Lisa Wainwright

Lisa Wainwright is the Dean of Faculty and Vice President of Academic Affairs at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC), as well as a full professor in the Department of Art History, Theory, and Criticism. For the past 15 years, she has served in major leadership roles for the institution, including Dean of the renowned graduate program before assuming her current position. SAIC President Elissa Tenny calls Wainwright "a passionate leader and educator whose ideas define SAIC's sense of exploration."

In the fall of 2015, Wainwright was named one of the Top Ten Most Influential Cultural Leaders in Chicago by Newcity for governing one of the most esteemed art schools in the country and for bringing in major talent to the city through faculty hires, visiting artists, and exceptional alumni. At SAIC, she has stewarded the development of a number of new graduate and undergraduate programs, partnerships, and curricula, with the Low-Residency Master of Fine Arts (MFA) program as the most recent addition to the School's rich offerings. She also co-chairs the work of the Academic Affairs Sub-Committee of the Board of Governors and chairs the school's Diversity Advisory Group, steering the creation of curricula and programming that represents contributions from a broad scope of artists, designers, and scholars.

Additionally, Wainwright has led the charge in making the school a leader in what she calls the art/design nexus by infusing design into the larger fabric of the curriculum. She prioritized one of its guiding principles, "Chicago as Studio," by encouraging social practice education, while simultaneously shepherding its ongoing commitment to a studio practice in the fine arts. She has also been at the forefront of strengthening the bond between SAIC and its sister institution, the Art Institute of Chicago.

As a Professor in the Department of Art History, Theory and Criticism, Wainwright has authored numerous articles in books and international professional journals, including writing on Robert Rauschenberg, Michelle Grabner, Theaster Gates, and others, as well as essays on education and creativity. She has lectured on topics from the history of the found object in art to Contemporary Art and the rise of a neo-decadent movement at the turn of the 20th century. Her course offerings have included Pop Art and Its Legacy in the 1980s, Art of the 1950s, Art of the 1960s, Rauschenberg and Johns, From Abstract Expressionism to Pop: A Paradigm Shift, and Chicago Private Collections. She is currently creating SAIC's first massive open online course MOOC titled Touring Modernism: From the French Avant-Garde to American Pop and Beyond, which will be available online in the spring of 2016.

Dean Wainwright received her Bachelor of Arts, cum laude, from Vanderbilt University and earned both a Masters and PhD from the University of Illinois.

Office of the Dean of Faculty

Sharp Building, 37 S. Wabash Ave., suite 821

Lisa Wainwright, Dean of Faculty and Vice President of Academic Affairs
Geof Teague, Assistant to the Dean of Faculty and Vice President of Academic Affairs: 312.899.1236

Arnold Kemp, Dean of Graduate Studies
Lynn Tomaszewski, Associate Dean of Graduate Studies: 312.759.1645

Tiffany Holmes, Dean of Undergraduate Studies
Amy Honchell, Associate Dean of Undergraduate Studies: 312.759.1496
Nia Easley, Administrative Assistant, Undergraduate Division: 312.759.1495

Beth Wright, Chair of Faculty 

Nora Taylor, Faculty Liaison

Amy Dane Falkowski, Associate Dean, Budget and Administration: 312.759.1497

Department and Program Heads
Academic Year 2014–15

Architecture, Interior Architecture, and Designed Objects
Jonathan Solomon,

Art Education
Andres Luis Hernandez,

Art History, Theory, and Criticism
Michael Golec,

Art and Technology Studies
Peter Gena,

Art Therapy
Savneet Talwar,

Arts Administration and Policy
Adelheid Mers,

Kitty Ross,

Contemporary Practices
Brian Sikes,

Fashion Design
Anke Loh,

Fiber and Material Studies
Joan Livingstone,

Film, Video, New Media, and Animation
Jon Cates,

Historic Preservation
Anne Sullivan,

Liberal Arts
Paul Ashley,

New Arts Journalism
Jim Yood,

Painting and Drawing
Terry R. Myers,

Roberto Sifuentes,

Claire Pentecost,

Peter Power,

Dan Price,

Shawn Decker,

Visual Communications Design
Renate Gokl,

Visual and Critical Studies
Joseph Grigely,

Ruth Margraff,