Current Students

Master of Arts in Modern and Contemporary Art History

Ruby Anderson (MA 2023) Primary areas of interest: Painting and photography that engages constructs of gender and sexuality. Secondary areas of interest: Intersectional feminism, queer theory, and disability theory as applied to art practice and art institutions.

Roy Gao (MA 2023)Primary areas of interest: the history and visuality of myths, art at the crossroads of sciences and religions, simulation and reenactment, the state and propaganda, film/photography, and East Asian painting (ancient and modern). Secondary areas of interest: East and Central Asian histories and cultures, premodern empires, gender and sexuality, art theory and philosophy (Chinese, European, and American), ethics, and curatorial practice.

Elsa Haarstad (MA 2022) Primary areas of interest: American vernacular architecture and material culture, American public housing, history, theory, and criticism of historic preservation, critical heritage studies.

Meagan Howard (MA 2022) Primary areas of interest: contemporary craft and design, postcolonial and transnational craft and design histories, intersections of craft, technology, and performance, and material culture studies. Secondary areas of interest: decolonial approaches to institutional collecting, archiving, and exhibiting.

Amanda Mendelsohn (MA 2023) Primary areas of interest: the intersection of art and politics, decolonizing the museum and the discipline, contemporary institutional critique, design history and theory, thing theory, specifically object oriented ontology and its application to art and design history, postmodern and contemporary art. Secondary areas of interest: postcolonialism, material culture studies, aesthetic theory, contemporary craft and design, the art market, labor politics within art history and the museum.

Pablo Nukaya-Petralia (MA 2023) Primary areas of interest: Paintings, drawings, prints and investigating underexplored narratives. Secondary areas of interest: Archives and curatorial studies.

Kelly Pope (MA 2023)Primary areas of interest: modernist architecture and design, the transnational itineraries and afterlives of the Bauhaus, the complexities of regionalism in vernacular modern architecture, experimental housing communities, blurred boundaries between interior and exterior spaces. Secondary areas of interest: avant-garde art and design groups (Archigram, Metabolists, Gutai, Fluxus), site-specific works, 20th c. industrial design, textiles, and typography.

Allie Tepper (MA 2022) Primary areas of interest: contemporary interdisciplinary and performance practices, embodied knowledge, postcolonial theory, and collective subjectivity. Secondary areas of interest: the self-taught, craft, ecology, and social history.

Blair Thomas (MA 2023) Primary areas of interest: the origins and practice of contemporary puppetry. Secondary areas of interest: Modernism with the subsets of Dadaism and Expressionism. 

Rylee Thomas (MA 2022) Primary areas of interest: contemporary Indigenous art and post-colonial curatorial practices.

Raquel Vannucci (MA 2023)Primary areas of interest: textile art, its history and practices and intersections with feminism and arts and crafts. Secondary areas of interest: modern art, architecture and design before, during and after Bauhaus, as well as its relationship with feminism and role in the development of textile art. 

Anja Xheka (MA 2023) Primary areas of interest: design history and Eastern European modern and contemporary art. Secondary areas of interest: socially engaged art practices.


Dual Degree in Art History and Arts Administration

Haley Bergeson (Dual 2023) Primary areas of interest: the aestheticization of politics and contemporary dance theory. Secondary areas of interest: camp aesthetics and surrealism.

Sophie Buchmueller (Dual 2022) Primary areas of interest: site-specificity, socially-engaged practices, art and ecology, legacies of minimalism, museum and curatorial studies. Secondary areas of interest: contemporary art of the African diaspora, early 20th century American art.

Heather Burich (Dual 2022) Primary areas of interest: collections management, archives, cultural property protection. Secondary areas of interest: museum and exhibition design 

Elise Butterfield (Dual 2022) Primary areas of interest: performance studies, the body as medium, disability studies, accessibility, socially engaged curatorial practice, and reimagining art institutions.

Erica Cheung (Dual 2024) Primary areas of interest: contemporary photography, Asian diasporic narratives, futurist modes of thinking, curatorial practice, the structure and function (or lack thereof) of arts institutions. Secondary areas of interest: archival methods, valuation in the art market.

Catherine Crain (Dual 2022) Primary areas of interest: interdisciplinary public programming, accessibility in the arts, phenomenology and contemporary craft.

Kathryn Cua (Dual 2023) Primary areas of interest: contemporary art of Africa and the African diaspora, socially engaged art practices, decolonization and self-articulation as methods of production for knowledge and cultural identity, art's intersection with community wellness, alternative art spaces, community art centers, art institutions' relationship to the public.

