Graduate Projects Advisors

Alberto Aguilar

Alberto Aguilar

We’ll start by jumping in. This is a mutual exchange. We will repeat certain actions. What is the framework we will use? The format of our exchange will emerge over time. The results of this exchange will emerge over time. Through questions we ask one another we will gain understanding. Through understanding we will gain more questions. Through new questions we will create new actions. Through our new actions we will arrive to an end.

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Sally Alatalo

I’m eager to participate in discovering and articulating one’s inclinations and intentions, and to share resources for nudging these into possibilities for a sustainable practice. I’m well adapted to advise across disciplines, and have had fruitful intersections with advisees from writing, fiber, the design programs, visual critical studies, performance, printmaking and any writers/artists/designers with an interdisciplinary lust. My own practice is eccentric, but percolates in the hybrid realms of language collage, visual poetry, artists’ books and unruly archives. I have collaborated with and published the work of other artists and writers through an independent imprint and have spent a lot of time in the artists’ books and independent publishing scenes, considering and practicing alternative means of production and dissemination. Current projects originate in the rehabilitation of an orchard, small farm and woodlands in rural SW Michigan as a site to investigate agri/horti/cultur/al practices.

sallyalatalo.com

 

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Candida Alvarez

Candida Alvarez

I listen, question, probe and challenge you at all levels. Medium is not as important, as the thinking that drives the practice. That does not mean, I dismiss the intuitive or a highly accomplished relationship to skills and materials, which at the graduate level is a given. In fact, I believe somewhere between the known and unknown is the art.

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Claire Ashley

Claire Ashley

I am committed to a student-centered conversation in which I listen, guide, challenge, support, and provoke. I encourage curiosity, experimentation, and excavation of ideas in order to develop an understanding of formal and conceptual intent. My work investigates inflatables as painting, sculpture, installation and performance costume. These works have been exhibited nationally and internationally in galleries, museums, site-specific installations, performances, and collaborations.

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Jesse Ball

Jesse Ball

I have worked happily with writers, sculptors, painters, performance artists, theorists, fashion designers, filmmakers, journalists, hobos, queens, cats, dogs, mice, stones, ironing boards. I will ask you many simple questions. When not at SAIC I can be found sleeping under a hay bale in an old painting.

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Aimée Beaubien

Aimée Beaubien

My photographic cut-ups take form in artists’ books, collages, sculptures and installations. I document my entanglements with domestic spaces, institutions, archives and narratives suggested by objects. With my camera, I move through different types of collections reflecting on our attachments to objects and histories. The photographs are rewoven into vibrant configurations, tethered within installations in bright yet fragile assertions of personal and art historical trajectories.

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Jonas Becker

Jonas Becker

My approach to graduate advising focuses on building trust as a foundation for challenging, critical conversations; I acknowledge that entering into one’s creative process is a vulnerable space. I encourage students to use advising time creatively and expand what our time can mean, a prompt that has led to discussing texts and providing professional guidance, in addition to discussing work in progress. As our conversations progress, I encourage grads to be critical of their own work, often reflecting their questions back, asking, “what do you think.” This fosters their ability to develop projects independently and establish their own metrics of success. My primary goal is to guide students to gain clarity around what they want to say with their work and enable them to engage ideas that are both aligned and at odds with their practice.

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Sara Black

Sara Black

Within my practice I use conscious processes of carpentry, wood-working, and craft as a time-based method; diseased or effected wood, inherited building materials or other exhausted objects as material; and create works that exposes the complex ways in which things and people are suspended in worlds together; often generating forms that push beyond human frames of reference. My educational background is interdisciplinary across visual art, ecology and systems theory. Some recent research interests surround theories of new materialism and ecocriticism. In my role as advisor, I will act as a close reader of your work and a source for expanded research as appropriate and responsive to your ideas and methods. 

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Lauren Bon

Lauren Bon is an environmental artist from Los Angeles, CA. Her practice, Metabolic Studio, explores self-sustaining and self-diversifying systems of exchange that feed emergent properties that regenerate the life web. Some of her works include: Not A Cornfield, which transformed and revived an industrial brownfield in downtown Los Angeles into a thirty-two-acre cornfield for one agricultural cycle; 100 Mules Walking the Los Angeles Aqueduct, a 240-mile performative action that aimed to reconnect the city of Los Angeles with the source of its water for the centenary of the opening of the Los Angeles Aqueduct. Her studio’s current work, Bending the River Back into the City, aims to utilize Los Angeles’ first private water right to deliver 106-acre feet of water annually from the LA River to over 50 acres of land in the historic core of downtown LA. This model can be replicated to regenerate the 52-mile LA River, reconnect it to its floodplain and form a citizens’ utility.

 

 

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Phyllis Bramson

Phyllis Bramson

My work co-mingles humor with value infused feelings about the human condition. The central source of my imagery usually comes from experiences and memories that have to do with some sort of ‘traveling’. Narratives used as a repository for feelings, which often collide and intermingle between notions of the personal, the decorative and at the same time, proposes a story but doesn’t tell an ending. 

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Troy Briggs Photo

Troy Briggs

‌Troy works with students and alums to build out a professional practice with the long view in mind. Having extensive experience teaching and curating, and the skill set that comes along with being an interdisciplinary artist, he can provide insight into a variety of fields. He adds an incisive perspective on portfolio submissions, informed by his time participating in juries and search committees. He earned his BFA in Painting and Sculpture from Colorado State University in 2002, moved to Portland, Oregon where he built the bones of his practice, which brought him to receive his MFA (2012) at SAIC where he now teaches interdisciplinary art in the Contemporary Practice Department.

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Stephanie Brooks

Stephanie Brooks

In creating works, I am primarily concerned with creating tensions between systems of authority and subjectivity. From fill-in-the-blank forms, graphs, public signage, poetry, measurement systems, and minimalism, the work inserts subjectivity humor and emotion.

