Art speaks to the soul of its creator and, in turn, translates the essence of that soul through visual means to viewers that come to experience the result of its creation. It’s a dynamic made even more complex when infused with social and cultural influences that color the artist’s freedom of expression and the primacy of his or her output.

Milwaukee artist Eduardo Zavala may understand this dynamic better than most creators. Zavala, who received his BFA in New Studio Practice from the Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design (MIAD) in 2022, uses multi-media art and photographic imagery to celebrate his queerness and propel social understanding of his beliefs into new directions, creating spaces and realities that exist free from the constraints of gender binary influences.

Zavala also is one of the “Ten at Ten” exhibition artists to watch, according to Laurie Winters, executive director of the Museum of Wisconsin Art. Part of a new exhibit designed to celebrate the 61-year-old West Bend museum’s 10th year in its current headquarters, Zavala and nine other Wisconsin artists represent what Winters describes as the future of visual art in America.

Diversity in General

“We really wanted to focus on the diversity of media, diversity in general, and different ways of thinking about issues both internal and external,” Winters says. “We wanted to highlight 10 young artists we all should be watching over the next 10 years.”