BFA Thesis Information

SAIC Undergraduate Exhibition & Other Thesis Events

Each year, hundreds of undergraduate students complete coursework towards their Bachelor's degrees. These students are eligible to showcase their practice through one of the following culminating thesis events during the 2019-2020 school year: Undergraduate Exhibition at Sullivan Galleries; Film, Video, New Media, & Sound Festival at the Gene Siskel Film Center; Performance Festival; Writing Symposium; or Art History Symposium. Not everyone chooses to participate in one of these events, but we hope to provide more detailed information for graduating students who are interested in showcasing their work through one of these theses event options.

Jump to an answer

Am I eligible to participate in a thesis event, such as the Undergraduate Exhibition, Festival at Siskel, Performance, or a Symposium? How can I confirm my eligibility? 

Fall 2019 Undergraduate Exhibition

Undergraduate students completing degree requirements in Fall 2019 or Winter 2020 who wish to participate in a thesis event will be eligible to participate in the Fall Undergraduate Exhibition in November at Sullivan Galleries or a time arts event in the Spring 2020.  

The following degree students will only be eligible for the Fall Undergraduate Exhibition OR a Spring time arts event (e.g. the Performance Festival or FVNMAS Festival). These students will not be eligible for the Spring 2020 Undergraduate Exhibition even if they plan to graduate in the Spring/Summer 2020. 

  • BA Art History
  • BA Visual and Critical Studies
  • BFA, emphasis in Art Education
  • BFA, emphasis in Writing
  • Anyone from BFA who is participating in an academic symposium in the Spring (BFA with Thesis students)
  • BFA in Studio students who (depending on credit hours accrued at the end of all summer sessions) are anticipated to graduate at the end of the Fall / Winter semester

Spring 2020 Undergraduate Exhibition

Undergraduate students completing degree requirements in Spring 2020 or Summer 2020  may be eligible to participate in the Fall 2019 Undergraduate Exhibition or Spring 2020 Undergraduate Exhibition in March (depending on their credit hours completed in Fall 2019), or they may choose to participate in a Time Arts Event in Spring 2020. 

Note: If you are a BFA in Studio student graduating during the 2019-2020 school year, you will be eligible for the Fall OR Spring Undergraduate Exhibition depending on the number of credit hours you complete by the end of Summer 2019. Students are notified which exhibition they are eligible to participate in by early September and must register or "opt-in" by the registration deadline to participate in the exhibition. 

Further Information:

Eligibility for a thesis event, including the undergraduate exhibition, during the 2019-2020 school year is determined by the number of credit hours a student has completed by the end of the Summer 2019 sessions. That can include coursework, study abroad, or other activities that students receive credit hours for. Students are eligible to participate in either the Fall Undergraduate Exhibition or the Spring Undergraduate Exhibition based on their credit hours. If you wish to participate in the Undergraduate Exhibition or another Capstone Event, you should ensure that your academic advisor is aware of your plans to graduate and your credits completed. You will receive an email with your assigned semester Undergraduate Exhibition option and a link to register for the Undergraduate Exhibition or a Time Arts Event on September 16.

I am graduating in the Fall 2019 or Spring 2020 but I didn't get a BFA Show semester assignment. What do I do? 

You will need to contact your academic advisor, check your graduation plans with them to ensure that you are on track to graduate during the 2019-2020 school year. If you are on track, your advisor will need to provide an Eligibility Check to the BFA Show Exhibition Team which includes the following information by Monday, September 30:

  • Student's full name
  • Student's SAIC ID number
  • Student's degree program
  • Semester planning to graduate
  • Credit hours completed before the first day of Fall 2019 (not how many classes you're taking in the Fall)

*Due to the production schedule of the exhibition, students whose eligibility is not confirmed by Sept. 30 for the Fall or Spring exhibition, or who try to register online for the show they are eligible for after the September deadline, will be placed on the waiting list for the show.

Thesis events, including the Undergraduate Exhibition or "BFA Show", are not required for graduation; they are elective.