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Rosellen Brown

Rosellen Brown

I write long and short fiction, poetry and essays -- playwriting only as a dabbler -- and relish the opportunity to bring some of my experience both to projects set firmly in their genres and to those that waveringly or willfully cross genre lines. Having begun solely as a poet, I like to think that my attention to beautifully articulated writing has served a wide variety of students. I encourage experiment and honor failure when it's in the service of movement in new directions. I'm also extremely interested in socially engaged writing -- my own writing has been so -- and hope to work with writers similarly committed.

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Alex Chitty

Alex Chitty

A mirror doesn't reset ones hair back into place, it just shows us when it's askew. My best skill is that I look and I listen closely. My aim is to cultivate and maintain avid levels of curiosity and to encourage exploration and expansion for individuals within their own practice. I notice where students let themselves get too comfortable or where they allow doubt to make decisions for them and I counsel collaborative accountability for those habits. I identify strengths and help to harness them. I have a background in Biology and a highly interdisciplinary artistic practice which incorporates ceramics, welding, woodworking, mold making, photography, printmaking, painting, writing, performance and endless looking, thinking, reading, and open dialogue.

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Mary Cross

I have advised with writers and studio artists from many departments who use text as a component in their work. My approach is student-centered and built upon active listening, as well as formulating questions and responses that inspire an ongoing important conversation. I welcome students at any point in their creative process, from intuitive impulses toward generating new work to developing and refining work-in-progress. My goal is to constantly find ways to help each writer/artist discover the work that is uniquely theirs. I am a poet and short prose writer. My current projects are based in image and text (e.g., video essay/poem...).

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Nicolas Collins

Nicolas Collins

Born and raised in New York City, Nicolas Collins lived in Amsterdam and Berlin in the 1990s before joining the Department of Sound at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.  An early adopter of microcomputers for live performance, Collins also makes use of electronic circuitry, conventional acoustic instruments, and hybrid electro-acoustic instruments.  He is editor-in-chief of the Leonardo Music Journal, and his book, Handmade Electronic Music – The Art of Hardware Hacking (Routledge), has influenced emerging electronic music worldwide.  Collins has the dubious distinction of having played at both CBGB and the Concertgebouw.

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Shawn Decker

Shawn Decker

I tend to be a pretty open advisor - my own work is based in code/ sensory observation of the environment / collaboration (which I do a lot in my own practice) and intuitive processes of creation. I have a lot of experience with Public Art, large-scale projects, and multi-disciplinary work. I have an active ongoing international practice - see www.shawndecker.com for various recent projects.

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Janet Desaulniers

Janet Desaulniers

Please sit by me if you believe the white male western tradition ran aground when Hannah Arendt said it did: in the totalitarian genocide of WWII. Also if you have been or are right now confused or confounded or silenced by those still in denial. Once a short story writer now miniaturist I curate constructions of fact, fiction, the lyric, parafiction, image, markmaking, space, absence, pause, along with palpable indications of presences not yet named or categorized. I'm probably most helpful with work innovating new forms in sequences, serialities or constructions in time or space. My critique takes the form of valuing: I listen to raw or refined work and speak its overarching and nuanced values, dynamics, trajectories, gestures, moods, mysteries.

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Dan Devening

Dan Devening

My work seeks form and meaning through structure and assembly. I find that systems of design and order can lead to communicable accessibility. Recently, paper has freed me to address my ideas with an efficient ease suggesting all kinds of new possibilities. With students, I strive to help develop clarity and specificity in their work and the language used to articulate their concerns. Identifying exactly what is there and what is meant is always a common goal.

 

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D. Denenge Duyst-Akpem

D. Denenge Duyst-Akpem

I am a space sculptor whose writing, performance, and teaching bridge disciplines of site-specific, ritual, public art, interior design, and Afro-Futurism. I construct fantastical interactive environments and performances to interrogate, titillate, and decolonize, rooted in Sun Ra's transformational legacy, asking "Who controls the future?", considering themes of incarceration and liberation; surviving and thriving in apocalyptic landscapes; value, repulsion, and beauty in representation. I offer support for you, for process, for shape-shifting across center and margins.

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Daniel Eisenberg

My own work is informed by history, the document, the archive, and research.  For the last 10 years I’ve been involved in the issues of labor and work, producing films and installations that have been presented in international museums, biennials, and film festivals.  I have also curated and published works on these subjects, including the recent international symposium and exhibition, Re:working Labor presented at the Sullivan Galleries at SAIC in fall, 2019.

My approach to advising is focused on the development of realizable goals, and the acquisition of theoretical knowledge, practical skills, and professional contacts. I believe that risk and experimentation within the context of disciplined practice are essential. As someone whose own practice depends on research and outreach to professionals in many fields, I’m able to teach these skills and guide the development of research strategies for individual projects.

I’ve worked with many students who’ve gone on to highly successful careers in the arts, including five awarded Guggenheim Foundation Fellowships, and many who’ve been awarded numerous film festival prizes, including a Palme D’Or at the Cannes Film Festival.

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Amy England

Amy England

My own work deals with dreams, text and image, translations of all kinds, and the edge between poetry and prose. I’m interested in surrealism, the relationship between art and politics, and the relationship between genre and experimentation.

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Tirtza Even

Tirtza Even

A practicing video artist and documentary maker for the past 15 years, I have produced both linear, installation, and interactive video work representing the less-overt manifestations of complex and sometimes extreme social/political dynamics in specific locations.

Tirtza Even premiered her new feature film, Land Mine, at the Museum of Modern Art in NYC during the Doc Fortnight Festival. Her film was selected as one of the Five Films to See at Doc Fortnight. Even recently presented a month-long solo exhibition, Half Truths and Full Lies, at Casa de Rosado in Lansing, Michigan. Even and her collaborator on Half Truths and Full Lies, Meg McLagan, will speak at the University of California Santa Cruz, May 16 - May 19, on the topic of Evidence and Storytelling at a Poetics and Politics symposium entitled "Against Story." She will give a masterclass at UnionDocs, Brooklyn, NY, on May 5. In June, 2019, Even will exhibit, in collaboration with SAIC alum Nadav Assor, an immersive installation work-in-progress version of her new project, Chronicle of a Fall, at Currents New Media, in Santa Fe, NM. Even is the winner of a 2019 Illinois Arts Council Agency Fellowship in Media Arts.

