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Penelope Bowles x Unfinished Legacy: Senior Exhibition 2024

A trippy, dreamland adventure with giant insects and skeletons: this is Penelope Bowles’ ode to Milwaukee. Bowles, a senior at the Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design (MIAD) majoring in the college’s new Animation track, worked with independent clothing brand Unfinished Legacy to create her senior exhibition project, a looping animated sequence meant to play on repeat in a retail space.

“I shopped around and looked at different businesses,” explains Bowles. “What I was looking for was a brand that fit my style and my interests, and I really enjoy Unfinished Legacy’s brand. I think they’re really elevating our city as well… making us more of a fashion district. On a whim, I reached out to see what would happen and it worked out.”

Bowles worked with Unfinished Legacy’s owner Brema Brema to create an animation that will play in the brand’s flagship store, located a few blocks away from MIAD, during the duration of MIAD’s Senior Exhibition from April 19 – May 11, 2024. The Unfinished Legacy storefront will also sell limited edition t-shirts designed by Bowles.

Reflecting on MIAD’s 50th anniversary, Bowles is hopeful. “Growing up through the age of the internet, I saw a lot of changes in the way creatives work,” she explains. “I’m really nervous but also excited for the future with AI. I do have a strong belief that it won’t take over our jobs because I don’t think there’s any way that a computer can do what a creative mind can do.” Bowles adds that in another 50 years, she hopes the college will have finally installed a pool on the roof.

Originally an Illustration major, Bowles switched to the Animation track when it was released during her sophomore year. “All my friends and I became the guinea pigs of the track!” she laughs. “My whole time at MIAD, I’ve felt motivated. So many faculty and instructors, all they do is tell me to just keep going. If I have a crazy idea, they’ll always support it. I feel like I can do really whatever I want within the limitations of challenging assignments and deadlines. There’s a lot of freedom here.”

View Penelope Bowles x Unfinished Legacy at MIAD’s Senior Exhibition and keep up with Bowles on her website.

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