Since the Undergraduate Exhibition and Time Arts Event are not required for degree completion, students must opt-in by registering online to participate. If you do not elect to show by the September 23rd deadline, we will assume that you do not wish to participate in any of the optional thesis events. If you register after September 23rd for the Fall Exhibition, Spring Exhibition, or any other thesis event, your registration will be placed on a waiting list. See "What is the Waitlist?" for more detailed information about this process. 

Undergraduate students who plan to participate in a Time Arts Event (regardless of graduation date—Fall 2019, Winter 2020, Spring 2020, or Summer 2020) must register for a Spring 2020 BFA Time Arts Event, since these screenings and performance festival are not offered as an option in the Fall for graduating seniors.

Students who have participated in a prior thesis event are not eligible to participate in a second thesis event.

If you have already shown your work in an Undergraduate Exhibition or a Time Arts Event, you will not be able to participate in a second culminating event. Students will need to choose between showing their work in the Undergraduate Exhibition "BFA Show", the Performance Festival, FVNMAS, or the Fashion Event. 

Students with hybrid practices (or dual degree programs) who plan to participate in an academic symposium or reading in the Spring (BAAH, BAVCS, BFAW and BFA with Liberal Arts Thesis) may participate additionally in the Fall BFA Show. If you are participating in a symposium in the Spring, you will not be eligible for the Spring BFA Show. Additionally, you must still register online by September 23rd to participate in the Fall exhibition. Dual degree students are not eligible to participate in the Spring BFA Show since they will be participating in an academic event during that semester.

What are the different types of thesis events?Do I have to be in the Undergraduate Exhibition "BFA Show" to get my BFA degree?

These theses events are forums designed for graduating seniors to “show their stuff,” though they are strictly voluntary and not necessary to graduate. All students who wish to participate in a thesis event must elect to show by September 23rd regardless of the event in which they will participate. To summarize: You don't have to do any of these events to get your degree, so if you'd like to participate in one, you'll need to opt-in by the deadline to be sure you get all important communications, dates, deadlines, and important participant information.

Elective Thesis Events

Undergraduate Exhibition (or "BFA Show") - participation in the Fall BFA Show in November 2019 or Spring BFA Show in March 2020, according to their semester assignment (this might not be the semester you graduate!).

  • BFA Film, Video, New Media, Animation & Sound Festival (Spring 2020)
  • BFA Performance Festival (Spring 2020)
  • Fashion Event (Spring 2020)

Strongly Recommended Capstone Events may be a graduation requirement for certain students. If you're not sure whether this applies to you, check with your academic advisor to ascertain the requirements of your degree program. 

Strongly Recommended Capstone Events

  • BAVCS Symposium (Spring 2020)
  • BAAH Symposium (Spring 2020)
  • BFAW Reading Event (Spring 2020)

Students with hybrid practices who are participating in an academic symposium or reading in the Spring (BAAH, BAVCS, BFAW and BFA with Liberal Arts Thesis) may only participate in the Fall BFA Show in addition to an academic event in the Spring. This allows students with dual degree programs to have an opportunity to show their studio practice as well as their scholarly efforts. The Fall BFA Show is elective and is not required. Hybrid students who wish to participate in the Fall BFA Show must elect to show by September 23rd.

What is a Capstone Class? 

Capstone classes are part of the academic spine courses. Certain Capstone classes include participating in the BFA Show in the Fall 2019 or Spring 2020 as a curated group exhibition space. Students who participate in these classes must still register for the BFA Show online by September 23rd and must adhere to the rules and regulations of the BFA Show, including attending an Info. Session, turning in an Art Loan Agreement, providing their label information, and other exhibition requirements by the appropriate deadlines. This information will be communicated to students by both email and their professors, so you'll definitely be informed of what you need to know. 

Learn more about Capstone at SAIC.

Why are there two Undergraduate Exhibitions at Sullivan Galleries? Can I choose which semester I can show in? 

No, you are only eligible for one Undergraduate Exhibition. Most students can plan which exhibition they will be eligible to show in based on their degree program, as non-studio undergraduate degrees are eligible for the Fall exhibition.