 

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Assaf Evron

Assaf Evron

My work investigates the nature of vision and the ways in which it reflects socially constructed structures where I apply photographic thinking in various two and three-dimensional media. I received an MA from The Cohn Institute for the History and Philosophy of Science and Ideas at Tel Aviv University where I wrote about Leon Batista Alberi essay ‘On Painting’ and linear perspective. My MFA is from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, which gives me an insight to the other side of the graduate studio. I am also engaged in architectural photographic commissions as in the Chicago Architecture Biennial (2015), Aircraft carrier the Israeli Pavilion at the 12th Venice Biennial for architecture (2012). Besides that I was also a photojournalist in a daily newspaper in Israel and a scuba diving instructor in Zanzibar.

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Andrew Falkowski

Andrew Falkowski

My current interest extends into the relationship painting has with mediation. While this obviously includes the digital, my interest also includes the usage of alternative paints and genres like water-borne alkyds, milk paint, acrylic, waterborne resins, acrylic sheeting, D-boards, various sprays, casting, text, installation, and other graphic output. I love a good picture though, so I'm open to what makes the moment useful to painting.

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Stephen Farrell

Stephen Farrell

I am a connectionist discovering meaning in the gaps, a structuralist making meaning through configuration, and a trickster playing with generative methods to make things strange to myself.

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Maura Frana

Maura Frana

I work with students to identify useful frameworks and methods to organize and expand their work. In an advisory role my main objectives are to listen, feed student interests, parse research, and encourage authenticity in process and outcomes. I build critique around points of inquiry—What if?

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Michelle Grabner

Michelle Grabner

Critique and interpretation shape my approach to graduate advising. Through individual meetings, we will address a range of interpretive methods, experimental modes of analysis, and meaning construction. We will explore histories and the cultural ideas fundamental to your work, and examine how they can inform making, meaning, display, and distribution.

 

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black and white portrait of Magalie Guérlin

Magalie Guérin

I’m primarily a painter—or more precisely: currently a painter. A long time ago I was a photographer and ran an exhibition space. I also wrote a book about the grad school experience and its following, harrowing years titled NOTES ON. I’m interested in the psychology of the maker—what drives one to pursue art? The many twists and turns of my professional career have given me valuable insights on how to maintain a life as an artist.

My advising sessions foster engaged and collaborative conversations where we address fear and doubt (sometimes!). My goal is to help students build a generative practice as well as a rigorous work ethic that fits their personality.

 

Guérin is represented by Corbett vs Dempsey in Chicago and Galerie Nicolas Robert in Montreal.

 

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Diana Guerrero-Macia

Diana Guerrero-Maciá

II am a studio-based artist using slow craft practices to make hybrid works of art. I believe art is part of the life of the mind and the body and that craft is a consciousness we engage to make work that matters. Graduate advising is a discourse between two artists. What I will bring to the conversation is an interest in hybridity and a reconsideration of the field & form. Art making is an essential way of thinking and has various frameworks. Content that is driven by color, material, and symbolic language is of specific interest to me. I have worked with many artists who engage with materials critically, playfully, and rigorously and encourage all three. I will ask lots of questions to guide our conversation towards your intentions and help form strong statements of purpose.

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Anne Harris Art

Anne Harris

I paint, usually with oil, and draw with pretty much everything. I also do some curating and writing, and have organized an expanding drawing "conversation" called The Mind's I.

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Marie Herwald Hermann

Marie Herwald Hermann

My work is informed by objects of the everyday and draws meaning from the way we as individuals create relationships with objects present in daily life, the non-spectacular. Ideas of being between the enthusiasm and sincerity of modernism and at the same time the present of irony from postmodernism. A love for materiality and the ordinary with the irony of what happens when you turn a plate 90 degrees from the table to the wall.

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Andres Hernandez

Andres Hernandez

Andres L. Hernandez is a Chicago-based artist, designer and educator who re-imagines the environments we inhabit, and explores the potential of spaces for public dialogue and social action. His current projects include a 2018-2019 visiting artist residency for the University of Arizona School of Art’s VASE Program, and Thrival Geographies (In My Mind I See A Line), a commissioned installation in collaboration with artists Amanda Williams and Shani Crowe for the U.S. Pavilion at the 2018 Venice Architecture Biennale. Hernandez and Williams also recently completed A Way, Away (Listen While I Say), a design-build commission organized by the Pulitzer Arts Foundation and the Sam Fox School of Design; Visual Arts at Washington University in St. Louis.

Hernandez is co-founder of the Revival Arts Collective, founder and director of the Urban Vacancy Research Initiative, and exhibition design team member for the Museum of the Obama Presidential Center in Chicago, IL. He recently served as workshop faculty in the Graduate Studies in Art & Design Education program at Vermont College of Fine Arts, and Visiting Assistant Professor in the Graduate School of Architecture; Urban Design at Washington University in St. Louis. Hernandez received a Bachelor of Architecture degree from Cornell University and a Master of Arts from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, where he is currently Associate Professor of Art Education and Director of the Master of Arts in Art Education program.

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Lin Hixson

Lin Hixson

My advising is student-centered. I feel it is my responsibility to listen, guide, and offer new ways of thinking; to foster a desire to find out what one does not yet know; to challenge and support at the same time; and to help my students create a sustainable, rigorous practice. I have advised students from across many disciplines.

My practice is performance-based and collaborative. In 2008, I formed (with Matthew Goulish) the companyEvery house has a door. We set out to make performances in response to historically or critically neglected subjects that engage in dialogue with social realities. For each performance we assemble a collaborative team of specialists selected specifically for that project.  I have created work with installation artists, musicians, choreographers, film and video makers, sculptors, theorists, and writers.

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rectangular abstract painting titled Earthwalk

Fox Hysen

The development of an art practice happens in step with a critical interest in art historical narratives, institutional critique and what it is to be a “self.” I am curious about the relationship between subject and object, figure and ground, and part to whole.  More than any other medium drawing presents an opportunity for surprise—a feeling or direction in painting ultimately happens through the play of materials.

