First-Year Graduates

Image of a ceramic mug

Eddie Forman

I have been comparing my making process to that of music making.  Sometimes you make quiet music, improvise, or play loud rock.  Currently, I am exploring functional ware while simultaneously making non-functional sculpture.  This practice allows artistic freedom and the integrity to be able to change gears in order to play loudly or softly for each body of work.

An artist’s piece depicting multiple faces covered by plastic, over a rough bust

Makayla Lindsay

Makayla Lindsay (she/her) is an interdisciplinary artist living in Chicago. Her work deals with themes of emotional aggression, disembodiment, and dislocation. Subsequently, at times her work is the opposite, it is a search for peace, of consciousness, and the act of letting go. Makayla received her Bachelor of Fine Arts from the University of South Florida in 2021 and is currently earning her Masters of Fine Arts at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.  

Three green abstract ceramic pieces resembling a chair and ottoman. There is a blanket with faces drawn on it behind it.

Rachel Heibel

Rachel Heibel (she/her) is a ceramic artist based in Chicago working towards her MFA in ceramics from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Before moving to Chicago she began her practice at The University of Michigan where she investigated the intersection between sculpture and function, while incorporating aspects from her sustainability studies. She utilizes traditional processes of hand-building with clay to create objects that bring natural forms into indoor spaces. Her work is a representation of her making sense of the world around her through making. 

A colorful, abstracted closeup of a ceramic piece

Tyler Capri Wynne

I consider myself a multimedia artist but ceramics is one of the primary mediums that I‘ve been working with consistently from 2019 to now. The subject of my pieces is animals and flowers as representations of intense emotion and an exploration in abstraction. I’ve always been inspired by fantasy, mythology, folklore and horror in terms of how animals are portrayed and represented. I've always been interested in how animals are used to represent different types of ideals and morality important to the culture that resides near them despite animals not having those concepts in nature. I use that concept in my work with the animals becoming avatars to what emotions I want to convey in a form that is both foreign and unfamiliar. In terms of process, I do make hand built pieces but most of my pieces have a thrown component that has hand built elements made around it to create a full piece. I mostly glaze using low fire glazes. I use a spray booth for application and sometimes use stains, underglazes or slips as an underpainting for the piece if I don’t want the clay body to show. I want my work to capture people’s attention with the color schemes I choose and the liberties I take with the forms. I want my work to feel alive and compel people to take a closer look at the detail of the surface treatment. I want to bring the internal to the external, to bring beauty to the grotesque and to connect with the audience in a way that cannot be conveyed with words.

Second Year Graduates

A green and tan closeup of a ceramics piece resembling rock formations mixed with manmade structures.

Michael Casey Landini

Caves, Moss, Lichen, Forests, Rays of Sunshine, Rocks, Stone, Rivers, Mirrors, Grottos, Language, Symbols, Pools, Swamps, Lakes, Mud, Rope, Fire, Twigs, Vines, Lost and Forgotten Art, Rotations and Tangents, Mythos, Religion, Cults, Ritual, Bricks, Facade, Tiles, Bathrooms, Windows, Bridges, Water.

Closeup of a painting of flowers

Cherry Tung

A Hong Kong artist mastering painting and drawings, currently exploring porcelain sculptures, egg tempera painting, and comics.

A bunch of rectangular sculptures, grouped together like barnacles

Xingrui Xu

I often use clay and painting to explore the blurred boundaries between cultures, and I have a passion for portraying the bonds between seemingly disparate materials and cultures. My current artistic practice tends to employ traditional, iconic symbols for interventions, more akin to an act known as "blurring". My work is somewhat ironic as well as poetic, just like typical Oriental pieces of art. Whether my work incorporates natural or unnatural forms, I always insist on the asymmetry of objects and the necessary reflection of self-awareness.

A person in an orange beanie and black outfit sitting in front of a colorful piece hanging on the wall

Mack Baker

Mack Baker (they/them) is an interdisciplinary artist in the Ceramics MFA program at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, set to graduate in 2023. Originally from New England, Baker has a background in craft studio pottery. In the later part of their undergraduate career they developed an installation based practice which spanned across drawing, ceramics, and projections. Their ceramic work varies between sculpture and utility, all maintaining a vibrant use of color. Currently, their work is about the queer experience, in all of its vibrancy and communal care. Moving between clay, drawing, and photography, Baker wants their work to be a guide for how we love and care for each other—if things got a little gayer. Ultimately, their work is about the practice of care as a relational aesthetic. They love chile relleno and breaking the rules.

Disclaimer: All work represents the views of the INDIVIDUAL ARTISTS & AUTHORS who created them, and are not those of the school or museum of the Art Institute.