Looking for Connections: Finding Collaborations.
“My degree is in Printmaking, & though it remains essential to my art, I think that the power of any major area of study is the way that it ties to other areas. To me, it’s not important what you graduate with, so much as what you can do with the skills that you’ve developed.”
In Steve Sorrentino’s work, people are everything. Whether it’s collaborating with others on personal artistic endeavors, or working as the liaison between the Flux Design/Build Team and it’s clients, Sorrentino is regularly looking for ways to bring creative visions to life. While his career is a daily combination of business and design, Sorrentino continues to create his own works, while exploring the potential of research and collaboration, and seeks out public venues to display.
Q. What is the most valuable thing you learned at MIAD?
A. The strongest thing about MIAD is the way the curriculum is threaded together, from the liberal studies courses to the studio electives– if you’re driven, and willing to critically examine the work that you want to do, MIAD can help you tie everything together. I learned to effectively research, structure my thinking and writing, develop my skills in areas that helped me to make the kind of work that I was driven to make, and all the way I was meeting and surrounding myself with people that were honest, challenging, and beneficial to a career in the arts.
Q. How did your MIAD education affect where you are today?
A. Profoundly. In my current position as Project Manager at Flux, I am working for someone that I met during orientation week at MIAD, Jeremy Shamrowicz (’98). I also attribute many of the venues that I show my work to Jeremy and others that I’ve met though the MIAD community.
Q. What is the one thing you would tell a high school student now that you’ve experienced life after graduation?
A. Look for connections. You will quickly learn how few hours there are in a day, how few weeks in a year. College is an institution that, if you’re able, willing and strong enough, can serve to prepare you for life out in the world, on your own. The key to a successful career in the arts, that MIAD fosters, is to unite your natural abilities and your ever-developing skills so that your energy and time can be woven together.
Q. Are there any specific parts of your resume that you would like to share?
A. The line on my resume that I am most proud of is being a co-owner and art coordinator for Gallery 326 for four years while it was in downtown Milwaukee. I was lucky enough to move in with friends, who actually founded Flux Design in that same space, when I was a sophomore at MIAD. Whenever I caught myself whining about the noise and dust, I simply had to remind myself that on the other side of my bedroom wall (after we built it), I could hang my artwork whenever I wanted to.
Q. Are there any notable shows, product on the market, spaces that you’ve created, etc. that you’d like to share?
A. As a member of Flux Design, I’ve been privileged to be a part of the design and build out of many spaces all over Milwaukee, and elsewhere. But speaking of my own artwork, despite participating in several shows, including a Video Art sequence for the Extreme Benefit for Gilda’s House, I have yet to top the Gallery Night opening for my Senior Thesis Exhibition — I participated in five shows that night. In addition to my Thesis Show at MIAD, I also showed extensive works at Gallery 326, Sauce Restaurant, Eve Restaurant, and at the Gallery TBA (To Benefit Aids) Event.