Neighborhood markers and community-building: Brandon Minga
Residents of Milwaukee’s Near West Side are enjoying their neighborhood’s rich history and artistry through seven unique markers, courtesy of Milwaukee creatives and MIAD alumni Brandon Minga ’04 Illustration and André Saint-Louis ’01 Sculpture. The markers, which are made possible with funding from the U.S. Department of Housing and Development Choice Neighborhoods Initiative, will be intended for pedestrians to view while walking through the area and will tell stories specific to each neighborhood in the Near West Side. So far, three of the planned seven markers are complete and installed.
According to a blog post published by Near West Side Partners, the markers will be 12-foot-tall structures intended to “bring permanence, color and liveliness to the area.” Minga, quoted in the post, particularly enjoyed gathering information from the community and emphasizes the importance of that feedback given the vast and unique community that makes up the Near West Side. “Community involvement and hearing the peoples’ voice and opinion about what’s going to go in their neighborhood and how passionate some of those folks are [has been] one of the highlights,” he says.
No stranger to the power of creativity to build community, Minga is also the principal artist and founder of the House of RAD (Resident Artist Doers), a creative collective that strives to unite the “most progressive innovators in art & design, tech, and making.” At the beginning of November, House of RAD hosted a successful fundraising event for Feed Your Soul, an organization committed to fighting hunger with art.
Minga appreciates the meaningful relationships he built at MIAD with “…creative professionals that changed the way I was thinking and seeing the world.” After a decade of running his company Mingadigm, a pursuit which took perseverance and eight preliminary years of hard work, Minga reflects that he “got stuck on some things and some extremely difficult situations but never stopped dreaming and trying different things… the returns on doing and/or pursuing what you love are intoxicatingly fulfilling.”
In the 50th anniversary year at the Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design (MIAD), the college presents “Growing Resistance: Untold Stories of Milwaukee’s Community Guardians,” an exhibition in the Brooks Stevens Gallery running January 8 – March 2, 2024. Related programs include zine making, a book club, student-guided tours and a story circle with community partners.
Eye-opening and awe-inspiring: this is how Nirmal Raja ’08 (Painting) describes learning to work with liquid metal. The Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design (MIAD) alum recently completed the John Michael Kohler Arts Center Arts/Industry Residency in Kohler, Wisconsin.
Dale Shidler, Professor of Communication Design, received the January 2024 MIAD Values Recognition Award at the Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design (MIAD). Dale’s nominations highlighted his embodiment of MIAD’s Core Values, especially Integrity, Kindness and Community.
Four Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design (MIAD) community members will contribute to the first floor of the new ThriveOn King community hub on North Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Drive. They make up part of the 20 Milwaukee artists who will convey the history and heritage of Bronzeville in this collaborative space.
The Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design (MIAD) Board of Trustees welcomed two new members at their January 2024 meeting. Dr. Daniel A. Schroeder, co-founder and president/CEO of Organization Development Consultants, Inc. (ODC), and Noah Stone, reference librarian and circulation assistant at North Shore Public Library, joined MIAD’s Board.