Madison Mead | Minneapolis College of Art and Design

Madison Mead

Portrait photograph of Madison Mead.


Areas of Study
Entrepreneurial Studies
Current Career
Digital Media Coordinator
Saint Paul, Minnesota

Describe the work you submitted for merits.

My work submitted for the merit scholarship displayed a range of collaborative client work and individual projects I have completed throughout my time as an entrepreneurial studies major. These submissions are all representative of my intentions as an arts entrepreneur, and all primarily explore themes of sustainability, community, and societal development.

These themes are exemplified in projects such as the strategy and planning of a Public Relations community event for a local client, Mercury Mosaics– who's expanding their business into a new community. Or, for example, the tangible creation of a Futures Thinking visualization that takes the form of a "Welcome Package" for new members moving into an imagined police-free community, and a physical infographic installation that uses various leftover portions of foods to represent the astonishing percentages of food production that's wasted in the United States every year.

Why did you decide to come to MCAD?

Before coming to MCAD, I had dropped out of college to pursue a self-taught career in photography for several years. I had found success as a portrait photographer, but as my connections and experiences in the Twin Cities community grew, I developed a desire to do something greater. I have always possessed a balance of creative ideas and entrepreneurial aspirations, so when I discovered the arts entrepreneurship department at MCAD, I knew it was time to bring them together and learn from the expansive ecosystem of the school itself.

What are your plans for your senior year? And beyond?

Throughout my time at MCAD, I have worked independently and in classes on the development and strategy of opening my own, unique photo studio. Throughout my final year at MCAD, I plan to finalize the details of this plan, solidify my connections throughout my community, and, eventually, launch my entrepreneurial pursuits following graduation.

Favorite thing about college life (so far)?

 From accomplished and insightful professors to talented, creative classmates– I've been able to collaborate and learn in a way that's unique only to a place like MCAD. 

What's the best thing you've got from MCAD's free shelf?

I once picked up a few blank CDs (well, I think they were blank, I haven't actually attempted to listen to a CD in ages); I broke this CD into pieces and created a unique textural collage for myself.

What inspires you?

I find, or rather feel, inspiration in the people, emotion, and energy around me. My creative work extends across various mediums, but the reigning element in each is their connection with humanity. Whether I'm taking portraits one-on-one in my studio, working on a film set, or simply brainstorming creative strategies with a team– I find inspiration in the unique conversations, thoughts, and connections that occur between each of us.

Do you have a favorite piece you've made? Describe it!

I think my favorite piece so far would have to be the previously mentioned "Welcome Package" I created in the course Futures for Society and Individuals. Through research in local organizations such as MP-150, I was able to create elements I believe would fit into a welcome package for new neighbors in a police-free community. The package included a "How it Works" pamphlet, a list of non-911 emergency numbers related to all areas of potential crises, a packet of local essential resources, and even a tin of fresh baked cookies. :)

Overall, this project really taught me that creative practice doesn't have to fit inside a box– that creativity is less about what you do than how you do it. I allowed myself to utilize my skills of imagination and community engagement to create a tangible iteration of what a police-free community could look like.

Anything you're obsessed with at the moment?

Currently obsessed with making creepy 3D collages. I recently found a dried out turtle shell while on a hike that's being pieced back together as a home-decor oddity.

Favorite thing from the Bistro?

Hmm... favorite thing from the Bistro is chocolate chip muffins. Not fries.. no one come at me!