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harnesses girl power to cement its artistic mission •


creating space for kids & the community •

The Power of Art: Graffiti & Community Service at

True Skool •






Hello all! In this issue you’ll find a number of inspiring artists and designers who either have or are currently using their artistic skills for a greater goodand that is volunteering their time at various non-profit organizations. These talented people have worked with local organizations in or surrounding the Milwaukee area; Many of them current MIAD students and even alumni. They have helped paint murals, designed brouchures, taught art classes and even held free workshops or gallery events---All the while developing their skills in the artistic field one way or another. And because practice makes perfect, why not help those in need at the very same time? With this version of the MIAD Bridge now complete, I would like to encourage any artist or designer reading this to please contribute your time and energy to one of these organizations who need your help! A little goes a very way. Thank you, Kathyn Belongia

Editor, Art Director, Graphic Designer






Artists Working in Education Elm Creative Arts School Hope House OrangeAid Repairers of the Breach United Community Center



Megabolt Sketchbooks illustrated by Milwaukee-based artist and MIAD grad: Brett Stenson




For making this issue a reality














Clockwise from top left: photo courtesy of April Heding, Guildess’s featured artists: “Ghost Toasties” by Carly Huibregtse, “Fixed Pink” by Beata Chrzanowska, Tributaries Two and Three by Shana R. Goetsch, Screen printing workshops and “Spirited” opening at the BeExposed! Gallery photos also courtesy of April Heding,




Guildess: A Contemporary Female Artist Guild by Renee Lorenz article appeared in


a wide array of galleries and programs that allow aspiring and established professional artists to access the wider community. For those with lesser means, however, this network isn’t always so readily available. That’s where Guildess comes in. Since 2009, this all-female artists guild has sought to expand arts programming to women and children who wouldn’t otherwise have access to creative outlets. To do this, Guildess combines awareness of its members’ work through exhibitions with hands-on community outreach projects and volunteer work in the community. Local artists Brittany Parker and Miranda Levy started Guildess as a way for recent UW-Milwaukee fine arts graduates to stay connected through their art.

“They wanted a place for us to be able to hang out, talk and critique our art after we graduated, because you don’t really have that community after you graduate,” said April Heding, who currently co-runs Guildess’ board of directors with fellow member Ashley Gustafson. “As more people started getting into it and brought on board, they changed the goal to a more active role, so it transitioned into having shows of all females, and we would donate a percentage of the profits to a local charity.” Now, Heding and Gustafson head up the board and they’re looking to re-evaluate and re-establish the group’s mission once again.




“By summer, we’d like to re-launch the new Guildess as we bring it through its transition and add elements that we thought were really important to us to the ones we thought were really strong in the past,” said Heding. “As we’re rebuilding it, we’re kind of taking a step back to focus on the core values of the group and proceed from there.” One of Guildess’ core elements is its community-based programming, which both Heding and Gustafson have been involved in through their work with the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Milwaukee. “We’re bringing more outreach into what we’re doing and more workshops for women who are underprivileged,” said Gustafson. “It’s really important for women in the community to have the opportunity to experience the arts and get the opportunity to create.” Coupled with its service work, the duo is looking to expand Guildess’ exposure and awareness of its mission through more member exhibitions and collaboration with the art community.




“The shows that we’ve had in the past have been very successful,” said Heding. “We had one at the Live Artists Studio, and we had 20 to 25 showing artists. I think maybe 300 people showed up and saw the work, and we donated a bunch of money to Great Lakes Water Institute at UWM.” Gustafson added that Guildess also holds artist workshops, like an upcoming zine workshop in honor of International Women’s Day, to increase involvement with the organization. “We’re working to bring more people on. The workshops are pretty open,” she said. “In the future we have plans for creating a more detailed process, but if people want to be a member, they can just become a fan on Facebook or follow our Twitter.” “When we do shows, people always ask if they can become a member and how they can join,” added Heding. “I think just letting people know they can be a member would generate more people that would be interested.”


Left: Riverwest Gardeners Market, photos courtesy of April Heding. Right: “Geometrics” by Beata Chrzanowska.