Fall exhibition:

  • BA Art History
  • BA Visual and Critical Studies
  • BFA, emphasis in Art Education
  • BFA, emphasis in Writing
  • >Anyone from BFA who is participating in an academic symposium in the Spring (BFA with Thesis students)
  • BFA in Studio students who are anticipated to graduate after the end of the Fall / Winter semester (based on their credit hours accrued at the end of all summer sessions)

Fall OR Spring exhibition (depending on credit hours accrued at the end of all summer sessions):

  • BFA in Studio

Students who are the closest to their graduation date are selected to participate in the Fall Exhibition in November. Students with more credit hours remaining to complete are assigned to the Spring Exhibition in March. Additionally, students who are in dual degree programs are only permitted to exhibit in the Fall Exhibition.  IMPORTANT: You might not be eligible to show your work in the same semester that you graduate! Do not assume that because you graduate in the Spring you will be eligible for the Spring exhibition; it depends on your credit hours at the start of the current school year!

Why are there two undergraduate exhibitions? Unfortunately, the Sullivan Galleries are not large enough to accommodate all of the undergraduate students who are eligible to show their work in a gallery setting for a given year in a single show. 

If you want to change your designated BFA Show semester, you may request to be placed on a Waitist when you register for the show online. Those requests will be reviewed once all students have registered and we can review how many students wish to switch to an alternate semester. You may not know whether your request can be accommodated until the end of the 2nd information session and space claim in November for the Fall show, or in February for the Spring show.

How do I register for a thesis event (Undergraduate Exhibition or Time Arts event) and what does it involve?

Instructions and procedures to register for all 2019-2020 thesis events will be distributed to eligible students via email on September 16th. Students will need to register online by September 23rd to participate in any one of these culminating events. 

Sullivan Gallery staff will hold optional information sessions in-person as an opportunity for students to ask specific questions about the BFA Thesis Show and other Capstone Events at the LeRoy Neiman Center in September from 12:00–2:00 p.m.

  • Registration help for all BFA Capstone Events
  • For BFA shows: choose your space type
  • Instructions to check your credit hours 
  • Request to be placed on the waitlist to exhibit in the alternate Undergraduate Exhibition semester
  • Help desks for all other inquiries, including: questions about how to request media, how to install your work, reviewing prohibited materials, and any other questions you have.

BFA Office Hours:

Sullivan Gallery staff will also hold office hours for BFA Show questions during the two days per week. Students are welcome to stop by without an appointment during these times to ask questions or gain clarity about the BFA Show. 

Fall semester Walk-in Hours:
Sept. 17 - Dec. 6, 2019
Tues. and Thurs. at Sullivan Galleries
12:00pm - 1:00pm
4:00pm - 5:00pm

Spring semester Walk-in Hours:
Dates to be decided

What happens if I am eligible to participate but I register late? What is the "Waitlist"?

If you register after the September 23rd deadline, your registration will be placed on the waitlist for the appropriate show. Waitlisted registration will be processed on a first come, first served basis as long as there are available slots left open. Students will be notified of their waitlist status on a rolling basis. You may not know whether or not your waitlist request has been approved until Space Claim since availability of slots in the show may depend on whether or not all registered students show up to claim a space.  

What are Space Options for the Fall and Spring Undergraduate Exhibitions? 

There are several categories of spaces available at the Sullivan Galleries for both BFA shows:

Lottery space

A lottery number, assigned to you at random, determines the order that you will choose an exhibition space at the Space Claim Meeting. You will not know the size or location of your space until the Space Claim meeting has concluded.

Lottery space options

  • Wall space: Wall spaces are approximately 4–8 linear feet of wall only. These do not include any floor space in front of the wall.
  • Combo space: Combo spaces are approximately 4–8 linear feet of wall with 1–3 feet of floor space directly in front of the wall. Combo spaces are not recommended for large sculpture or objects intended to be seen in the round.
  • Floor / Ceiling space: Floor / ceiling spaces are approximately 4–6 linear feet of floor space. They do not include any wall space and are best for sculptures or objects intended to be viewed in the round. Floor / ceiling spaces include spaces in front of windows as well as any area which does not include the use of a wall.

