Young artists discuss their ideas at ‘Take a Seat, Make a Seat’ exhibition

MILWAUKEE __ Child artists from the Children’s Learning Center at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee will host an art exhibition at UWM’s School of Architecture & Urban Planning from 5 to 5:45 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 7, at 2131 E. Hartford Ave.

The exhibition, “Take a Seat, Make a Seat: The Owl Room Chair Review,” features model-size and child-size chairs made by kindergartners, first- and second-graders enrolled in an after-school program at the UWM Children’s Learning Center.

Students from the center take frequent trips across UWM’s campus for athletic and cultural opportunities. Inspired after visiting a display of model-size chairs created by the School of Architetcure & Urban Planning’s ARCH 100 course, children from the center’s Owl Room asked teachers if they could try something similar.

“Child’s play isn’t always play,” said Sarah Mesa, Owl Room lead teacher. “This project is an example of doing work in the classroom that they can play with and enjoy later. Right now, they’re focused on having an exhibition just like college students do.”

For two decades, UWM freshmen have been creating model chairs as part of the architecture school’s popular ARCH 100, a course that provides students with a general understanding of the foundations of architecture. Every year, an industry partner selects one chair to be made at full size and displayed in the School of Architecture & Urban Planning.

This semester marks a new collaboration between the school and the children’s center. Associate Dean Mo Zell is teaching an advanced design course in which architecture students design and build children’s toys. Her students have been doing research at the Children’s Learning Center and will be assisting in Wednesday’s “Take a Seat, Make a Seat” event as reviewers.

“It’s been a real give and take between our students in the school and the children’s center class,” Zell said. “Now my students can come and look at the chairs, which are not just toys, but things the kids can actually sit in. We can see the children’s imaginations at work in these projects.”

Students and faculty from the School of Architecture & Urban Planning and Owl Room’s architects-in-the-making will be available for interviews at “Take a Seat, Make a Seat: The Owl Room Chair Review,” which will be on display at the school Feb. 5-9.

FOR MORE INFORMATION, CONTACT: Mo Zell, (617) 817-8436,

About the School of Architecture & Urban Planning
The School of Architecture & Urban Planning, a Center of Excellence in the University of Wisconsin System, offers an extensive array of degree programs: BSAS, M.Arch, M.S.Arch, Ph.D., MUP and Coordinated M.Arch/MUP, matched by only six other architecture schools nationally. The Ph.D. program is one of only 23 in the nation.

About the UWM Children’s Learning Center
The UWM Children’s Learning Center serves the university with distinction through the provision of high-quality education programs for children, youth and families, UWM students and the professional child development community. The UWM Children’s Learning Center is licensed by the State of Wisconsin and is accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children.

About UWM
Recognized as one of the nation’s 115 top research universities, UW-Milwaukee provides a world-class education to 25,000 students from 91 countries on a budget of $653 million. Its 14 schools and colleges include Wisconsin’s only schools of architecture, freshwater sciences and public health, and it is a leading educator of nurses and teachers. UW-Milwaukee partners with leading companies to conduct joint research, offer student internships and serve as an economic engine for southeastern Wisconsin. The Princeton Review named UW-Milwaukee a 2018 “Best Midwestern” university based on overall academic excellence and student reviews, and the Sierra Club has recognized it as Wisconsin’s leading sustainable university.