Michelle Davo Ortiz (Dual 2024) Primary areas of interest: sexuality and gender dissidence, Latin American art, decolonial movements, grassroot and community-based projects. Secondary areas of interest: affect theory, embodied knowledge, archival and memory practices.

Michał Grzegorz Dzitko (Dual 2023) Primary areas of interest: economic support for underrepresented artists, evolution of the role of an art critic in the internet era. Secondary areas of interest: efflux of new art forms and media in response to (post-)capitalism, art and reproduction, hip-hop aesthetics.

Rebecca Goodman (Dual 2022) Primary areas of interest: feminist art, art and ecology, art production and economies. Secondary areas of interest: curatorial practice, design and material culture, assemblage and abstraction.

Justice Henderson (Dual 2023) Primary areas of interest: Epistemic diversity stemming from community and individual narratives, embodied knowledge, an ecological view of art and culture, and interpretation and curatorial studies. Secondary areas of interest: Representation, intersectionality, program organization, and institutional critique.

Clayton Kennedy (Dual 2023)Primary areas of interest: Intersections between alternative spaces and democratization, postcolonial curatorial practice, and digital colonialism. Secondary areas of interest: Public art programming with social democracies and Impressionism.

Christine Magill (Dual 2023) Primary areas of interest: intersection of art and society (specifically examining the influence of art as propaganda), contextualizing art in history and using art to better understand different cultures and different points of view, wartime/postwar art and the effect of war on images presented to the public. Secondary areas of interest: influence of social media on art and culture, public art and architecture, links between cultural policy, the canon, and creative freedom.

Emily Nagel (Dual 2022) Primary areas of interest: Belgian surrealism and dissecting the relationship between words and images in René Magritte's paintings. Secondary area of interest: creating an environment that takes some of the elitism out of museums.

Maya Ortiz Saucedo (Dual 2024) Primary areas of interest: Latinx studies, art in/as gentrification, Latinx art and artists of the midwest, Decolonial theory, Colonialism and generational trauma, curatorial studies. Secondary areas of interest: geographical, historical and physical pathways; abolition and critique on adoption and child welfare complex industries, history of bilingual education/ESL in Chicago. 

Alivé Piliado (Dual 2023) Primary areas of interest: Modern and Contemporary Mexican art, Critical Curatorial Studies, and Museology. Secondary areas of interest: Postcolonial theory and the intersections of food, art and gastropolitics. 

Yunyao Que (Dual 2023) Primary areas of interest: the relationship among art, public and mass media, digital art, site-specific art, land art. Secondary areas of interest: art spaces and communities, art and sustainability, support for emerging artists. 

Gabriela M. Trinidad-Perez (Dual 2023) Primary areas of interest: visual culture, gender and queer theory, postmodern photography, curatorial and museum studies. Secondary areas of interest: popular culture, contemporary Puerto Rican art, contemporary mosaic art, and community art organizations.

Marin Williams (Dual 2022) Primary areas of interest: Post-critical museology, feminist art and the intersection of Motherhood and Art. Analyzing art about motherhood/ the maternal body, and exploring what challenges mother artists and arts administrators face in the field. Secondary areas of interest: Curatorial practices, contemporary Asian art, craft, design, and community based arts organizing. 

Lauren Woolf (Dual 2024) Primary areas of interest: Design and the applied arts in 20th century Central and Eastern Europe, the Art Nouveau, Transnationalism and Queer Theory in Art History, the museum as a changing forum, accessibility and application of archives. Secondary areas of interest: Intersections of political upheaval and visual culture, collecting practices in the art museum, the contemporary museum audience.

Madeleine Zimmerman (Dual 2024) Primary areas of interest: modern and contemporary art in East Asia, gender and sexuality studies, curatorial practice. Secondary areas of interest: contemporary photography, the use of the body in art. 


Student Accomplishments in the Undergraduate Program

Marley Anderson (BFAAHT 2023) is now interning for Hindman Auctions in the European and Pre-Colombian Antiquities Department.

Colin Buist (BAAH 2020) is now a doctoral student in the University of Toronto’s History of Art PhD program. Previously, Colin received the MA History of Art at U of T with top Merit Scholarship. In 2021, Colin presented “Towards an Inoperative Queer Theory” as part of the “Arts of Inoperativity” seminar at the American Comparative Literature Association annual conference.