Lottery space types for the Spring 2020 exhibition cannot be changed after Feb. 3 due to the exhibition's production schedule.

How do I submit a proposal for an individual installation space or an assigned group space?

Proposal-required spaces are an opportunity for students to take on additional responsibilities and deadlines for the chance at showing a more ambitious project as an individual or with a group.

Individual Installation Rooms: There are a very limited number of slots for individual installation rooms—only 4 individual installation rooms per show. During registration, you must indicate a) that you plan to submit a proposal for an individual installation space, and you also must choose a lottery type space as a backup option in case your proposal is not accepted. Be sure to review the "Space Options" on this website and consider the physical aspects of your work before select your backup lottery space option! Proposals are highly competitive and we are unable to make changes to lottery type of spaces after proposal results come out. If your application is not approved, you will be registered for the Lottery space type that you chose during registration.

Who cannot receive an individual installation space?

Proposals for individual installation spaces are not open to students who are on the waiting list at the time proposals are due, nor students who are enrolled in a group space of any kind—that includes the VCD group, capstone classes participating in the exhibition as a group, or students who submit a proposal for a group space in the exhibition.

Waiting list: If you are on the waitlist at the time that proposals are due, you will not be able to submit an application for a proposal-required space.

Group spaces: If you apply for a group space by being enrolled in a capstone class with a group exhibition space component, if you submit a proposal for a group space, or if you are a VCD student participating in the VCD group space, then you will not be eligible to apply for an individual installation room.

GROUP Spaces:

There are a few ways to show your work as a group in the undergraduate exhibition.

  1. Submit a proposal to show your work with one or more students who are also registered for the exhibition via Slideroom. Only submit one proposal per group. You will see the option to indicate all group members in the Slideroom application.
  2. Capstone classes: Some capstone classes include participating in the exhibition as a course component; to be eligible for these classes, you must be eligible for the BFA show in the semester you take that class (i.e. students assigned to the Fall show would need to take an exhibition capstone class in the Fall semester), and you must have registered for the BFA show by the September registration deadline.
  3. Visual Communication Design Group space (currently Spring only): If you are a student in the VCD department, you must coordinate with the student group leader to indicate that you wish to participate in the self-curated VCD group space by the Group deadline (see the Slideroom deadline for proposal-required spaces above). The VCD group does not need to submit a full proposal, rather the VCD group leader must submit the names of all students in their group to exhibitions via email on time. If you are a VCD student, reach out to your department to get in touch with the group coordinator before mid-January for the Spring exhibition to ensure you do not miss this opportunity! NOTE: VCD students must be registered for the exhibition by September; students on the waiting list or who have not registered for the exhibition are not eligible to participate in the VCD group. If you're not sure how this affects you, please reach out to the exhibitions team—we'd love to hear from you and answer your questions!

Proposal-Specific Deadlines

  • Fall Undergraduate Exhibition 2019  proposal due: Monday night, October 7, by 11:59 p.m. Submit your proposal via SlideRoom.
  • Spring Undergraduate Exhibition 2020  proposal due: Monday night, January 27, by 11:59 p.m. Submit your proposal via SlideRoom.
  • Fall 2020  Proposal deadlines: TBD (early October, 2020)
  • Spring 2021 Proposal deadlines: TBD (late January, 2021)

What are the dates of the Fall and Spring Undergraduate Exhibitions?

Fall Undergraduate Exhibition dates
November 16–December 6

Spring BFA Show Dates
March 14 –27

What are the important deadlines for participating artists?

Fall Undergraduate Exhibition 2019

September 23: Register to participate in the show online by midnight

October 7: Proposal Deadline for Individual Installation spaces or Group spaces only—Lottery spaces do not require proposals. 

October 31: Info. Session & Space Claim A (Install, Group, Lottery Combo spaces):
4:30–7:30 p.m.

November 1: Info. Session & Space Claim B (Capstone class, Lottery Wall and Lottery Floor to Ceiling spaces):
4:30–7:30 p.m.

November 2–3: Space Preparation
10:30 a.m.–5:30 p.m.

