Senior Exhibition 2023: Margaret Griffin
When Margaret Griffin ’23 (New Studio Practice: Fine Arts) transferred to the Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design (MIAD), she hoped to dig deeper into her artistic practice. Now in her final semester, Griffin’s work is catching the attention of the Milwaukee creative community.
Taking inspiration from her father, a pipefitter, Griffin’s senior thesis work is titled “Industrial Bodies” and explores the intersection of industrial and body references. “I was always jealous of this secret world that I was never allowed to encounter due to its dangers,” she says about her father’s career.
Griffin’s sculptures are constructed of light materials that give the impression of weight. “I start by constructing a frame … out of dowel rods and foam, super lightweight material,” she explains. Using paper mache, Griffin builds up the form and adds strong homemade clay and a final layer of latex.
Although she appreciates the studio space MIAD offers to all juniors and seniors, Griffin has also opted to rent a studio off-campus at Var Gallery on 2nd. “Having different spaces to work helps me tap into different mindsets. Depending on where I need to be mentally, that’s where I choose to be physically,” she explains. Because of her studio space at Var, Griffin will have the opportunity to show work at the gallery and participate in events hosted by the venue after graduation.
“I’m thinking about grad school in potentially two or three years,” says Griffin. “I’d like to take a break to have experience existing as an artist in an art scene before moving on to that chapter.”
Current and former First-Year Experience (FYE) students celebrated their video, animation and sound design works at the FYE Media Arts Festival 23 – an in-house film and media screening in MIAD’s Community Hub on November 16.
MIAD alum Brandon Minga ‘04 (llustration), principal artist and founder of the House of Rad (hrad), was excited to host the 20th anniversary of the Feed Your Soul benefit for Feeding America Eastern Wisconsin on November 3, 2023. This was the second consecutive time hrad has hosted the event.
Three MIAD Communication Design students received 60th anniversary American Graphic Design Awards from Graphic Design USA (GDUSA) magazine. The students were selected from over 8,000 entries, and judged alongside professional design work. Fewer than 10% of entrants received an award.
Interior Architecture and Design (IAD) seniors from MIAD were taken to new heights on November 13 when they toured the construction site of The Couture, a 44-story skyscraper under construction that will be Milwaukee’s tallest residential and mixed-use building. The tour was part of a series of tours their senior thesis “Building Systems” class is taking with instructor Dan Kalkman, AIA.
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.