Hayley Bain (BFAAHT 2022) is a pioneering member of Rock N’ Roll Retreat NYC, a music mentorship and summer social justice program aimed at empowering girls and trans youth living in New York City. Previously, Hayley has worked as a staff writer at F News

Winnie Wen-Yueh Chen (BFAAHT 2022) is the recipient of the Boone Scholars Internship for East Asian Studies at the Field Museum in Chicago. While pursuing studies at SAIC remotely throughout the 2020-2021 academic year, Winnie worked as an arts administration intern at the Museum of National Taipei University of Education

Row De Silva (BAAH 2020) attends the MA Research Architecture programme at Goldsmiths, University of London, conducting studio work and research under Forensic Architecture.

Sierrah Floyd (BAAH 2019), since graduating in Spring 2019, has been a core member of the lens-based collective Concerned Black Image Makers (CBIM), which received the Artists Run Chicago Fund for the 2021-2022 season. CBIM has scheduled programming with the Block Museum and Hyde Park Art Center throughout summer 2022, highlighting Black filmmakers and engaging with Chicago’s communities.

Recently, Sierrah traveled to Kassel as a logistics coordinator of LIVE TOUR 7: Overlapping Kassel, a performance art incubator and festival, in conversation with Documenta 15. There, Sierrah exhibited ephemera from her performance series Piece 1, collaborating with participating artists.

Margarita Hernandez (BAAH 2018) has received an MA in Art History Courtauld Institute of Art in London (2019), and currently works in New York as Curatorial Assistant for the Guggenheim Abu Dhabi project, working with Alexandra Munroe and Sasha Walter-Wasserman.

Ye-Bhit Hong (BAAH 2022) is the founder of Artists Need Art Historians (ANAH), and in Fall 2021 released Volume I: Asynchronicity.

Ye-Bhit also organized two interdisciplinary talk series, including the Fall 2020 ATSxANAH series as well as the Spring 2021 ANAHX series, here at SAIC, featuring speakers across Art and Technology Studies, Performance, Curatorial Practice, Visual and Critical Studies, as well as Art History, Theory, & Criticism.

Ye-Bhit also co-organized the 2021 Intercollegiate Art History Symposium with the University of Chicago, featuring dual keynote speakers Darby English and Daniel Quiles.

Last, but not least, Ye-Bhit participated in the Andrew W. Mellon Summer Academy Class of 2021 at the Art Institute of Chicago.

Diana Htwe (BAAH 2020) was offered a paid position in conservation by the German conservator Andrea Teufel at the Narapatisitu Temple, located at the UNESCO World Heritage Site in Bagan, Myanmar.

While based in Chicago, Diana worked as a Research Intern in Southeast Asian and Himalayan Arts at the Art Institute of Chicago. Diana also served as one of the pioneers of ANAH.

Ethan Kennemer (BAAH 2022) recently curated a group exhibition at the project space that he started here in Chicago, Jargon Projects. Titled Quiet, Cold, the show brought together the work of 7 international artists addressing ideas of mediation, distance, and temperatures/temperaments in their work. Ethan also has two other recent shows in Uptown: Check out

Barbie Kim (BFAAHT 2021) attends the MA program in the History of Art and Archaeology at the Institute of Fine Arts, New York University. 

Barbie was also featured in the May 9, 2021 Sunday edition of the Chicago Tribune’s report on SAIC Professor Eileen Favorite’s course, titled “Love the Art, Hate the Artist.”

Solbi Park (BFAAHT 2021), alongside Ye-Bhit Hong and Emilija Worthington, has been an integral part of ANAH. Solbi most recently worked on cover design for the print publication of  ANAH's Pilot and Volume I: Asynchronicity editions.

Taylor Payton (BAAH 2023) serves as owner and director of SULK CHICAGO, an apartment gallery in Printer's Row. Most recently she curated a two-person exhibition, Seasons Creep, featuring new painting by Christina Ballantyne and Ish Lipman. Past exhibitions include two solo painting shows and a 25-person group show featuring many beloved and notorious members of the Chicago arts community. In addition to this curatorial project, Taylor serves as registrar and publications director at M. LeBlanc, an international art gallery in Logan Square. Most notably, she designed Necropolis, a monograph of Cameron Spratley's work and references, and Arnold Kemp's most recent play, In Arms. She will be spending the first part of the summer working with the Chinati Foundation in Marfa, Texas. 

Jess Rogovin (BAAH 2021) has been accepted to the MS Library and Information Science program at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. 

