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Arts in Milwaukee

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  • “2015 Juried Senior Exhibition”2015 Juried Senior Exhibition

    2015 Juried Senior Exhibition runs through July 25 in the Frederick Layton Gallery. Gallery hours: Tuesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Free admission. Image by Jasmine McMasters '15 (Painting).

Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design

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The Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design (MIAD) is Wisconsin's only independent, non-profit college of art and design offering the Bachelor of Fine Arts degree - the most highly regarded degree in the visual arts that is accredited at the national, state, and regional levels. Established in 1974 as the successor to the venerated Layton School of Art, the college led in the revitalization of Milwaukee's Historic Third Ward, home to many creative businesses and galleries with MIAD affiliations.


MIAD is a degree-granting college where individuals discover and realize their creative potential. It offers 5 majors: Industrial (product) Design - program ranked 10th in the nation - Communication Design, Interior Architecture + Design, Illustration and New Studio Practice: Fine Arts.

The college also offers 16 popular minors and cross-registration with Marquette University. Students take 1/3 of their credits in Liberal Studies and forge deep connections to the community through MIAD's renowned Service Learning Program Requirement, and through curricular partnerships with industry leaders and non-profit museums and organizations.

MIAD maintains a vibrant Alumni Association that participates in the annual Student/Alumni Art Sale each fall, among numerous other activities. Many alumni teach at the college and participate in professional mentoring through classroom visits.

The college's Career Services site assists alumni as well as students with their professional development. Information about Career Services, both to post internships, jobs and exhibition opportunities, and to view them, is found on MIAD's homepage under College Services.

MIAD's civic commitment reaches across generations and the country through Pre-College, Continuing Education, the Creative Educators Institute, Visiting Artists and Designers, and gallery programs that make the college a must-stop on Gallery Days and Nights, and year-round.

Gallery hours are Tuesday - Saturday, 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.

The college's two main galleries - the Brooks Stevens Gallery of Industrial Design and the Frederick Layton Gallery - are committed to the exhibition of critical issues in art and design. Smaller galleries throughout the college exhibit student and established artists' works.


“I represent a group of prominent community and business leaders, each of whom has experienced success after graduating. We would probably not agree about what we thought about one another's colleges, but we all agree about one college we admire and stand in awe of - MIAD.”
Allen W. (Sandy) Williams, Jr., Chair, Board of Trustees
“Working with MIAD students was a delight. I found them to be not only great young artists, but great listeners. Their work was inspiring. ”
Jeff Frank, Artistic Director at First Stage Theater
“MIAD students develop new ways of viewing the world, expressing ideas and solving problems.”
Madeleine Lubar, Immediate Past Board Chair
“MIAD students are the most talented, dedicated and creative collegiate thinkers I encounter, who do not wait to be told what to do, but take action and resolve challenges.”
Kenneth Leinbach, Director of the Urban Ecology Center
“You don't measure MIAD's impact just by the wonderful artists it educates. Its grads work in companies throughout the region. MIAD is a vital part of our creative capital.”
Julia Taylor, President, Greater Milwaukee Committee
“As this [Helmet Project] exhibition demonstrates, MIAD produces gifted students who positively impact Milwaukee's culture and business environment.”
Peggy Sue Dunigan, The Shepherd Express
“The talent of the MIAD students is inspiring, and the faculty really does a great job of leading the students toward a real-world experience. That is a goal where all truly benefit.”
Ray Drea, Redirector of Styling, Harley-Davidson Motor Company
“Working with MIAD students is a phenomenal way to bring creativity into the business environment.”
Chris Cox, Product and Marketing Director, Vision Fitness
“Harley-Davidson is energized by our growing partnership with MIAD and ability to assist in the development of the college's campus and it's students. Harley Stylists play an integral role in the college's ground-breaking Industrial Design PowerSports course, which they helped to found in 2008, and, last fall, students from across five majors participated in The Helmet Project, Harley-Davidson Museum's first feature exhibition. It is especially gratifying now to see how the Interior Architecture + Design students are using the donated materials to transform MIAD's campus for all students.”
Matt Levatich, President and COO, Harley-Davidson Motor Company
“Our relationship with MIAD, the epicenter of our creative community, recognizes that in the 21st century, the creative spirit is not marginal, but vital.”
Paul Krajniak, Director, Discovery World
“The included artists [MIAD Alumni] demonstrate strengths in a variety of media, a testament to the college's multimedia approach and trends of the current art world.”
John McKinnon, Assistant Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art, Milwaukee Art Museum
“MIAD students' talents have continually fueled the growth and leadership of southeastern Wisconsin's design community.”
Robert Mikulay, MIAD Trustee
“MIAD perpetuates the creative talent our community needs and our leading companies and organizations covet.”
Matt Levatich, President and COO, Harley-Davidson Motor Company
“The level of engagement amongst the community, faculty and students was impressive - and quite frankly - very refreshing. I can tel you this, MIAD is a place that consistently possesses a spirit of sincere investigation. Students will definitely look back on their time at MIAD as special, nurturing and inspiring.”
James Ludwig, VP, Global Design - Engineering, Steelcase Inc.
“I've visited many art and design schools around the world and found an atmosphere and confidence at MIAD that are unique... Students have a clear and well-deserved sense of themselves and their work, and that is a rare thing.”
Mark Rios, FAIA, FASLA Founding Principal, Rios Clementi Hale Studios, Los Angeles First visiting creative in the MIAD Creativity Series