ECP Summer Institute students receive college-level instruction from the SAIC faculty, who draw on their knowledge and experience as working artists. SAIC faculty teach students how to think visually; how to draw with charcoal or a digital tablet; how to sculpt in plaster, pixel, or even time; how to clearly express themselves; how to understand artists, writers, and thinkers. Faculty help students acquire and refine technical and conceptual abilities, and challenge them with new ideas that will take their work in new directions.

"The instructors were some of the best I ever had. They encouraged and pushed everyone to their fullest potential."—Gianna Bishop, student


A conversation with ECP Summer Institute instructor, Cheryl Pope

ECP Summer Institute: What do you feel are the strengths of the ECP Summer Institute program?

CP: The condensed and focused time together to make and develop relationships with peers; the balance of skill building, conceptual inquiry, and research to inform student work; the active faculty and teaching assistants; living on campus and having intense studio sessions with access to state of the art equipment to support ideas and processes; exposure to artists and designers living and working in the city.

ECP Summer Institute: How does your practice inform your instruction?

CP: Being active in my studio while I am teaching is extremely important as it keeps me awake, sensitive, and tuned into the process of making, material relationships, inquiry, and research. Coming into the classroom from my studio is seamless; each one informs the other.

ECP Summer Institute: What words of wisdom do you have to offer current and future ECP Summer Institute students?

CP: Fall in love with failure; it's the only way forward.

Bio: Cheryl Pope received her BFA and Master of Design from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, where she was a recipient of a full-tuition Merit Scholarship. Pope's work has been included in many exhibitions, in venues such as the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; Evanston Art Center; Columbia College; University of Austin; Swimming Pool Projects; School of the Art Institute of Chicago; and the Morgan Conservatory in Cleveland. Her work is in the collections of Kathryn and Dan Mikesell, Miami, FL and Heather and Tony Podesta, Washington, D.C., among others.

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A conversation with ECP Summer Institute instructor, Rafael Vera

Rafael Vera

ECP Summer Institute: What do you think students can get at SAIC that they cannot get elsewhere?

RV: At SAIC we want our students to be able to master not just one medium, but to have the freedom to move and explore throughout different disciplines, to experiment, to take risks, and to find the right solution for each individual problem. Our interdisciplinary philosophy, accompanied by excellent, enthusiastic faculty, the second largest art museum in America and one of the most exciting cities of the country, make SAIC the whole package.

ECP Summer Institute: How do you view your role as instructor in the ECP program?

RV: To give them the opportunity to experiment in an environment that encourages risk taking and critical thinking. To give them the necessary tools to define their portfolio and personal studio practice. To invite them to think about why they make art and how they can continue to do so.

ECP Summer Institute: What words of wisdom do you have to offer current and future ECP Summer Institute students?

RV: Experiment, take risks, fail, try again, ask why, ask how, discuss, analyze, work hard and make art!

Bio: Rafael E. Vera received his BFA and MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago where he was a recipient of the Edward L. Ryerson Fellowship Award and the George L. and Roman Siegel Fellowship Award. Recent exhibitions and publications include New American Paintings, issue 107; Nothing Concrete, Bert Green Fine Art, Chicago; Voids, The Franklin, Chicago; On Making Things Matter: Strategies for Preservation, SHOP, Chicago.    

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A Conversation with ECP Summer Institute Instructor, Pete Fagundo

Pete Fagundo

 

ECP Summer Institute: What do you think students can get at SAIC that they cannot get elsewhere?

PF: A voice in the conversation at the edge of art today...

ECP Summer Institute: How do you view your role as instructor in the ECP program?

PF: Great teaching is asking questions, listening, and telling stories. As artists we have unanswerable questions. We may listen with our eyes and see with our hands. Our stories don't give answers, they clarify the questions.

Bio: Pete Fagundo has taught in SAIC's ECP Summer Institute since 2010 and in the undergraduate degree program since 2008. He has exhibited nationally and internationally and is in the collection of the Museum of Modern Art, New York; Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; and the Microsoft Arts Collection, Seattle, among others. Fagundo shares his wealth of knowledge and expertise with ECP Summer Institute students each year where his studio and teaching practices merge. 

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