“ People

sometimes shove art aside and think, ‘Who needs art?’

Both Gustafson and Heding agree that building Guildess will take time, but they’re confident that the mission will succeed. “We’ve got a lot of far-reaching goals for where we want to be in the next three to five years,” said Gustafson. “People sometimes shove art aside and think, ‘Who needs art?’ But it’s important for women to realize that they can use art as a vehicle to share their story and express what they have to say. We’re trying to give something to Milwaukee that Milwaukee doesn’t really have.” “And that females don’t really have,” added Heding. “For us to go into local organizations and actually volunteer, for us to go in and involve these women and children in the arts, it’s such a core value to us, so that’s where our motivation comes from. “Things like this don’t happen overnight. You need to just keep working at it little by little. As long as you have a clear goal and a clear vision of where you want it to be, that’s one of the most important things, but with little baby steps along the way, that’ll come.”





Creating Space for Kids and the Community by Molly Snyder Illustrated by Tara Coble Lettering by Kathryn Belongia article appeared in

AS ART EDUCATION BECOMES ALMOST non-existent in public schools, the Walker’s Point Center for the Arts has stepped up its programming for kids.

The organization bought its current building, 839 S. 5th St., in January 2010, and one of the reasons why executive director Gary Tuma calls this his dream space is because it tripled the art education space. “Art education funding has been cut from the schools so our art education has taken on a more significant role as we have expanded our off-site programs”. Walker’s Point Center for the Arts (WPCA) offers free after school drop-in classes, spring and winter break programs and summer art camps. This year, WPCA is working with 15 schools doing art residencies in visual art, drum making, rhythm, dance and murals.

“Not only do we do art education, our facility hosts performances, student art exhibitions and our main galleries present an array of art reflecting our urban condition, emerging artists and honoring our neighborhood’s ethnic history,” says Tuma. The organization is involved in community and artistic events for adults, too. Last weekend, WPCA hosted the Milwaukee Underground Film Festival. A new gallery show opens May 27, featuring the work of Colin Dickson and Shane Walsh. “WPCA has always been a place for installation art. Both artists approach their art-making as an attempt to heighten the awareness of the viewer and bring to their attention an understanding of their own perception,”




are constantly “ We working to inform

our community about the value of arts education and the tremendous economic impact the arts have.

Twenty-four years ago, WPCA opened as a small storefront gallery on the corner of 5th and National. With the help of 70 volunteers, the center moved on Jan. 28, 2010 after purchasing the new building and officially opened on Spring Gallery Night in April 2010. “We are closer to our origin. Our new home has been a dream for over 10 years when former board president Robert Ragir established an endowment fund for the purpose of buying a building,” says Tuma. “Through strategic planning, and tremendous community and member support, our dream has become a reality. The new home has a much better street presence with greater foot traffic. We are now much more noticeable.”




Fortunately, states Tuma, WPCA has not had to rely on art sales to stay in operation. As a non-profit organization, the group relies mostly on foundation and individual support along with contracts through the Milwaukee Public Schools and the City of Milwaukee to help fund the after school art education programming. “The past few years we have actually increased our income. This is due in part from our purchase of the building and receiving capital support from a number of foundations”. The governor’s proposal to significantly reduce funding for the Wisconsin Arts Board would reduce its staff and transfer the Board to the Department of Tourism.



This has most local arts groups extremely concerned. Tuma states, “We are constantly working to inform our community about the value of arts education and the tremendous economic impact the arts have”. Although Tuma is not an artist himself, he has been very active with the arts’ community. He was a member of the Riverwest Artists Association and wrote funding grants for the group. He is an avid collector of art and has traveled the wold to view and appreciate art.

their residents. WPCA is that type of organization. From our annual Dia de los Muertos exhibition and parade to our annual member art exhibition to the young spoken word artists who perform and the thousands of young people receiving art education, and the interns from MIAD, Marquette and UWM we are are truly a part of our urban community,” he says.

