Highlights: SAIC Stories
Shaping the Future
One of our school's Core Values is "We make history," but perhaps it would be just as fitting to say, "We make the future." In either case, what we mean to convey is the prominent role that our community of artists, designers, and scholars has to play in shaping what is to come. Time and again throughout my tenure at SAIC, I have witnessed the power of the arts and artists not only to envision a possible future, but also to make that future happen.
In these stories, you will see this theme at work in the profiles of various members of the SAIC community who have dedicated themselves to shaping our future through their practices. You will in particular notice that much of this work addresses sustainability and what can be done to lessen the degree of our environmental footprint. For example, in a profile of Frances Whitehead, Professor of Sculpture and Architecture, you will learn about her service as lead artist on The 606 urban trail, a park and trail system planned for Chicago's Northwest side, as well as her ongoing collaboration with the City of Chicago, Chicago Park District, and Trust for Public Land. You will also read about Kevin Kaempf, Adjunct Professor of Sculpture, and the work he is doing to increase awareness of sustainable and urban farming practices through both his "People Powered" project, whose programming integrates art with environmentalism and community outreach, as well as his curatorial work on the exhibition Rooting.
The exciting work done by Professors Whitehead and Kaempf lends a decidedly local flavor to these stories, but it does not stop at Chicago. In an interview with Korean artists Moon Kyungwon and Jeon Joonho, you will read about their collaborative exhibition News from Nowhere: Chicago Laboratory and its interdisciplinary envisioning of the world of tomorrow. The show combines the work of architects, designers, scientists, philosophers, and other thinkers to imagine a post-apocalyptic future that reflects back on many of the issues we face today. Elsewhere, you will read about alumni Jenny Kendler's and Molly Schafer's Endangered Species Project, and a story about an exciting new partnership between SAIC's Continuing Studies program and Chicago Public Schools.
In all, these stories get to the heart of what has always impressed me the most about SAIC. Every day the work exhibited by our students, faculty, alumni, and staff reminds me of the impact that creators of any kind can have on the world—and, furthermore, how this impact derives not simply from our powers of imagination but also from our ability to execute on our visions of tomorrow.
I hope you will join us in making your vision a reality.
Walter E. Massey
President, School of the Art Institute of Chicago