November 4: Space Preparation
10:30 a.m.–8:30  p.m.

November 5: Installation 
10:30 a.m.–5:30  p.m. 

November 6–9: Installation & Media Equipment Pick-Up at Sullivan Gallery
10:30 a.m.–5:30 p.m.

November 9: Last day to pick up your media equipment! All media equipment must be picked up by 5:30 p.m.

November 10: Installation
10:30 a.m.–5:30 p.m.

November 11: Installation
10:30 a.m.–8:30 p.m.

November 15: Ticketed Reception
5:00–8:00 p.m.

November 16–December 6: Open to the Public Monday–Saturday
12:00–6:00 p.m.

December 7–9: Deinstallation and Work Pickup
10:30 a.m.–5:30 p.m.

Spring Undergraduate Exhibition 2020 

September 23: Register to participate in the show

February 3: Proposal Deadline for Individual Installation spaces or Group spaces only —Lottery spaces do not require proposals. 

February 27: Info. Session & Space Claim A (Install, Group, Lottery Combo spaces):
4:30–7:30 p.m.

February 28: Info. Session & Space Claim B (Capstone class, Lottery Wall and Lottery Floor/Ceiling spaces):
4:30–7:30 p.m.

February 29–March 1: Space Preparation
10:30 a.m.–5:30 p.m.

March 2: Space Preparation
10:30 a.m.–8:30  p.m.

March 3–7: Installation 
10:30 a.m.–5:30  p.m.

March 3–6: Media Equipment Pick-Up at Sullivan Gallery
10:30 a.m.–5:30 p.m.

March 6: Last day to pick up your media equipment! 

March 8: Installation: Last day to install work
10:30 a.m.–8:30 p.m.
All installation must be complete and checked by gallery staff by 8:30 p.m. Budget your time wisely, as you will not be able to make changes after this point! 

March 13: Ticketed Reception
5:00–8:00 p.m.

March 14–27: Open to the Public Monday–Saturday
12:00–6:00 p.m. 

March 28–30: Deinstallation and Work Pickup
10:30 a.m.–5:30 p.m.

March 30: Last day to deinstall and remove your work!

What is the mandatory Information Session and Space Claim for the BFA Shows?

If you elect to participate in a BFA Show at the Sullivan Galleries, you will be required to attend an Information Session which will provide you with all the info. you need to know to show your work at Sullivan Gallery. This is your opportunity to learn important information about installing your work, how to ask for help, and meet gallery staff who will work with you to prepare for the show. Space Claim is when students who have chosen a lottery space will line up according to their lottery numbers and select their spaces. Space claim takes place directly after the Information Session. 

Information Sessions and Space Claim take place at the Sullivan Galleries, 33 S. State St., 7th floor and are required for all students participating in a 2019-2020 BFA Show. Students who have assigned spaces or are in a Capstone Class still need to attend the mandatory Information Session but do not have to stay for the lottery space claim. 

Gallery Walk-Through

4:30–5:00 p.m.

The gallery will be open for students participating in the lottery. 

Lottery numbers will be posted in the gallery for students who register for a wall, combo, and floor/ceiling spaces. Floor plans of available spaces for the exhibition will be distributed at the door. Please use this time to look at the gallery and write down the space numbers (and measurements if you need them!) for all available spaces that you are interested in. The Space Claim Lottery goes very fast and you will not have time to walk around and look at the spaces, so be sure to mark all the spaces that you like on your map. 

Information Session

5:00–5:30 p.m.

All students participating in the Undergraduate Exhibition or "BFA Show" are required to attend a brief meeting about installation procedures. This meeting will also serve as a good time for gallery staff to introduce themselves, tell you a little about their role in supporting your work in the exhibition, and provide you with important information on installation procedures, how to bring work into the space, prohibited materials, and more. All artists are responsible for making sure they understand this information--it goes fast, so please pay close attention!  

Check-Out of the Info. Session

5:30–7:30 p.m.*

When you're ready to check-out, head to the Check-Out table near the glass doors. 