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Bruce Jenkins

Bruce Jenkins

I am a former moving-image curator (Walker Art Center), archivist (Harvard Film Archive) and critic (Artforum), who now focuses primarily on media art histories. I have worked with a broad range of contemporary artists (including Chantal Akerman, Derek Jarman, Bruce Conner, Paul Kos, Nam June Paik and Joan Jonas) on installations and exhibitions of their work. I bring these same skills to my work with graduate advisees here at SAIC.

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Salvador Jimenez-Flores

Salvador Jiménez-Flores

My art influence is a time machine. I like to look back and forth and fly through borders. Dialogue and contradiction are essential to my work because they describe the complexity of our crossbred society. I am interested in the politics of identity and the state of double consciousness. I work towards addressing issues of colonization, migration, philosophies of “the other,” and futurism by producing a mixture of socially conscious installation, public, and studio-based art. My work spans from drawing, ceramics, prints, collage, mixed media sculpture, and art in the public. My latest research is about exploring and developing a Rascuache-Futuristic aesthetic in my artwork, where I could articulate pre-Columbian, colonial, and post-colonial histories. I like to imagine and create a future where the protagonist looks like me, understands me, and others can relate as well. I speak Español, Spanglish, English and Ingleñol.

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image of faculty member Edward Kac smiling

Edward Kac

My advising is centered on you, your practice, your vision. I listen, we discuss and I offer you my feedback naturally, based on our exchanges. My career spans more than forty years in the broad and rich area of Art & Technology. This means that in my work a wide array of practices are brought together, including writing, performance, sound, photography, video, animation, holography, robotics, networking, olfaction and bio art. My most recent work was created in outer space, in orbit around the Earth, with the cooperation of an astronaut. You can learn more about my work as a whole here: http://www.ekac.org. Since 1997, when I started to teach full time at SAIC, it has been my pleasure to advise students from virtually every department. Beyond my own practice and experience, I’m interested in learning where you are coming from and helping you take the next step.

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Kelly Kaczynski

Kelly Kaczynski

I am rooted in sculpture, its terms and conditions. As an artist and mentor, I work with and respond to forms across disciplines but especially in relation to material and spatial practices. My strengths lie in identifying, problematizing and contextualizing particular subjects and methodologies, suggesting an array of actual and propositional possibilities of ‘doing’. My interests are in language and form; sensations and affect; the built image; pace as legibility; failure and the periphery; material relations; spatial behaviors and operations as subjective, cultural and social practices; the position and politics of the body and the non-body; presence and performer; the amalgamated state of physicality whereas the virtual is now practiced within the domain previously occupied by the actual, and vice versa.

 

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Terri Kapsalis

I think of grad projects as a collaborative and generative exchange that can take a variety of forms, not exclusively based on the model of critique and evaluation.  Over the last decade, I have predominantly advised with students in Writing, Visual and Critical Studies, Performance, and Film Video New Media, but am open to working with people in all departments.  My own work takes various forms: creative critical prose, fiction, sound, performance, lecture, curation, and combinations of these.  Recent research interests including activist and innovator Jane Addams, visionary musician and philosopher Sun Ra, the history of sexual health care in Chicago, the Greek economic downturn, and the concept of slowness. 

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Arnold J. Kemp

Arnold J. Kemp

Janice Joplin said, "Why burn the candle at both ends when you can blowtorch through the middle?" Through individual meetings my goal is to cut through the gaseous inner dialogues that hinder the evolution of studio practice. We will address relevant cultural and social research, historic and contemporary models, experimentation, meaning and deep looking.

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image of faculty member Ginger Krebs smiling

Ginger Krebs

In Grad Projects I like to pay close attention so that I can see in detail the uniqueness of the artist’s vision. I reflect this back to them in different ways, and provide perspectives, strategies, and resources for further research as their practice shifts and unfolds.

My own performance work addresses the illusionistic space of fantasy as it infiltrates actual, three-dimensional space. Recently my fascination with surveillance and visual technologies has inspired increasingly systematic, precise choreography that implies the flattened space of the screen. I want my performances to create a perceptually unstable space, where a viewer must question every proposition. Morphing from 3D to 2D, familiar to surreal, or chillingly violent to fantastically campy gives my work a dry humor, which leaves viewers wondering whether it’s okay to be laughing.

My recent sculptures resemble futuristic tissues and Anthropocene geodes. They imagine how waste might attain the kind of structural integrity that humans have so far sourced mostly from the natural world. They question the presumption that interiority aligns with truth – that what's inside can serve as evidence for what is “actual.”

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BJ Krivanek

BJ Krivanek

I generally define myself as a public designer, implementing commissioned public site constructions and site activations in Los Angeles, Phoenix, Chicago and elsewhere.

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Alan Labb

Alan Labb

While earlier work focuses on the dynamics between autobiography, body image, and gender, my current body of work explores historical contextualization through site-specific projects and installations.

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Jim Lutes

Jim Lutes

I paint in several different mediums leading to different outcomes. Most evolve from abstraction to something else, incorporating drawings or photographs, while others remain in a state of becoming. I make most of the materials I use and fabricate my own panels. As for advising, I try to understand a student's work, motivation and goals before offering advice or critique and have worked with students in many different disciplines. I received my MFA from SAIC and know the struggles that are unique to our program very well.

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Lou Mallozzi

Lou Mallozzi

My work takes an interdisciplinary conceptually-based approach to language, site, body, gesture, representation, and agency. I have extensive experience with sound, but also work work with drawing, interventions, performance, and installation. My work and teaching are increasingly informed by difference as a field of intertwining concepts, histories, contradictions, intuitions, and desires.