Tuma says, most of all, he loves historic neighborhoods with spirited dwellers. “I love communities and neighborhoods that embody the history and spirit of





Photos by Rob Kjendle Editted by Kathryn Belongia

Courtney Morgan

lended talents at:

Artists Working in Education 2819 West Highland Boulevard When did you begin working with A.W.E.? What was it like?

I started working with A.W.E. during my service learning placement. I was really interested in doing something relevant to education because it’s an issue that’s really important to me - I’m busy applying to teaching fellowships right now, mostly to work in under privileged school systems. At the time, they didn’t need anyone for studio work but they did need someone to help with marketing/writing/social media stuff, so I volunteered to do that. However, over the summer, I also ended up working with the Truck Studio program at Summerfest. Working one-on-one with the kids was really fantastic. Summerfest is a little bit of a different experience because you get SO MANY KIDS AT ONCE. It’s hard to connect with them on an individual basis, not to mention the fact that you get kids of all ages (including bratty teenagers and the occasional


snotty parent). I did get the chance to attend one of the last Truck Studios for the year, the legitimate ones in parks that get a turn out of about 10-30 kids and their families, and it was an amazing experience. So many of the kids come there withdrawn and quiet and shy, and by the end of it their running around shouting and so proud of everything they’ve made. Seeing them come alive was my favorite part, especially once you take into consideration that the art these kids get through A.W.E. is probably one of the only creative outlets available to them. (MPS Schools are cutting funding to the arts in a serious way - right now I think the statistic is something like 1 art teacher for every 17.5 schools.) This semester I remained on with A.W.E. as a writing intern. I work mostly behind the scenes, composing monthly newsletters, appeals for funding, press releases, grant proposals, etc. I also write op-ed pieces and help to share stories for their professional //development CONTOUR blog, which sometimes involving me going out to observe A.W.E. events. I’m hoping to make it to my first School Studio program in a few weeks! •


Nate Pyper

lended talents at:

Hope House of Milwaukee 209 West Orchard Street Can you talk about what you learned from volunteering at Hope House?

One of the most valuable things I’ve learned while volunteering at Hope House is that you truly have to make time for the things you find important in life. Before I started volunteering, I honestly didn’t think I had time to spare for others. But after beginning volunteering there twice a week, I found I /did/ have time for community service, I just didn’t know it. Now I make time to support organizations like Hope House - and it’s not just as easy as waiting for the day you might have free time to do those things, because that day will never come. You have to make time. And it’s totally worth it. •

Agnes Dziedzic

lended talents at:

Elm Creative Arts School 900 West Walnut Street What kind of volunteer work did you do for Elm?

At Elm Creative Arts I did various tasks from grading and organizing papers to helping the kids with in class assignments and answering their questions. Sometimes I got to work with some students on individual bases. These would be the students who would have difficulty with focusing in class or staying on track with class assignments. I also had a chance to use my artistic skills. I painted a multiple of medium sized paintings that were displayed around the school. The paintings reflected on the material the teacher was going over in class. During the time I spend there, the class was studying ocean life, so I painted a bunch of colorful coral reefs and fish. I enjoyed helping at Creative Art, it was fulfilling seeing the little faces smiling at me as I came in to each classroom on Monday morning. The kids were a great inspiration to me. •


Bryan Padovano

lended talents at:

OrangeAid 710 N. Plankinton What’s it like interning for OrangeAid? What do you do there?

OrangeAid is a completely different internship program from any others that I have ever heard about. We get to really dictate the direction it goes. We do all the concepting and work. Usually one or two Art directors will sit in at our meetings to be sure we are doing something that meets their standards. The one thing that is necessary is that the program needs to benefit the local community in some way. This semester we created an organization that we called FOODFIGHTMKE. Our goal was to raise money for the hunger task force. Milwaukee has some insane statistics when it comes to hunger and poverty, you can see them at our website which is We felt it was important for us to do something. We branded and created a text to donate campaign where the kick off was a flash mob outside the bradley center on the night of the first Marquette home game. We had a 30 second commercial that aired at halftime as well. We worked with several bars in the area to distribute and use coasters that we made that encouraged people to text the word food to 52000 which gave $10 to the hunger task force. After the flash mob we canvased the city giving away tshirts to anyone who would text to donate right there in front of us. We were able to make that initial night the largest text to donate night the hunger task force had ever seen. That’s so impressive! What’s next?