  • For lottery students: You must wait until after you've selected your lottery space to check-out.
  • For students with assigned spaces or group spaces: you may check-out any time after the Information Session has concluded, during the space claim lottery. 

Be prepared to answer the following questions when you check-out:

  • What is your space number? 
  • Does your work have any interactive elements? How would you like visitors to interact with your work? 
  • Do you plan to perform at any time during the Undergraduate Exhibition? 
  • What is your Publicity Name, i.e., the name you want to appear in the Gallery Guide, Price List, and on your Wall Label? 
  • Does your work include any methods or materials on the Art School Considerations checklist or the Prohibited Materials list for Sullivan Galleries? 
  • Turn in your Art Loan Agreement

Space Claim for students participating in the lottery

5:30–7:30 p.m.

A lottery number, assigned to you at random, will determine the order that you choose your space. When your lottery number is called, you may only pick a space from the space type you selected when you registered (e.g. a Wall, Combo, or Floor / Ceiling space). Your space is final at the end of Space Claim.

IMPORTANT

If you registered for a Lottery space (wall, combo, floor to ceiling) and you do not attend Space Claim, you will forfeit your place in the BFA Show. Forfeited "lottery" spaces will be reallocated to waitlisted students the evening of space claim. 

If you are unable to attend Space Claim, you need to send a trusted friend (a "proxy") to attend Space Claim to choose a space for you when your lottery number is called. Please send your proxy information to UndergradExhibitionSAIC@gmail.com at least 24 hours prior to Space Claim under the subject heading “PROXY”.

If I participate in one of the Undergraduate Exhibitions, how will my work be installed?

Will gallery staff install my work for me?

You are responsible for installing your own work. Gallery staff will not install your work for you. You can bring friends to assist you with installation if you need help. If your work is very large, heavy, or complex, we definitely encourage you to bring friends who can help. 

Gallery staff will be present during installation to support participating artists in the following ways:

  • Advise on simple installation methods, such as using D-rings to hang paintings on the wall, appropriate or inappropriate adhesives for holding materials to the wall or floor of the gallery, where to hang materials from the ceiling (or where you can't hang something!).
  • Show you how to mount projectors or monitors in the space safely. Be prepared to tell staff exactly where they should be mounted when you sign up for assistance. 
  • Check whether your installation is secure, i.e. whether it is highly likely that your work will fall off the wall or fairly unlikely that it will fall off the wall. Staff cannot guarantee that your work will not fall off the wall. 

The installation period is divided into 3 phases Space Preparation

This time is set aside for you to measure your space, plan for any site-specific elements of your work, and become more familiar with the space. You may use this time to do preparation that will generate dust, dirt, or mess, for example, building a wall, sanding materials, or painting walls in your space (latex paint or water-based acrylic only!). 

Artwork installed during this time could be damaged by paint splatter and construction debris, so we do not recommend installing your art until the Installation period.

If you have projectors or other materials or media to hang from the ceiling, you must come to the galleries during space preparation to meet with crew and determine the location of ceiling supports. When you know where you wish to hang your materials, stop by the help desk. 

Media Check-Out

The Media Center will have representatives on-site during installation. During this time you can pick up media equipment that you've reserved and install it in your space. Note: All media equipment must be picked up by the end of the day on Friday during install. The Media Center cannot check out equipment on weekends. 

Install

This is a good time to start bringing your art work or media equipment into the gallery. Any debris, packing materials, or tools must be out of the gallery by the end of installation. 

Checking-Out of Installation

When you have completely finished installing your work, sign up for help from staff to check you out of installation. Under no circumstances should you make any changes to your work after install has ended and you have been checked-out by gallery staff. The check-out process is when gallery staff reviews your installation to ensure that it meets minimum stability and safety requirements.

After the installation period has ended, you will not be allowed to enter the gallery or to make any changes to your work. Your work must be complete by the end of the installation period, so budget your time wisely. Once the show is open to the public, you will not be able to make changes to your work. If your work is changed after gallery staff has checked you out of installation, we must assume those changes are due to vandalism. Questions about this process can be discussed during information sessions or emailed to the BFA Team at UndergradExhibitionSAIC@gmail.com

What if I want to hang a dead cat from the ceiling or show something that might be considered dangerous?