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Ruth Margraff

Ruth Margraff

I listen very deeply to my students' raw intuition from any genre or field, their voice, their eyes, the way they sit and breathe. Their music is how far they reach, what they fear, where they want to go.  I have trained myself to enter the architectural aesthetic of each new content or framing. I read closely from inside each world as a proscenium beyond my own point of view. An artist has to know how to use weapons of dissonance and tools of collaboration. Making art is ransacking folly, centrifugal labor, and strange fruit. Students Ruth has taught at Brown, Yale, UTAustin, SAIC and UIowa include Pulitzer Prize winning playwrights/ runners up Quiara Hudes, Stephen Karam, Rolin Jones and Jordan Harrison; MacArthur playwrights Tarrell Alvin McCraney, Samuel D. Hunter and leading writer/professors Ramon Rivera-Servera (Northwestern), Sylvan Oswald (Suny), Christine Evans (Georgetown), Jacqueline Lawton (UNC Chapel Hill), Deborah Stein (Yale), Seth Bockley (Goodman), John Rich (MCA), Tsehaye Geralyn M. Hebert (Alliance Kendeda playwriting national winner), Kristiana Colon (Teatra Luna), Aja Monet etc.

 

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James McManus

James McManus

I write short stories, novels, poems, essays, scripts, memoir, journalism, and history, and I enjoy working with students interested in any of these genres, especially those who want to set the bar high and find a wide audience. My goal is to help them write publishable and/or producible work. This can be achieved in a variety of ways but usually involves a lot of revision to make sentences more clear and precise. I’ve published eleven books, and my work has appeared in Harper’s, The New Yorker, New York Times, This American Life, Poetry, The Believer, Atlantic Monthly, Paris Review, Harvard Magazine, Best American Poetry, New Directions in Prose and Poetry, Irish American Poetry From the 18thCentury to the Present, Best American Sports Writing, Best Erotic Writing in Modern Fiction, and other anthologies. As a teacher, I’ve worked with Sandra Cisneros, David Sedaris, Daniel Borzutsky, Anchee Min, Sara Hess, Jeffery Renard Allen, Beth Kohl, Baird Harper, Adam Novy, Zach Dodson, Samantha Peale, Kyle Beachy, Eric Lebofsky, Gabe Bump, Sofya Karash, Rebecca Keller, Patty Cottrell, and many other young writers.

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Kristin McWharter

Kristin McWharter

I approach advising as a time of collaboration and invited honesty. I foster different approaches for different stages of creative process. I see it as a space to set deadlines, invite feedback and opinions, or dive into research all depending upon what is useful to you now in your practice. My work is multi- disciplinary and focuses in virtual reality, performance, and sculpture. I work with emerging technologies to interrogates the relationship between competition and intimacy. Integrating innovative and novel devices within immersive sculptural installations and viewer- inclusive performances, I am interested in imagining new and alternative forms of social behaviors. I am inspired by 20th century social/ psychology research concerning “the self”, collective decision making, and technology as a contemporary spiritual authority. 

 

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Piotr Michura

Piotr Michura

My research interests and work are in areas of information and interaction design, typography / text visualization design within digital humanities context, and systems-oriented design. I currently explore intersection of systems thinking and design and through this lens I examine possibilities of reframing fundamental design concepts utilizing diagrams, visualizations, and physical prototypes.

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Ayanah Moor

Ayanah Moor

My practice includes performance, drawing, painting, printmedia, and installation. I am interested in layered histories and utilize sampling and appropriation as subversive strategies. For me, graduate advising is a space of support best articulated through critical questions and the exchange of ideas. I welcome discussions about art across a range of media and disciplines. I asked former and current Graduate Project students how they’d describe my approach to advising. Here’s what they said:                                                  

“...[Y]our approach as an advisor is based in inquiry and dialogue that slowly ekes out the heart of the work and the idea at hand. You ask rather than state, absorb and observe carefully rather than opine...” –Rudy                                                                                                                      

“I would say that your approach challenges me conceptually but is also encouraging of my point of view; as an advisor you are open to ideas but also emphasize the criticality of the ideas which inform the work.” –Chris “You opened questions that helped me to be more critical about the things that I was doing in my studio... When I was having a hard time with the work, you suggested things that gave me the freedom to listen and be open to the place and people that I was working with...” –Nur

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Nyeema Morgan

Nyeema Morgan

My art practice is inspired by philosophical conflicts presented in our everyday encounters with images, objects and information. The works I make are an exploration of personal and cultural economies of knowledge through a reference to objects and things like internet message boards, recipes, literature and etc. I draw attention to how these artifacts are used in order to articulate meaning— specifically as it relates to our American cultural ethos and the subjects of representation, identity and ideology.

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Matt Morris

Matthew Morris

I am an artist, writer, and curator. My artistic practice is interdisciplinary and research driven, involving painting, perfume, installation, photography, as well as more immaterial, conceptual works. I am a contributor to Artforum.com, THE SEEN, X–TRA Contemporary Art Quarterly, Art Papers, Flash Art, ARTnews, Fragrantica,and a range of other publications. In my work with graduate students, I listen a lot and formulate probing questions. I assist artists in refining an honest relationship to their own desires, and place an emphasis on the stakes and responsibilities that they bring to their making. I supplement regularly scheduled conversations with reading suggestions and other research materials. Methods drawn from psychoanalysis, feminism, philosophy, materialist inquiries into the means of production, and promiscuous sampling from popular culture inform my advising. I teach across several departments, and through years of curating and writing, I’ve developed an open engagement with all sorts of practices and would be glad to work with makers and thinkers of all kinds. 

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image of faculty member judd morrissey kneeling in costume holding up a megaphone and a paddle

Judd Morrissey

I create poetic systems across a range of mediums and platforms including electronic writing, creative coding, live performance, and augmented reality. The forms that I discover are influenced by literature, computation, queer theories and histories, and body-based contexts and practices. As a mentor, I bring my orientation and skill as a reader to uncover patterns, possibilities, and research directions within another's work through an open and intuitive ongoing exchange. I have both a respect for tradition and an instinct for radical transformation, embracing vulnerability, uncertainty and risk to facilitate the always-unfolding uniqueness of an individual body of work.

