Innovative Faculty

Innovators and Mentors 

SAIC’s nearly 770  faculty members are practicing painters, filmmakers, sculptors, animators, web artists, graphic designers, sound artists, fashion designers, architects, performance artists, and photographers as well as art historians, theorists, philosophers, and writers. 

Faculty and visiting artists come here from all over the world, exposing you to a wide range of sensibilities and views. 

They will be your teachers, mentors, peers, and collaborators. You will learn from and work with them. Our small student-to-faculty ratio—12 to 1—ensures you will receive individual attention from leading practitioners. 

Nick Cave, Professor of Fashion

Nick Cave’s Soundsuits are extraordinary, full-body costumes designed to make sound based on movement of the body. They have been featured in Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar

Most recently, Heard•NY—a collaborative performance by Cave, the Ailey School, and choreographer William Gill—transformed New York’s Grand Central Station with 30 colorful life-size horses that broke into dance. 

Treasure Island Book Cover

Sara Levine, Professor of Writing

She has a dead-end job, a passionless relationship, and an incredibly bad attitude. But after reading Robert Louis Stevenson’s Treasure Island, on a whim a young woman decides to turn things around and follow in the footsteps of Jim Hawkins. 

“Levine is a wonderful storyteller with a vibrant voice. Treasure Island!!! is a rollicking tale, shameless, funny and intelligent.” —The New York Times

Michelle Grabner

Michelle Graner, Professor of Painting and Drawing

Michelle Grabner was one of three artists who curated the 2014 Whitney Biennial, the most influential survey of the state of contemporary art in the United States. 

“Grabner operates in a very Chicago way, stretching the limits of what it means to create. It’s hard to pin down exactly what she does because her practice is vast and expansive.” —Alicia Eler, Hyperallergic 

“Michelle Grabner is remarkable. Her exceptional practice as an artist is only complemented by her keen eye for contemporary art, and her writing which always enlarges the art she beckons us to consider…I have no doubt that this Whitney Biennial will be one of the most daring, meaningful, and influential exhibitions with Michelle Grabner at the helm.” —Lisa Wainwright, Dean of Faculty and Vice President of Academic Affairs 

Consuming Spirits

Chris Sullivan, Professor of Film, Video, New Media, and Animation 

Over a decade in the making, Consuming Spirits is the hypnotic first feature by award-winning animator and SAIC faculty member Chris Sullivan. Consuming Spirits debuted at the Film Forum in New York and was screened in Chicago, Los Angeles, and Houston. It was also featured in important film festivals including Tribeca, Vancouver International, Chicago International, Annecy, Zagreb, Future Film Festival Bologna, and Anifilm Czech Republic. 

“Entirely original... an inquiry into the darkest zones of the human heart... Weaves a complicated, intoxicating spell... Consuming Spirits is a work of obsessive artisanal discipline and unfettered artistic vision. You have never seen anything like it...” —A.O. Scott, The New York Times 

“This is the rare animated feature whose subtext is as rich as its sensuality... Consuming Spirits is not only a monstrous visual achievement, but one of the most uniquely humanistic animated features of all time.” —Joseph Jon Lanthier, Slate magazine