Jeramey Jannene

MIAD Opening Gallery on Wisconsin Avenue

New space will be on first floor of The Avenue, adjacent to 3rd Street Market Hall

By - Sep 20th, 2021 05:52 pm
MIAD Gallery at The Ave will occupy the first floor of the Matthews Building. Photo by Jeramey Jannene.

MIAD Gallery at The Ave will occupy the first floor of the Matthews Building. Photo by Jeramey Jannene.

The Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design will open a new gallery on the first floor of The Avenue.

The 2,500-square-foot dedicated gallery space will feature work by students, alumni, faculty and staff from the college.

The new space, MIAD Gallery at The Ave, will be directly adjacent to the 3rd Street Market Hall.

Its entrance, 301 W. Wisconsin Ave., will be located just west of the former main entrance to the redeveloped mall. The gallery space includes high ceilings and large windows overlooking the street and the entryway plaza.

“We are hoping that MIAD becomes integral to the idea of an arts corridor,” said college president Jeff Morin in an interview. The gallery will be located a block west of the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra‘s Bradley Symphony Center and three blocks west of the Riverside Theater. The street itself has been used by Sculpture Milwaukee for its annual exhibits.

The work in the gallery will be available for purchase, with the artists receiving a portion of the proceeds. Work is expected to include paintings and sculptures, as well furniture and other products.

“We are looking for all those pieces that reflect the college,” said Morin.

The college, which is creating the gallery with the support of The Avenue developer Josh Krsnak, has placed an explicit focus on making art and design accessible to all with the new space.

The opportunity to display work will also be made accessible to everyone connected with the college.

“A focus on the college, but a focus on the generations of the college,” said Morin of who will be featured. MIAD was founded in 1974, but it’s a successor to the much older Layton School of Art. Works by alumni will also be exhibited in the new gallery.

The gallery isn’t the only connection between MIAD and The Avenue. MIAD students are also leading the design of approximately two dozen booths to be used in the “selfie museum” located in the food hall. The spaces will effectively be photo booths that guests pay a flat fee to access.

3rd Street Market Hall leader Omar Shaikh said he is excited to see the energy the gallery will bring to the food hall and vice versa.

The food hall is scheduled to open on Oct. 18. MIAD Gallery at The Ave is planned to open in early November.

MIAD is the only private, four-year college of visual art and design in the state. Located in the Historic Third Ward, the college reports an enrollment of 920 students.

Those with a memory of the Shops of Grand Avenue mall will remember the space as being occupied by Office Max and later a cross fit gym. It is located on the first floor of the Matthews Building.


2 thoughts on “MIAD Opening Gallery on Wisconsin Avenue”

  1. Polaris says:

    Great way to help activate the streetscape!

    That said, as I recall, the plan for the former Woolworth’s building was to have an elevator lobby that would have included what will now be the MIAD gallery, opening both to the street and to The Avenue. Is the gallery entrance at the northeast corner of the building or midway along the Wisconsin Avenue side?

    I don’t know about an art corridor, but developing a bit of a gallery row (2nd Street? The Postman Triangle thingy? Plankinton?) might be sustainable and draw a particular crowd.

  2. carolsklenicka says:

    I’m pretty sure MIAD began in 1978 (despite the statement of 1974 on wikipedia). I began teaching writing there in 1979, and understood that was the second year of existence under that name.

    Used to take writing classes over to that mall to do people-watching exercises. A gallery seems like an excellent idea.

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