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Erica Mott

Erica Mott

I am a multi-media installation artist, cultural organizer and deviser of body-based and technology performance. I start new work with a central inquiry question and, through a collaborative process, I write and erase layers of information allowing densely woven and immersive experiences to emerge. In my artwork and instruction I am curious about interdependences over interdisciplinarity, weaving together experiences where mediums and ideas exist within and because of their relationship to each other. I work with students to identify streams of thought and clarify strategies and desires around their art making practice and subsequent artworks.

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Allie n Steve Mullen

Allie 'n Steve Mullen

As corny as it may sound, I am in awe of the power of imagination. I am constantly surprised by the way our creative work activates ways of thinking and being that we sometimes don’t understand for years. As a film composer, songwriter and performer, I have over 25 years of experience working in a highly competitive commercial field that is focused on quickly ascertaining the creative goals of my clients and identifying the semiotic language they prefer.  This has fine tuned my ability to climb inside the creative mind of my advisees. My goal is to site the primary direction your work is headed, allow room for change both incremental and fundamental, and to push you in directions that will inform the work you are already doing as well as open up new doors. I believe that we have a responsibility to ourselves and to our communities to develop and maintain the rigor of a disciplined practice that continually pushes against the constraints of that discipline, to continually be reframing and redefining our lives and our work, and will demand that of you.  This requires hard work and thoughtful conversation. Above all, however, I am happiest when we find ourselves somewhere we have never been before.

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William John O'Brien

William John O'Brien

The foundation of my practice starts in drawing and extends into other forms of material investigation including sculpture and installation. The work I make seeks to critique and bring conversation that exists in material hierarchy, queer identity and ritual. I structure my advising sessions in a manor to allow the student to develop, grow and refine their practice.

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Beau O'Reilly

Beau O'Reilly

My name is BEAU O'Reilly.

I have been advising in the Writing Program for 19 years.

In my own practice, I have written and produced over a hundred plays and monologues for the stage. I also have written songs for over thirty years and have written extensively for radio.

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Elise Paschen

Elise Paschen

I encourage my students to produce new writing for our graduate projects during the course of the semester, and I hope to instill in them a passion for other writers, both historic and contemporary. I write poetry books and edit poetry anthologies (and even served as the Executive Director of the Poetry Society of America for thirteen years), and, although I relish meeting with poets, I also enjoy working with students from a variety of disciplines.  I attempt to bring out the best in your work through close readings and by encouraging revision. I particularly appreciate working on students’ longer projects – such as theses and books in progress.

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Mary Patten

Mary Patten

A productively symbiotic relationship connects my interdisciplinary practice—video, installation, drawing, digital media, photography, and performance—to my teaching. Writing is a crucial thread that runs behind and between, connecting research and studio work. My expanded models of "critique" include listening and asking questions; notation of what is seen, heard, and felt; associative thinking—references, continuities, congruencies; and "close reading" through a semiotic/cultural studies lens. I advise graduates in my "home" department of Film, Video, New Media, and Animation, as well as Performance, Photography, Printmedia, Fiber and Material Studies, Sculpture, Writing, Art and Technology, and Visual and Critical Studies. One of the biggest things I offer to my students is a willingness to risk "not knowing." I model a process of questioning, thinking out loud, "feeling your way" as Sara Ahmed would say–a kind of incoherence that turns the privatized imaginary inside out. My public practice, from billboards and murals to large-scale interdisciplinary projects, and ongoing collaborations with Chicago Torture Justice Memorials and Feel Tank Chicago, are important resources for students wanting to provoke or engage the "social."

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Kamau Amu Patton

Kamau Amu Patton

Kamau Patton is an interdisciplinary artist and art educator. His work is an examination of culture through engagement with archives, documents, stories and sites. Patton's projects are dialogic and take form as expanded field conversations. His projects aim to question how the nature of memory has changed in relation to the encroachment of cyberspace, telematics, and transmission technologies. Exploration of human ecology, built environments, speculative architectures, soundscapes and aural architectures are central to his process.

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image of faculty member Claire Pentecost hands raised in a gesture of articulation.

Claire Pentecost

My favorite way to experience art is in the studio with the artist, so I feel very fortunate to have advised students in all manner of media. I am continually intrigued by the exotic mystery of people’s desire to create something meaningful. I’m still trying to find out what drives that impulse in myself. What is driving you? It is such a privilege to be invited into the midst of an artist’s process, and so I will treat you with respect and genuine curiosity. I will encourage you to excogitate with me in the art of intensive conversation, and I will bring 35 years of practice to bear on our questions. My aim is to be an intelligent listener and observer, to detect what may not be most readily apparent in your efforts, and to nurture the potential trajectories of your unique journey to manifest what you care about.

I don’t believe the artist has to understand what they are doing before they start. The meaning emerges with the doing. That said, I am a strong advocate of all kinds of research to feed the artist’s imagination. I have used my own artistic practice to explore different conceptions of the natural world. I have engaged painting, photography, drawing, sculptural installation, performance and behind all of it is a commitment to writing as a generative tool.

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Robert E. Petrick

Robert E. Petrick

My professional practice revolves around print-based media and visual identity systems, leaning heavily on language in my process and problem-solving. In working with students, I strive to listen with an ear toward individuality and opportunity, helping to clear a path for intelligent creative energy.

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Single Cube Formation, No. 4, Nazareth, Ethiopia, Archival colour pigment print, 30 x 36”, 2011

Dawit Petros

My research is rooted in studies of history, global modernisms, theories of diaspora, and postcolonial theory. I install photographs, moving images, sculptural objects, and sound according to performative, painterly, or site responsive logics. My approach to advising privileges careful looking and understanding anchored in 'listening' to the student through the work produced. I encourage students to cultivate knowledge of their current cultural, social, and political circumstances and the historical context which can provide a meaningful perspective on these.

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Frank Piatek

Frank Piatek

Being an artist is at the core of my teaching on both the graduate and undergraduate levels .My base is in the field of Painting and Drawing .My taste is broad. In the years of my teaching I have watched and participated in many differing Paradigms as they have crossed the cultural horizon . I have paid attention. I have traveled, both physically and intellectually .In several of my undergraduate classes I lecture in a studio/ lecture format .All of this is a skill base that I bring to the grad advising relationship .

