5 Tips for Students: Milwaukee Art & Design Guide
Written by  Daisie Team
Published on 6 min read


  1. Visit Milwaukee Art Museum
  2. Explore Historic Third Ward
  3. Engage with Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design
  4. Participate in Gallery Night and Day
  5. Discover Milwaukee Street Art

If you're a student with a keen interest in art and design, the vibrant city of Milwaukee has a treasure trove of experiences waiting for you. This guide will give you five fantastic tips to help you dive into the Milwaukee art and design scene, with a special focus on the Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design.

Visit Milwaukee Art Museum

First on our list is the iconic Milwaukee Art Museum. With its stunning architecture and an extensive collection of over 30,000 works, this museum is a must-visit for any art-loving student. Here's what you should look out for:

Check Out the Building Itself

The building of the Milwaukee Art Museum is a piece of art in itself. The Quadracci Pavilion, designed by the famed architect Santiago Calatrava, is known for its movable wings, resembling a bird in flight. It's a sight you won't forget easily.

Explore the Art Collection

The museum houses an impressive collection of art, including European paintings, American decorative arts, and contemporary art. Be sure to check out the works of famous artists like Georgia O'Keeffe and Pablo Picasso. The museum also proudly displays several pieces by alumni of the Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design!

Join an Art Class or Workshop

The Milwaukee Art Museum offers various art classes and workshops for students. It's a great opportunity for you to learn new techniques, understand artistic concepts, and even create your own masterpiece. Who knows, someday your work might find a place next to the art pieces of the talented students from the Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design!

So there you have it: a day at the Milwaukee Art Museum is definitely well-spent. You get to witness breathtaking architecture, explore a vast collection of art, and even get hands-on experience in creating art. And remember, as someone interested in the Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design, there's nothing more inspiring than seeing the works of its alumni up close.

Explore Historic Third Ward

Next up is the Historic Third Ward, often dubbed as the "Soho of Milwaukee". It's a vibrant neighborhood filled with art galleries, boutiques, and stylish eateries. Here's a quick guide to help you get the most out of your visit.

Take a Stroll Down the Streets

Walking around the Historic Third Ward is an experience in itself. The neighborhood is known for its beautifully restored warehouses, converted into unique shops and art galleries. As a student, you'll appreciate the blend of history and creativity here, something that the Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design is also known for.

Visit the Galleries

There are several art galleries in the Historic Third Ward, showcasing a range of artworks from local and international artists. It's a fantastic chance to explore different art styles and maybe even find some inspiration for your own work. Many graduates from the Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design have had their pieces displayed in these galleries, making it all the more exciting for an aspiring artist like you!

Try the Local Cuisine

Of course, no visit to the Historic Third Ward would be complete without sampling the local cuisine. The area is dotted with charming cafes and gourmet restaurants, where you can enjoy a well-deserved break after a day of exploring.

The Historic Third Ward is a testament to Milwaukee's rich history and its thriving art scene. It's a place where the past and the present coexist, much like the syllabus of the Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design that combines traditional techniques with modern concepts. So go ahead, soak in the ambiance and let the creativity flow!

Engage with Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design

Now, let's move on to the heart of the art scene in Milwaukee — the Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design (MIAD). This prestigious institute is a creative powerhouse that has been shaping artists and designers for decades. Here are some ways to immerse yourself in the MIAD experience.

Attend Open Lectures and Workshops

The Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design regularly hosts open lectures and workshops run by respected figures in the art and design world. These events offer a chance to learn about new techniques, ideas, and trends. You can gain insights that could help refine your own artistic practice, just like the many successful MIAD alumni.

Visit the MIAD Galleries

MIAD's galleries showcase the innovative work of its students, faculty, and alumni. These exhibits display a wide-ranging mix of media, styles, and subjects. They offer a peek into the creative minds at MIAD and can serve as a source of inspiration for your own projects.

Explore MIAD's Degree Programs

If you're serious about pursuing art & design, consider one of MIAD’s degree programs. They offer a variety of study paths, from illustration and interior architecture to product design and photography. Who knows, you might just find the perfect program that aligns with your creative aspirations!

Engaging with the Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design is more than just about exploring an institution; it's an opportunity to connect with a community of creatives who share your passion for art and design. So, don't hesitate to dive in and experience everything MIAD has to offer!

Speaking of immersing in the local art scene, one event you should not miss is the Milwaukee's Gallery Night and Day. This quarterly event is a staple in the city's arts calendar and provides a fantastic way to witness Milwaukee's artistic diversity. Let's see how you can make the most out of it.

Plan Your Route

Gallery Night and Day spans across multiple galleries and art spaces throughout the city. It's a good idea to plan your route ahead of time to ensure you visit the venues that interest you the most. Don't forget to include venues showcasing MIAD alumni's work; it's always inspiring to see where a degree from the Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design can take you!

Meet the Artists

One of the unique aspects of Gallery Night and Day is the opportunity to meet the artists behind the displayed work. Make sure to take advantage of this chance to ask about their creative process, inspiration, and of course, their experiences if they are MIAD graduates!

Participate Actively

Gallery Night and Day isn't just about observing — it's about participating too. Many venues offer interactive exhibits or workshops. Why not give it a try? You never know — this could spark new avenues for your creativity to explore.

Whether you're a budding artist, a seasoned pro, or a casual observer, participating in Gallery Night and Day can offer a new perspective on Milwaukee's vibrant art scene, especially the influence of the Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design. So, mark your calendar and get ready to dive deep into the city's artistic pulse.

Discover Milwaukee Street Art

You wouldn't think of Milwaukee as a hotbed of street art, right? Well, you're in for a pleasant surprise. With a flourishing street art scene, Milwaukee offers students at the Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design a unique canvas to study and draw inspiration from. Let's dig into how you can best discover this vibrant aspect of the city's art scene.

Take a Self-Guided Tour

One of the best ways to explore Milwaukee's street art scene is by taking a self-guided tour. The city is filled with murals, graffiti, and installations that add vibrancy to its streets. You might find art pieces in the most unexpected places, adding an element of surprise to your explorations.

Connect with Local Artists

Street art is a community effort, and many local artists are more than willing to share their stories and experiences. Engaging with them can offer you a deeper understanding of what street art means to Milwaukee and its role in the city's cultural identity.

Use Street Art for Inspiration

As a student at the Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design, don't just observe the street art—use it as a source of inspiration. Whether it's the use of color, the blending of styles, or the way art interacts with its environment, there's a lot to learn from these public works of art.

So, why wait? Put on your most comfortable shoes, grab a camera, and get ready to explore the dynamic and colorful world of Milwaukee's street art!

If you enjoyed our "5 Tips for Students: Milwaukee Art & Design Guide" and are considering furthering your education in the arts, check out the workshop 'Applying for Your MFA (Masters in Fine Art)' by Ciarra K. Walters. This workshop will give you valuable insights and advice on the application process, helping you make the most of your graduate art school journey.