Maybe you can, maybe you can't.

As a professional gallery which is open to the public and located in a historic building, the Sullivan Galleries must maintain high standards of health and safety, and additionally must ensure the continued preservation of the historic Carson Pirie Scott building, designed by Louis Sullivan in 1899. For those reasons, the following list of materials cannot be used in the gallery. 

Prohibited Materials (specific to the Sullivan Galleries)

Bear in mind that each of these prohibited materials has a story behind it. Feel free to ask staff members about it, you might get to hear an interesting anecdote. 

The answer is NO, you can't:

  • Spray paint or aerosol
  • Wallpaper
  • Permanent markers (e.g. Sharpie) or permanent ink on walls, floors, windows, etc.
  • Marking or painting the gallery's floors
  • Oil-based paints
  • Impasto paints
  • Loose particulate materials that are corrosive or harmful to breathe
  • Loose sand, dust or debris
  • Loose glitter or confetti
  • Fog machines

The answer is MAYBE; be sure to ask:

  • Self-lighting
  • Exceeding your space demarcations
  • Sound
  • Performance (let staff know if you plan to perform at your Information Session!)
  • Display of sharp or hazardous objects
  • Food or liquids in your work
  • Plants—living or dead
  • Anything else on the Art School Considerations Checklist

If you're wondering if you may be doing something that requires special permission, or is prohibited or restricted, follow your instincts and ask.

In addition to materials prohibited in Sullivan Galleries only, SAIC has a list of materials and practices which must go through an additional review process to be installed anywhere on campus or in public spaces. This list is for the entire campus. The governing body reviewing practices that may fall under these rules is called Art School Considerations. This is a committee made up of representatives from the school's faculty, Dean's Office, gallery staff, and at least one lawyer. This process is dedicated to making sure you can achieve your vision without compromising the safety of the public, SAIC community, or yourself. These people are not here to say "no", they are here to help you figure out how to share your work with the SAIC community and the public safely.

Please review the Art School Considerations Checklist‌ in your student handbook (page for any materials, performances, or practices that you may wish to use as you plan your project.

If you are not sure whether something you plan to use fits into one of these categories, ask! You can reach out to the BFA Team at UndergradExhibitionSAIC@gmail.com - or to a trusted faculty member. Or you can drop by BFA Office Hours at Sullivan Galleries to chat with us about your project.

The best rule of thumb, if any doubt at all exists about a practice or material that you are considering for your artwork, ask us. It is our responsibility to oversee all materials and items which enter the gallery to ensure public safety. We must adhere to fire code, the school's regulations on public safety, and the City of Chicago's rules for public spaces. 

How do I reserve media center equipment for the show?

Please consult the following list, if you need video projectors, media players, monitors, computers or other media equipment for the exhibition:

  • Submit a Request for Equipment through Greenlight.
  • Schedule a 30-minute interview with Media Center staff. Please make sure your calendar is set to the central time zone.
  • Please refer to the PDF for a list of equipment available to rent through the Media Center.
  • Please contact Taylor Newton (tnewton@saic.edu) if you have further questions about Media Center equipment.

Media Center Special Exhibition Equipment Information [PDF]

How will my work be labeled? 

You will write a label for your work, including your publicity name*, the title of your work, the year your work was completed, and the medium or materials of the work. If you would like to include a brief didactic text, you can do so at the time that you submit your label. Didactic text should be limited to approximately 140 characters. Labels can include text, emoji, and should be formatted exactly as you want them to appear. You can submit your label to saic.edu/bfalabel during the installation period. 

*Publicity Names may be the same or different from your name as it is listed with the school. For instance, "John Doe" could prefer to show work under the name "John F. Doe" or "Johnny Sparkle". We will collect your publicity name at the mandatory Information Session. 

I wish to participate in a Time Arts Event. How do I find out more information?

2020 BFA Performance Festival Information forthcoming. 

Who is eligible to participate?

Undergraduate students completing degrees in Fall 2019, Winter 2020, Spring 2020 or Summer 2020 are eligible to register for the 2020 BFA Performance Festival.

