominate a colleague for the award, a committee made up of faculty, staff and previous VRA winners convenes to vote on the month’s recipient. Awardees receive a $250 prize.
Part of the force behind the new Community Closet and a longtime Textiles Lab expert and advocate, Eichhorn brings innovative community-building solutions to the college. “It’s something that brings me so much joy as an educator and employee to be able to put these ideas into the real world,” she says.
One of Eichhorn’s nominators said, “When you get to work with Sarah, you know you’re going to find a solution to a problem while keeping grace, consistency, compassion, and inclusion at the forefront. Her ability to advocate for others and her values is something I admire greatly. Sarah brings so much joy to our school and so much passion. Her collaborative efforts have created and sustained the Community Closet, and I am so glad that she chose MIAD as the space to let her ideas come to fruition.”
From creating a clothing exchange space to thinking deeply about how to provide welcoming community spaces to students, Eichhorn centers students and community. “Having dress forms that are all shapes and sizes—that’s something I was very verbal about!” she says of the Textiles Lab. “I want students to see [models like that] so they feel validated, they feel welcomed.”
As one of the driving forces behind the new Fashion and Apparel Design major, Eichhorn makes an effort to bring fashion apparel and textile art out of the classroom and into the MIAD community. “I was really excited to have the opportunity to show the ‘Mended’ clothing for my Anti-Fashion class,” she says. “To see that clothing on gallery walls always feels a little revolutionary for me still! What we do is art, even though we wear it every day. It’s still art and valuable.” ‘Mended: The Anti-Fashion Exhibition’ is on view until November 18, 2023 in MIAD’s Community Hub, Room 160.
“MIAD is a space, in my experience, that I can find people to come to with ideas or to talk through things with,” finishes Eichhorn. “That has been a real confidence booster in working here—feeling like I can be myself too.”
Learn more about MIAD’s Values Recognition Award or nominate a colleague at miad.edu/vra.
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The Milwaukee Art Museum (MAM) selected the design of MIAD alum Debbie Sajnani ’16 (Communication Design) for its 2023 annual ornament. The ornaments are recreated each year by artisans using a reserve painting technique, according to MAM.