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MIAD: Senior Exhibition celebrates creative talent, students’ interdisciplinary, multimedia skills

From a promotional video about role models for urban youth that uses 3D modeling and texture mapping, to a mobile technology access cart for speech and language delayed children, to an interactive light/sculptural installation, the state’s largest and most eagerly awaited annual show – MIAD’s 2010 Senior Exhibition – opens Gallery Night, Friday, April 16, 5 – 9 p.m., at the Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design, Wisconsin’s only independent, fully-accredited four-year college of art and design. It is generously sponsored by M&I Foundation.

The exhibition celebrates the innovative works of 135 artists and designers representing the college’s 11 Bachelor of Fine Arts majors. It continues through May 15 at MIAD’s Third Ward Campus, 273 E. Erie Street. Hours are from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tues. - Sat.

Milwaukee’s best-attended rite of spring presents the seniors’ extensive thesis projects in Communication Design (web and graphic), Drawing, Illustration, Industrial (product) Design, Integrated Studio Arts, Interior Architecture + Design, Painting, Photography, Printmaking, Sculpture and Time-Based Media (animation and video).

The exhibition is presented in conceptual groupings that “reflect the college’s increased sophistication and emphasis on diverse types of media presentation,” said Director of Galleries Mark Lawson. They are: Branding/Marketing, Product Design, Character Design/Games, Environment/Landscape, Furniture/Interiors, Education, Children, Leisure/Travel/Sports, Transportation, Abstraction, Cultural Identity, Cultural Observation, Human Emotions, Psychology, Figure/Portraiture, Religion/Spirituality.

Among this year’s works:

* A promotional video for a music video about the importance of role models for urban youth. Both videos, being produced and directed by Xavier Ruffin (Communication Design), use 3D modeling and texture mapping combined with live action and animation.

* An interactive light/sculptural installation that combines 2D and 3D media, including vinyl, to invite the viewer to wander the pitch-dark space “as lines, ripples, waves, wind … a gentle river, carrying air on top of it through and around the Earth,” according to artist Lisa Chen (Sculpture and Integrated Studio Arts).

* A mobile cart that provides optimal access to the communication technology used by speech and language delayed children by John Schmierer (Industrial Design), who is conducting research with an early childhood special education teacher in the Milwaukee Public Schools.

* Abstract oil paintings by the Tory Folliard Gallery Project winner – Jennifer Price (Painting) – whose work focuses around the concepts of childhood and memory. The artist is donating a painting from this “Sweet Nothings” series to the auction for Creative Fusion, the college’s annual scholarship fundraiser on May 8.

Many of the works at the MIAD 2010 Senior Exhibition are for sale, and the seniors are on hand to talk about their work on Gallery Night. Graduating seniors will receive their B.F.A. degrees in commencement exercises on May 15.

MIAD is Wisconsin’s only college devoted exclusively to the education of professional artists and designers. Founded in 1974, it is accredited to award the bachelor of fine arts degree in 11 majors. With 80 percent of its 3,000 graduates using their innovative skills in Wisconsin, the college contributes a vital “brain gain” to the state that shapes its creative and economic future.

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