Our goal now is to keep it sustainable. We will be working with AJ bombers as well as other local bars to continue the campaing through December 31st in hopes of raising $20,000 for local families that have a real need. •





So upon meeting some of the regulars at the facility (as it’s not a shelter, their hours being from 10:00a.m. to 4:00p.m. if I’m correct), I found that it was bought to simply do a mural advocating the Repairer’s facilities. I also felt really uncomfortable saying that everybody can let their emotions run free as they create artwork, as that’s a huge generalization, maybe a little self centered as well. So my goal was to digitally construct a 2D image of the facility, with portraits of the regulars, with some of the features that exist within the constructs of the Repairers facility, and have it built solely out of linework that represents that of a color by number.

Janson Rapisarda

lended talents at:

Repairers of the Breach 1335 West Vliet Street How was it volunteering for Repairers of the Breach? What did you learn?

My time at Repairers was a pretty eye opening experience. During repairers, and working directly with the homeless, I realized I had been making a lot of assumptions of their collective issues. Most of the people that I met at Repairers had absolutely no reason to be homeless. No one was lazy, few had drug problems and honestly most of the people that I met had a very realistic viewpoint on what it means to be a healthy and happy human being. It’s a cold and frustrating truth that homelessness exists for these people.

I thought it could be a nice, meditative process to simply paint within the lines of a pre-constructed image, similar to that of painting a wall a blank color. It leaves room for a calming time of reflection, time to organize thoughts, and time to just relax, without fear of facing heavy issues via representing them with mark making. At least this was my way of thinking about it, and I can only really hope that it was a successful process. •

Said Guerra

lended talents at:

United Community Center 2819 West Highland Boulevard Could you talk a bit about the UCC and what exactly you did for them?

I interacted with the elderly and taught photography and drawing classes. Also I played dominoes and kept people company while playing the piano. I also helped to serve people food and cleaned up after everyone ate. I also swept and mopped the floors. The United Community Center is a place that understands all of the beautiful things in life. I believe we are here to help each other and promote the best of the abilities we have. •






TRUE Skool: Graffiti and Community Service Programs by DJ Bizzon article appeared in JSOnline


community service go hand in hand at TRUE Skool directly. Most of the kids that come here already have some skills and designs they’ve been working on, but just need a platform to grown. True Skool provides this in many ways, especially through their community mural projects. “Our goal is to create and find public art space to heal and beautify communities through the power of ART! We also identify walls that are commonly tagged and work with the property owner to paint over the illegal graffiti with themed positive artwork.” These murals have been shown to help prevent illegal graffiti because it provides an outlet for positive legal art and murals are shown to be less likely tagged.


Art based sessions happen all throughout the year, but specifically this summer is the 2011 Canvas Project. Youth selected for the Canvass Project will build and create a solo custom canvass based on themes of social justice and social realism. Youth will learn how to use traditional and non-traditional mediums through instruction by Lead Artist, Zenon Castillo and MIAD graduate/Assistant Artist, Jasmine Barmore.

In addition to learning how to paint on canvas, each participant is required to complete a minimum of 10 hours of community service through their Adopt a Community Program (which includes painting community murals, community clean ups and illegal graffiti removal), have an 85% attendance rate and organize/host the Annual Gallery Night event in November 2011. Just check out the artwork that is currently on sale here.


I learned of an interesting connection to True Skool about their arts program recently. I was meeting with the owner of re-threads clothing and mentioned TRUE Skool was a sponsor of an event. Sarah G, the owner of re-threads, mentioned she used to own a food store where the building got tagged. As an artist herself, she felt instead of only just sending this kid to jail, she should first, help prevent this from happening again, and second, flourish the artistry this kid actually has. She met with TRUE Skool and as part of his punishment he had to do graffiti removal. but also had to work on a mural project with True Skool. If the justice system is truly about stopping and deterring illegal activity, this is truly a postive and creative step towards that, no matter what a certain hot headed alderman might say.






