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A peek inside MIAD

If you didn’t know already, Marquette University and the Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design have a pretty cool partnership. It allows students to take classes at either school when their home school doesn’t offer a certain program. Andrea Bartley, a senior at MIAD who takes classes at Marquette, and Ryn Voith, a sophomore at Marquette who takes classes at MIAD, opened up to the Marquette Journal about their experiences.

Andrea Bartley, MIAD ‘12, Photography Major

Marquette Journal: So how did you decide to come to MIAD?

Andrea Bartley: I decided to go to MIAD because it allowed me to take classes at Marquette, actually. The sister college thing really sold it to me. None of the other art schools offered that, and MIAD had that and was in the city.

MJ: What are you majoring in?

AB: Photography. And I have a minor in writing.

MJ: Are you getting your minor through Marquette?

AB: No, but I did take a few courses at Marquette to fulfill some of the requirements. I took a news media writing class. It was awesome, I loved it so much. It was with Herbert Lowe – he’s a wonderful teacher. He really knows what’s up with media. I learned the most I’ve ever learned in a writing class from him.

MJ: What did you expect, going to Marquette?

AB: It was a complete shift, a complete shift. The campus seemed enormous. And I was expecting to be in like a huge lecture class — which I was for anthropology — but in the literature and writing classes they were much smaller, which I liked because we got more one-on-one time with the teacher. We really got to know the teacher.

And then walking around campus, I took photographs of just masses of people the first semester I took a class there because I was just so amazed at the culture difference. There were just masses and masses of people. I wanted to show how I was just enveloped in people.

The other thing is that everyone has pretty much the same sort of dress. In contrast to MIAD where you have people with like multiple tattoos that you can see, shaved heads, different colored hair. .

MJ: What about school spirit between the two schools?

AB: You know, MIAD sells T-shirts. People probably buy them secretly and just wear them to bed. At least that’s what I think. That’s what I would do. I wouldn’t wear that out in public (laughing) but I kind of want one.

I do think the school spirit triples or quadruples when we graduate. We are extremely tight-knit. Everyone wants to support what everyone else is doing once they graduate. I know a lot of people who have opened their own galleries or built out their own spaces, and everyone wants to go out and support it and be a part of it. And I think that’s because we all know how tough it’s going to be out there once we graduate, too.

MJ: Are you going to be taking any more classes at Marquette? Or are you all done?

AB: Oh no, I’m definitely going to take more classes there. I need that extra depth that Marquette gives. When you go to a MIAD humanities course, they don’t sit there and lecture. They’ll give you a prompt and then you’ll have to research your own prompt. I want a lecture. I want someone to spread his or her knowledge to me about their specific topic of expertise.

MJ: What’s something I wouldn’t know about MIAD or something you think I wouldn’t know about Marquette?

AB: This depends on different teachers, definitely. I think because I took that class with Herbert Lowe, his expectations were sky high. These were some of the highest expectations I’ve had in a while. It was refreshing and it made me push myself. The “We are Marquette” really pushes the notion that you have to succeed there.


Ryn Voith, Marquettte ‘14, Advertising Major

Marquette Journal: So how did you decide to come to Marquette?

Ryn Voith: I was going to apply at MIAD but I didn’t have my portfolio ready in time. Marquette is obviously a good school … and I got financial aid here, which is a plus.

MJ: What are you majoring in?

RV: I’m an advertising major here, but then I’m in an awkward minor program where everything except for photography is classified as “studio art.” There are four subfields of the studio art minor; I’m focusing on communication arts. So technically I’m a studio art minor, but it’s really communication art.

MJ: Gotcha. What are you taking at MIAD this semester?

RV: This semester I’m taking visual dynamics and color. It’s like a three-hour class though, so it’s really hard for me to take more than one (MIAD class) and still fit all my Marquette classes in.

MJ: How does the Marquette community compare with MIAD’s community? Are the vibes different?

RV: I mean, it’s kinda nice because when you’re at Marquette, obviously the different majors are grouped into the different colleges – advertising is communications, so I see all the comm. majors really frequently, whereas I don’t see a lot of people from other majors. At MIAD, we have foundation classes. Everyone has to take them, so you meet a lot of people there. It’s a great environment.

MJ: What about school spirit? Their mascot is the River Rat, right? Is there a lot of River Rat pride?

RV: I guess I’ve never really seen anyone supporting River Rat pride, but it’s around. If you go to the union you’ll see like pictures of river rats around, on the chalkboard. Usually if people wear their MIAD stuff, it’s just the big block MIAD letters.

MJ: So how was your first day there?

RV: When I got there, I didn’t really know where I was going – I didn’t even realize it was all one building. I got there, and the professor told us to pull out our core kit, which I didn’t know I needed because it’s not on CheckMarq. So, I was already behind on the first day, and I had to spend, I think it was almost $700 more than I thought I would have to.

MJ: What do you think about MIAD and Marquette’s campuses?

RV: We (Marquette students) are kind of confined to our campus, but down there they have like the entire Third Ward that is “their campus” I guess. They only have one building so everything in between that building and the dorms is MIAD student roaming grounds. I feel like a lot of the interesting things in Milwaukee are in the Third Ward, too.

MJ: So are the stereotypes true that everyone at MIAD dyes their hair and has tattoos and everyone at Marquette only wears North Face and Ugg boots?

RV: I feel like if you said “that girl with the blue hair,” people here (Marquette) would know that you were referring to me, even if they don’t actually know my name. But if you said that down at MIAD, that would be like saying, “that girl who is a brunette” here. I didn’t have any experiences of people who were like, “Oh, you’re from Marquette” (nose wrinkling). I think a lot of times they think Marquette kids aren’t artsy at all. They really think you are business-oriented, but then they lose that stereotype as you keep up with the (MIAD) class.


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