Zhanna Ter-Zakaryan (BAAH 2019) has recently earned her Master’s degree in Socio-Legal Research at the University of Oxford looking at international legal and political discourse around ownership and protections of cultural artefacts, most notably the Benin Bronzes. 

Zhanna is currently an art advisory associate at the Fine Art Group, focusing on Post-War and Contemporary Art.

If anyone in the Undergrad Program is curious about advisory work or about potentially doing a Master’s at Oxford, happy to chat!

Maddy Vincent (BAAH 2020) received the Katzenberger Foundation Art History Internship at the Smithsonian. Maddy is currently pursuing an MA in Museum Studies at the University of Missouri-Saint Louis.

Mikey Wang (BAAH 2020) has been accepted to the MA History of Art and Archaeology of East Asia programme at SOAS, University of London. Mikey also holds an MA in the History of Art from the Courtauld Institute of Art. 

In 2020, Mikey was selected to present "Encountering a Church in a Church: The Shape of St. Thomas Becket Limoges Reliquary at the Art Institute of Chicago" at the Johns Hopkins Richard Macksey National Undergraduate Humanities Research Symposium. Mikey has published "Visible Invisibility: The Shape of the Chicago Châsse," in The Macksey Journal: Vol. 1, Article 57. You can read Mikey's essay, "Encountering a Church in a Church: Shape of Reliquary of St. Thomas Becket," in ANAH's First Edition.

Yuchen Wang (BAAH 2021) will attend the MA in the History of Art and Archaeology program at the Institute of Fine Arts, New York University, turning down a place in the Master of Arts Program in the Humanities at UChicago. 

In 2020, Yuchen was selected to present his research on Andy Warhol at the Johns Hopkins Richard Macksey National Undergraduate Humanities Research Symposium in 2020. Yuchen also presented at the Remote Student Symposium on "Materiality and Art," presented by the Feitler Center for Academic Inquiry and organized by the Smart Museum, University of Chicago.

Tammy Wen (BAAH 2020) will attend the Master of Science in Education program at Northwestern University, turning down acceptances at both Penn and Columbia. 

Previously, Tammy was also accepted to the MPA program at the Robert F. Wagner School of Public Service, New York University as well as the MA in Public Policy & Administration program at Northwestern University. At the time, Tammy deferred graduate school to accept a full-time position working as a Youth Program Coordinator with Project: VISION, a Chicago-based non-profit organization focused on youth development and education. Project: VISION serves middle and high school students from Bridgeport, Chinatown and surrounding communities. Tammy's responsibilities included working closely with the parents of first-generation students while developing programming that will directly impact local communities.  

Emilija J. Worthington (BAAH 2021) now works as an exhibit developer at ¡explora! in Albuquerque, NM. Emilija repairs, prototypes, and fabricates exhibits related to STEAM.

Previously, Emilija worked tirelessly with Ye-Bhit Hong to organize and co-moderate the ATSxANAH and ANAHx talk series. As one of the journal’s editors, Emilijja oversaw submissions for the ANAH Volume I: Asynchronicity, as well as edited papers for the 2021 Intercollegiate Art History Symposium.

In summer 2021 Emilija worked as an installation intern at the Currents New Media Festival.

Peily Yan (BAAH 2024) has been working at the Shenzhen Wangye Museum in China, which specializes in collections of cultural relics, since May 2021 as a Curatorial Assistant while studying remotely at SAIC. Peily assists with exhibition installation, writes curatorial abstracts, and takes care of the institution's overseas correspondence.

Aishan Zhang (BAAH 2020) published her thesis,“The Representation of Art on Google Arts and Culture” in the Macksey Journal of Johns Hopkins University. Aishan's research constitutes one of the first extensive studies offering an analysis of the representation of multi-dimensional and cross-cultural objects on Google Arts and Culture from an art-historical perspective. 

After graduation, Aishan curated See You at 23:00  (Nov. 19,  2020 – Apr. 19, 2021), an exhibit that focuses on a distinct body of ink paintings produced by Chinese artist Wang Guanglin (b. 1986) between 2015 to 2017, which depict mundane spaces through the perspective of surveillance technology. 

Aishan is currently the Director of Media Strategy and Communications of Museum 2050, a leading cultural platform that has initiated conversations for museum professionals between international institutions and local art museums in China. 

Aishan also works as a volunteer for online exhibition and content production projects in the Arts of Asia department at the Art Institute of Chicago. 

Congratulations to our fabulous students on their amazing accomplishments!