In honor of its 150th Anniversary, the School of the Art Institute (SAIC) welcomed alumni back to campus throughout the 2015–16 school year for lectures, symposia, events, and celebrations in addition to alumni receptions across the United States and around the world.
On September 17, 2015, SAIC kicked off its annual Alumni Weekend with events that reunited old friends and colleagues. Coinciding with EXPO CHICAGO and the Chicago Architecture Biennial, the weekend celebrated the School’s 150th Anniversary with exhibitions, panel discussions, special access to EXPO, and lectures by distinguished alumni. Among the speakers were celebrated cartoonist Chris Ware (SAIC 1991–93) and renowned contemporary artist Jeff Koons (SAIC 1975–65, HON 2008).
Starting in November, President Walter Massey, then-Provost Elissa Tenny, and Dean of Faculty Lisa Wainwright took the 150th Anniversary celebration on the road, visiting art fairs, museums, and galleries in Los Angeles; San Francisco; New York City; Washington, DC; Miami; South Korea; and China.
In January 2016, the Monique Meloche Gallery (MMG) showcased work from Chicago-based SAIC alumni and faculty in an exhibition called Winter Experiment: SAIC at MMG. The exhibition underscored the symbiotic relationship between SAIC and the broader Chicago arts community. Artists were selected for their wide-ranging, interdisciplinary approaches that defy expectations of regional style. The exhibitors were Carla Arocha (BFA 1991); Sanford Biggers (MFA 1999); Rashayla Marie Brown (BFA 2015); Justin Cooper (MFA 2005); Davis/Langlois, a collaboration between Robert Davis (BFA 1997) and Michael Langlois (BFA 1998); Karolina Gnatowski (MFA 2007); Michelle Grabner (Painting and Drawing); Dan Gunn (MFA 2007); Sheree Hovsepian (MFA 2002); Rashid Johnson (SAIC 2003–04); Maya Mackrandilal (MFA 2011); Heidi Norton (MFA 2002); Cheryl Pope (MDes 2010); Karen Reimer (Fiber and Material Studies); Joel Ross; and Carrie Schneider (MFA 2007).