Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design
Press Release

MIAD’s 2017 Senior Exhibition stresses connections to both one another and the natural world

Over 100 of Milwaukee's emerging artists and designers are tackling projects that stress deep connections with fellow human beings and the natural world.

By - Mar 22nd, 2017 02:08 pm

MILWAUKEE… While one student designs an assistive, artificially intelligent drone companion to keep children with special needs safe, another creates a concept for an educational tree house. Another student illuminates social constructs through sculpture, while another still promotes shared happiness through graphic design.

On view in MIAD’s 2017 Senior Exhibition, over 100 of Milwaukee’s emerging artists and designers are tackling projects that stress deep connections with fellow human beings and the natural world.

The MIAD 2017 Senior Exhibition is on view April 21 – May 13 throughout MIAD galleries, with an Opening Reception on Spring Gallery Night, Friday, April 21, 5 – 9 p.m. It is generously supported by Presenting Sponsor BMO Harris Bank and Jacobson/Rost.

Students will be available to discuss their work during the Opening Reception on Spring Gallery Night, Friday, April 21, 5 – 9 p.m., and during the college-wide MIAD DEFINE, Wednesday, April 26, 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Four students were awarded Alumni Thesis Scholarships for their projects:

  • Brianna Barnes (Illustration) designs a concept for an educational tree house called the “Observastory” that would be located in the Milwaukee River Valley. With “land,” “air” and “water” stations, children would experience and learn about the natural world.
  • Joe Acri (Sculpture) explores notions of identity, representation and sexuality through sculpture. As a construction site, it emphasizes the state of flux in which minority groups and communities often find themselves.
  • Megan Wells (Time-Based Media, Communication Design) creates an interactive exhibit in which visitors decipher clues to learn the circumstances surrounding Edgar Allan Poe‘s disappearance and death. Through illustrations, objects and visual effects, audiences come to know Poe’s life so they can better come to a conclusion about his death.
  • Emily Dompke (Integrated Studio Arts) traces the lifespan of a honeybee, considering the life altering scientific patterns that threaten it.

Among the innovative works this year:

  • Megan Mahan (Illustration) develops the concept for “Mental Shift,” a video game in which five diverse characters battle mental illness.
  • Christine Carr (Industrial Design) creates a project in two parts, drawing inspiration from her daughter who was diagnosed with autism. The first is a 360-degree video that simulates the kind of multi-sensory stimulation overload that those with autism spectrum disorders experience. The second is an assistive, artificially-intelligent drone companion designed to keep children with special needs safe using high-tech sensors.
  • Madyson Brady (Communication Design) designs “Happy Notes,” a gift box service. Each box contains tools that promote both personal and communal happiness such as a journal, stickers, cards, prints and more.
  • LaNia Sproles (Printmaking) produces work that is a combination of printmaking and drawing. It showcases a dark surrealism stemming from feelings of otherness and disconnect as well as pride in her self-identity.
  • Paige Lemley (Interior Architecture + Design) presents plans for Fado, a landscape hotel that would sit on the grounds of Whistling Straits, an internationally-renowned golf course. Her project includes interior and exterior renders and furnishing and material selections.
  • Scott Sheffield (Photography) photographs small towns outside of national parks and highlights their tourist culture in a series called “Frontiers.”

MIAD Define, a day dedicated to senior presentations, discussions and TED-like lectures within the Senior Exhibition, is open to the public Wednesday, April 26, 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. In the morning, seniors discuss their capstone projects and academic paths.

The 2017 Senior Exhibition is on view April 21 – May 13 throughout all MIAD galleries. It is free and open to the public. Gallery hours are Monday – Saturday, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.

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