RESTORATIVE JUSTICE & COMMUNITY SERVICE PROGRAM TRUE Skool partners with agencies like Community Partners and the Milwaukee Municipal Courts to recruit and refer young people who are in the juvenile court system first time juvenile offender programs, and those identified as at-risk for tagging/vandalism related offenses to their Adopt a Community Program and Urban Arts Program to work off community service hours through clean ups and community murals. They also include a community service requirement for all of their projects and programs.

believe “ We besides teaching

art, youth also need to experience responsible citizenship!

Volunteers working together with TRUE Skool’s youth participants, staff, and UWM’s and MIAD’s Service Learning students work together to identify areas in target neighborhoods that are hot spots for tagging.


Participants also work with students of the Urban Art Classes, residents, businesses and local law enforcement agencies on illegal graffiti removal projects, educational workshops and community murals that will beautify and reduce the number of tagging incidents in target areas.


If you know any youth that would want to take part or if you want to help out TRUE Skool in any way, you can call them directly at 414-445-9079 or visit them at






Janson Rapisarda

Modeled for us on page 15 and wrote about her work with the Creative Arts School.

Wrote about his time volunteering with Repairers of the Breach on page 15.

April Heding

Karina Schafer

Let me use a few of her great photos of Guildess.

Contributed the photo for the inside back cover.

Beata Chrzanowska

Molly Snyder Wrote the article on the WPCA.

Contributed imagery of her work on pages 7 and 9.

Nate Pyper

Brett Stenson

Wrote about his time with Hope House on page 14.

Let me interview him two summers ago and is a very inspiring person in general.

Renee Lorenz

Bryan Padovano

Rob Kjendle

Wrote about his internship at OrangeAid and let us take a picture of him laughing.

For taking all the photos on pages 14 and 15 and doing so relatively last minute.

Carly Huibregtse

Said Guerra

Let me include her fine art work on page 7.

Played art director for his own photo on page 15 and wrote about working with the UCC.

Wrote the Guildess article.

Courtney Morgan Giving her time to let us photograph her and writing about her time with A.W.E. on page 14.

Shana Goetsch

DJ Bizzon

Tara Coble

Allowed me to feature his article about MKE’s True Skool.

Drew the illustration on pages 10, 13 amd 14.

Contributed a photograph of her installation work on page 6.


Artist Spotlight: Brett Stenson Interview and Photo by Kathryn Belongia


money for kids in hospitals. After much planning, the good people at Megabolt found the perfect sketchbook to help raise money. The very first cover was illustrated by Milwaukee local and MIAD graduate, Brett Stenson ( When you purchase one, you’re also giving one to a child in a hospital. These 32-page sketchbook are 3.5 x 5 inches and fit perfectly in almost any pocket. Read on for a Q+A with the artist about inspiration, process, and advice for the young artist or designer. what other designers or illustrators inspire you? “I get very inspired by poster designers because of their amazing knack for mixing illustration and typography, which is something I enjoy doing. I get inspired by old typographers as well, like Lubalin. He’s my favorite dead guy typographer, I guess...” What’s your favorite medium to work with? “I will always love just pen and paper, and some markers. Feels good to use the traditional stuff when you are strapped on digital all day long...When doing clean type, I usually sketch it out in Photoshop, and then take it into Illustrator and just pen tool that mother together...”

What advice do you have for a young illustrator or graphic designer? “My advice to anyone is just keep talking to people, and work hard. Email the people you want to work for. Also, experiment with different types of medias… people like to see you do multiple things because it shows you have character. Also, get a flickr. Get a website...Just flood the internet with your best work so you get a lot of exposure...Just keep yourself inspired, keep up with what people are doing, and make sure you are happy with what you are doing. Don’t work on stuff that doesn’t make you happy!”


the creation of art, Megabolt is empowering kids to find strength to keep fighting through their illness.





MIAD Bridge  

2011 MIAD Bridge: Practice Makes Perfect by Kathryn Belongia

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