Notable Alumni: Tia Richardson

Integrative community artist, Cosmic Butterfly Design

  • Category: Notable Alumni
  • Number of years working in your current industry: 18
  • Undergrad degree/university: Associates Degree

Milwaukee Area Technical College – 2003

Community mural artist Tia Richardson not only does beautiful work, but she brings people together to create it. She is a muralist, filmmaker, teacher and entrepreneur, and she exemplifies both the creative and the practical education she received at Milwaukee Area Technical College, according to Laura Bray, vice president of college advancement and external communications at MATC.

Richardson’s murals can be seen all over the city, as well as her website, www.cosmic-butterfly.com. Her mural sites include the Milwaukee Public Schools central offices, the I-794 overpass at Broadway and the Milwaukee County Courthouse. Her art is community-based. Members of the community take part in workshops — planning and painting many of her projects.

“The positive effects on the Milwaukee community can be felt not only in the 50+ murals she has created, but in the many people Tia Richardson has collaborated with and taught,” Bray said.

In 2003, Richardson graduated from MATC with an associate degree in graphic design. Since then, she was named the Milwaukee Arts Board 2018 Milwaukee Artist of the Year, has been featured twice on Milwaukee PBS’s Black Nouveau and was chosen by the Milwaukee Art Museum in 2020 to design their annual holiday ornament. 

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