Frank Piatek

Peter Power

Peter Power

I encourage Graduate students to question where they locate themselves artistically, historically, emotionally, materially and what their work, through discovery, contributes to their world and shares with the larger community. I ask Graduate students to ask themselves, what is the correct approach and area of activity for them to engage? In my own studio I’m a maker of images and structures which are sometime juxtaposed (Printed, Photographed, Built and Assembled),… just trying to make a little sense of our time and place on this funny planet.

 

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Dan Price

Dan Price

I am chair of the sculpture department and have been teaching at SAIC for 10 years. I trained as a blacksmith and metal fabrication specialist before going to graduate school. I have competency in a wide range of materials and processes including metalwork, woodwork, moldmaking sewing and so on. I go to the studio with curiosity and an appetite for material experimentation. My own research and interests converge in the study of material histories and agency. I approach graduate projects within a firm schedule of one full hour every two weeks for the entire semester. I typically visit graduate students in their studios, but on occasion I invite advisees to see a show with me at a local museum or gallery. My style of interlocution involves formal and conceptual analysis of works in progress and finished works with accompanying text, theoretical and artist references.

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Karen Reimer

Karen Reimer

As an advisor, I try to help students define and refine their interests and ideas and figure out how best to focus their practice on that. I value the opportunity advising gives to do extended, detailed, collaborative thinking with a student about their work.  I enjoy interdisciplinarity and I’m happy to work with students from any department. I have had productive advisor/advisee partnerships with graduate students in Fiber and Material Studies, Sculpture, Ceramics, Photography, Printmedia, Performance, and Architecture.    My own work is in sculpture, language, and site-specific installation. In most instances, it combines the traditions of minimalism and conceptual art and the traditions of decorative craft. I use handwork in the context of systems-based, serial, and chance operations. I wonder if and how slowness, manual work, and craftsmanship have value and/or meaning in art and in the Western capitalist world in general.  I’m interested in the tensions and interdependency between the object and the means of production, between experience and representation, between the map and the walk.

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Jacob Ristau

Jacob Ristau

Jacob Ristau is a tinkerer and maker in all modes of life, but most particularly in design. Through personal projects, writing, and educating, he explores design as a form of embodied vitality grounded in curiosity, empathy, and play.  Jacob’s self-initiated projects typically utilize bodily engagements to trigger re-evaluations of held assumptions and common sense views about the nature of reality. Leveraging play to create a positive political space for disruptive/creative discourse, his works are lighthearted and approachable. Through his writing, he seeks to invigorate disciplinary discourse in design by defining it in vital terms and extending the role of designer beyond the domain of the strictly human. Jacob’s design work has been recognized nationally and appeared in design publications Communication Arts.

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Ellen Rothenberg

Ellen Rothenberg

Graduate Projects advising is an in-depth conversation and exchange framed by the interests and direction of individual students, their work and concerns.  As an interdisciplinary artist, I have taught in multiple departments at SAIC and advised with students from Fiber and Material Studies, Writing, Film Video and New Media, Performance, Sculpture, Print, Photography, Visual and Critical l Studies. Recent projects and research have focused on the global immigration crisis and the future of work in a world driven by accumulation, expansion, and acceleration. My own work takes various forms - installations, collaborative public projects, publication, performative lectures. Many of these projects share a commitment to social justice, feminism, labor, and invisible activist histories.  

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Oliver Sann

Oliver Sann

My research is as much informed by cultural studies—with its emphasis on locality and specificity—as it is by the aim to give expression to global issues of contemporary relevance, especially socio-economical urgencies (such as financial markets and global trading), and to the history of related systems that gradually void individual actors, instituting a post-social condition. My work utilizes a variety of forms of visualization including photography, video, installation, games, performances, internet-based work, and books. On the threshold dividing document from created reality, on the border between factual occurrence and fictional bringing-into-being, my interest is to scrutinize the inherent idiosyncrasies of media and society. If art promises to act as an inchoate offense within culture, can artistic work negotiate speculation as mode of cognition?

 

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Roberto Sifuentes

Roberto Sifuentes

Graduate advising is probably my favorite mode of teaching at SAIC. The opportunity to meet and work with students across disciplines and examining their practice through the lens of politics, philosophy, varied aesthetics and performance is very exciting.

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faculty jonathan solomon standing arms crossed in front of a window

Jonathan Solomon

I am trained as an architect and in the history, government, and economy of cities, but my practice is broad and includes work in a wide range of topics and with a wide range of collaborators. My professional experience includes adaptive reuse design, preservation, and planning. I have two decades experience as an art and design editor and curator with particular interest in the dynamics of post capitalism in economics, closed systems in ecology, and planetary kinship in anthropology. In my current work as editor of the journal Forty-Five and director of Space p11, an independent gallery in the Chicago Pedway, I have worked with artists, designers, and others from all over the world, including SAIC faculty, students, and alumni, to share their work with new audiences and to engage it in new contexts. I encourage students to ground practice in research, representation, and participation; and I will work with you to refine your ideas; develop your voice; and engage your audience.

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Chris Sullivan

Chris Sullivan

I am a filmmaker and performance artist, working in Long form alternative narrative, my features include Consuming Spirits and, The Orbit of Minor Satellites, I advise with an open mind to students direction and desires, our goal being to help you make strong work, that has unique vision. I work well with writing, visuals, and sound design, I focus on the reception of your work to your viewer, audience, or reader.

 

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Christine Tarkowski

Christine Tarkowski

I work with students across the studio disciplines and value engaging in the student’s process of material making paired with conceptual thinking. As an artist I work in a variety of mediums and outcomes including sculpture, architecture, printed matter, and textiles, with my works ranging in scale from the ordinary to the monumental.