Students may participate in one of the following presentations:

  • BFA Show participation in the Fall or Spring BFA Show at Sullivan Galleries
  • BFA Film, Video, New Media, Animation and Sound Festival in Spring 2020
  • BFA Performance Festival in Spring 2020
  • BFAW Reading Event in Spring 2020
  • Undergraduate Thesis Symposia in Spring 2020

Students who have participated in a prior BFA Show or Time Arts Event (Film, Video, New Media, Animation and Sound Festival or Performance Festival) are not eligible to participate in another BFA Show or Time Arts Event.

Academic Symposia

Students who are taking on dual degrees may register for an academic symposium in the Spring and the BFA Show in the Fall, if they wish to exhibit both their academic and artistic practice. The Spring BFA Show is not available to students participating in an academic symposium since each of those take place in the Spring semester. 

How do I register for the Performance Festival or Film, Video, New Media, Animation and Sound Festival?

To participate in either the BFA Show or any other Capstone Event, you must register online for that event by the September 23rd deadline. Detailed registration instructions will be provided to students who are eligible to participate in a Capstone Event for the 2019-2020 school year via email on September 16th. Registration will be available from September 16—23. If you are unsure whether you are eligible, contact academic advising to discuss your eligibility. 

If you have questions about the Performance Festival or Film, Video, New Media, Animation and Sound Festival, contact Trevor Martin at tmartin@saic.edu. For all questions about the BFA Show, contact UndergradExhibitionSAIC@gmail.com.

Planning Meetings

Planning meeting dates, times and locations for the Performance Festival and FVNMAS will be arranged in February, March and April.

Reserving Media Center Equipment for your Performance

Requests for extra video projectors, media players, monitors, computers, etc. for the Performance Festival and FVNMAS will be consolidated by the Festival producers and submitted as a group to the Media Center in March.

Scheduled Rehearsal Dates

  • Tech Rehearsal: To Be Determined
  • Final Tech Rehearsal: To Be Determined
  • Final Dress Rehearsal: To Be Determined

BFA Performance Festival participants may schedule extra rehearsal time through the Performance Department, if needed, and as the performance space schedule allows.

Festival Date: To Be Determined

Performance Space: 280 S. Columbus Dr., Room 012 (lower level)

How many tickets to the reception will I receive?

Each student participating in a BFA show will receive a total of three (3) tickets to Friday's ticketed Preview Reception, including their own ticket. In other words, you will have one (1) ticket for yourself and two (2) tickets for guests. There is no cost for these tickets, however, all attendees must have a ticket to ensure that the building does not become crowded beyond capacity (trust us: you don't want the gallery to violate the city of Chicago's fire code). 

If you are participating in the BFA Show and you would like to request additional tickets, please fill out the Extra Tickets Request form. We may not be able to accommodate all extra ticket requests. Extra ticket requests are granted on a first come, first serve basis. No student will receive more than four (4) extra tickets. If you have a large group, please plan for them to attend Saturday's Public Opening Reception, as that is the appropriate time to bring in larger groups.

What if I have a question that is not answered here?

Please send all other inquiries to UndergradExhibitionSAIC@gmail.com with the subject line "ANSWER NOT FOUND." We will respond to your request as soon as possible, typically 24-48 hours. We are staffed Monday—Friday, so please allow extra time for any emails sent outside of normal business hours.

You are also welcome to visit the Sullivan Gallery during BFA Show Walk-In Office Hours during Fall Tuesdays & Thursdays from 12:00pm - 1:00pm and 4:00 - 5:00 p.m. (Spring hours TBD).

Please also note that participating artists are responsible for ensuring that they understand the policies surrounding participation in any thesis event, capstone event, BFA Show / Undergraduate Exhibition, in short any of the activities discussed on this page. A lack of comprehension of these policies does not mean the policies no longer apply. These theses events present a learning opportunity; they are not required to earn an undergraduate degree, and therefore it is in your own best interest to ensure that you fully understand these policies and how they apply to you to make the most out of this learning opportunity.