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Jan Tichy

Jan Tichy

Jan Tichy is a contemporary artist and educator. Working at the intersection of video, sculpture, architecture, and photography, his conceptual work is socially and politically engaged. Born in Prague in 1974, Tichy studied art in Israel before earning his MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, where he is now Assistant Professor at the Department of Photography. Tichy has had solo exhibitions at the MCA Chicago; Tel Aviv Museum of Art; Richard Gray Gallery, Chicago; CCA Tel Aviv; Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art; Museum of Contemporary Photography, Chicago; No Longer Empty, NY and Chicago Cultural Center among others.

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Lan Tuazon

Lan Tuazon

My work on architecture, artifacts and anthropogenic materials is a trilogy on the order of things.  I examine spaces of order and decode them as descriptive systems through sculpture and prints. I work with students to analyze and witness their own historical present and push them to follow their ideas with a level of intent and intensity.  Students structure grad advising sessions according to their needs with readings, critiques and writing workshops.

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jina valentine

Jina Valentine

I emphasize the value of artistic research, and in particular the ways in which research practices symbiotically nourish studio practices. I help advisees to acknowledge the underlying conceptual threads spanning their work, while challenging habits and tendencies. I encourage the development of self-criticality and cultivating self-discipline in relation to ongoing practices--developing sustainable work habits that are inclusive of research, production, administration, social and civic obligations, and self care.

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Lisa Vinebaum

Lisa Vinebaum

My practice incorporates performance, textiles, lens-­based work, collaborative and participatory projects, and critical theoretical writing. My practice is concerned with labor issues and workers' rights; contemporary modes of identity formation with an emphasis on Jewish, feminist, and marginalized identities; and artistic production and working conditions for artists. I am especially interested in fiber, performance, social and collaborative practices, and the value of labor in art, as well as in how meaning may be expressed through materials, words, gestures, and actions.

 

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Lisa Wainwright

Lisa Wainwright

Lisa Wainwright is a professor in the Department of Art History, Theory and Criticism, she served as the Dean of Faculty and Vice President of Academic Affairs at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. As a professor in the Department of Art History, Theory, and Criticism, Lisa has authored numerous articles in books and international professional journals, as well as developed an extensive list of exhibition catalogues. She has lectured on topics from Rauschenberg and 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, and has curated multiple exhibitions.

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Photo of writer and critic Lori Waxman sitting at a desk. She has a laptop and is typing.

Lori Waxman

I'm an art critic and an art historian, with a focus on walking art. I sometimes also perform art criticism in public, writing art reviews for anyone who asks. But what I really like to do is read fiction and bicycle ride—through traffic, in rainstorms, for miles and miles, to get anywhere and sometimes nowhere. I also have two children.

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black and white headshot of Melissa Weiss

Melissa Weiss

According to the Oxford English Dictionary, to attend means to listen, to look after, to be present. Tellinging, the origin of the word derives from the latin verb tendĕre: to stretch. As your advisor, I'll encourage you to stretch towards new ways of moving and thinking through your practice, attending to the central questions, themes, and topics that drive your work.

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Frances Whitehead

Frances Whitehead

It's a great time to be an artist! Artists everywhere are exploring new ways to engage the world, expanding art practices and linking to other communities of practice. My approach to Grad Advising and my creative practice reflects this expansive view of art, and encourages the development of radical approaches and speculative new forms. With a broad art and design background, I focus on empowering Advisees from across the School, to identify, develop, and actualize the deep possibilities of their ideas.

 

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image of faculty member Takahiro Yamamoto standing arms at his sides

Takahiro Yamamoto

My artistic and advising sensibility straddles the line between performing arts, fine arts and critical theory as I am deeply invested in deconstructing the materiality, ephemeral quality, and corporeality of performance in visual art world.

Through my student-centered advising session, I intend to invest in the students’ ideas and feelings, their sense of time and space, and their passion and ambition in order to identify what drives their individually unique artistic investigation.

Often centered around live performance, my artistic practice is diverse. It has taken shape in group or solo performance, installation, photography, drawing, video, sculpture, and writing. Working across different media and contexts opens up new possibilities and provides me agency in how I want to construct my process as well as what kind of viewership I want to invite.

Andrew Yang

Andrew Yang

My practice spans installation art to ecological dynamics, history of science to collage.  Current projects and interests include systems aesthetics, archives & the Anthropocene," visual analogy, animal subjectivity, and the nature/culture relationship broadly.  I have advised across Sculpture, Fiber & Material Studies, Art & Technology Studies, and Visual & Critical Studies and welcome conversation with anyone, especially those concerned with transdisciplinary and hybrid forms in their work.

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Amy Yoes

Amy Yoes

I work in a multi-faceted way, alternately employing installation, photography, video, painting, and sculpture. An interest in decorative language and architectural space permeates all of my work. I respond to formal topologies of ornament and style that have reverberated through time, informing our mutually constructed visual and cultural memory. Recent interests include the beauty and history of navigational instruments and the use of natural phenomena in art. I teach each Fall for the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and have taught for many departments: Sculpture, Photography, Fiber and Material Studies, and Graduate Advising, as well as Contemporary Practices. Since 2014 I have co-taught a winter study trip for SAIC in Siena, Italy, focusing on the relationships between geology, local materials, and the history of cultural production of the city.

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photo of Jade wearing a black fedora and holding a fluffy white cat with a gray face and paws that is also wearing a black rimmed hat

Jade Yumang

Let’s meet in the middle to discuss how you chase your curiosity and then take me to the edges of your research and practice. As an advisor, I am here as a sounding board and listen to your needs. We then tailor the semester on what is needed at the moment and also lead you to a sustainable way of being an artist.

 

In my work, I examine how queer optics permeate into culture, how that is absorbed, embodied, repeated, and eventually materialized into deviating forms through a variety of techniques to convey notions of phenomenology, affect, and “queer” as a process. This strategy is usually executed through three-dimensional, site-specific installation, and performative work as a way to see how the body resists or submits through materiality and technique vis-à-vis obsessive acts, strict parameters, and forms of discipline. Typically, these ideas are tackled through a large series to tease out its formal qualities with the context that repetition creates differences and asserts a constant change. I filter this work primarily using fiber techniques as a direct physical touch to concept, ways of worldmaking, and acknowledge its complex history through a queer misalignment in order to collapse boundaries

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