SCHOOL OF THE ART INSTITUTE OF CHICAGO


COMMENCEMENT 2020

WATCH THE VIRTUAL
CEREMONY BEGINNING

MAY 16, 2020

8:00 P.M. CT

WELCOME


Elissa Tenney

Welcome to the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC) 2020 Commencement website.

The current global health crisis demands that we stay physically apart; nevertheless, we still come together in this digital space to celebrate the class of 2020. This year, as in every year, Commencement is a rite of passage of great significance to our graduating students and, moreover, to everyone in the SAIC community, from faculty to alums, and everyone who believes in, supports, and honors the achievements of our graduates. I hope the resources you find on this website, which contain many of the traditional elements of Commencement (as well as a few surprises unique to this format), will help our graduates feel the genuine sense of occasion we bring to this ceremonial beginning.

I say “beginning,” because even though “commencement” comes at the end of a course of study, today is really the start of something. It could not be better timed. The contributions our graduates will make as citizen artists are needed, now more than ever.

Being a citizen artist is not about possessing a particular nationality. Being a citizen artist is about being aware of our interconnectedness as people and our shared responsibility to do good. Upon graduation, our newest graduates bring their skills, talents, perception, and compassion to bear upon the world. As citizen artists, the contributions our graduates make will be inspiring, provocative, and life-affirming.

As those graduating from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago on May 16, 2020, join the more than 20,000 other alums who are already a part of SAIC’s global artist citizenry, let all who visit this website make our time here consequential. As you review the resources you’ll find here, be sure to listen to each graduate’s name read aloud during the presentation of candidates. As you do, remember we recognize their achievement with our digital presence. We applaud them. We celebrate their beginning.

Elissa Tenny
President

CEREMONY


Captioning will be available. Persons with disabilities requesting accommodations should visit saic.edu/access.

HONORARY DOCTORATES


Mel Chin

MEL CHIN
Commencement Speaker

Mel Chin conveys complex ideas and themes through a mutative strategy, working alone or employing multiple disciplines and people, compelled by researched concepts. From such critical means, actions, films, and objects are realized. His Revival Field (1991) was at the forefront of “green remediation,” using plants to remove toxic metals from the soil. From 1995-1998 he formed the collective the GALA Committee, which produced In the Name of the Place, a public art project conducted on American prime-time television. His actions for the Fundred Project (2008-2020) to end childhood lead poisoning activated mass public engagement. He has produced original films such as 9-11/9-11 (2007), L’Arctique est Paris (2015), and most recently, She’s Not There (2020). In 2018 he filled New York’s Times Square with Wake, on the ground, and Unmoored, in the air, creating an experiential portal into a past maritime industry and a future of rising waters. Chin exhibits internationally and is the recipient of many awards, grants, and honorary degrees, including a MacArthur Fellowship in 2019.

AFRICOBRA

Gerald Williams photo: Danielle Scruggs for The New York Times

AFRICOBRA

The African Commune of Bad Relevant Artists (AFRICOBRA) is a Chicago-based group of artists who defined the visual aesthetic of the Black Arts Movement of the 1960s and 70s. Founded in 1968 by artists Jeff Donaldson, Jae Jarrell (SAIC 1959–61), Wadsworth Jarrell (DIPLOMA 1958), Barbara Jones-Hogu (BFA 1964), and Gerald Williams (SAIC 1966–67), the collective was dedicated to empowering Black communities and creating functional art that expressed statements of truth, action, or education. AFRICOBRA formed after several of the artists worked together on the Wall of Respect, a mural on Chicago’s South Side depicting celebrated Black leaders that sparked a community mural movement across the country. The work of AFRICOBRA has been exhibited at the Museum of Contemporary Art North Miami, the Broad museum in Los Angeles, and the 2019 Venice Biennale.

Katherine Sherwood

KATHERINE SHERWOOD

Katherine Sherwood is a mixed media artist whose work investigates where art, medicine, and disability intersect. A professor emerita at University of California, Berkeley in the Art Department and the Disability Studies Program, Sherwood is also the artist-in-residence at the Helen Wills Neuroscience Institute and the co-founder of the art and disability collective Yelling Clinic. She is the recipient of many grants and awards including the Guggenheim Fellowship, a National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) grant, a Pollock-Krasner Foundation grant, and a Joan Mitchell Foundation grant. Her work is represented in the collections of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; the Ford Foundation, New York; the de Young museum, San Francisco; the Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive; the Crocker Museum, Sacramento; and the San Jose Museum of Art, among others. She is represented by the George Adams Gallery in New York, the Walter Maciel Gallery in Los Angeles, and the Anglim Gilbert Gallery in San Francisco.

AWARDS


STUDENT LEADERSHIP AWARD RECIPIENTS
  • Juan Arango Palacios
  • Ali Asgar
  • Catherine Cao
  • Gabriel Chalfin-Piney
  • Terrell Davis
  • Mary Frances Fleming
  • Sierrah Floyd
  • Talia Garrido
  • Amira Hegazy
  • Whitney Hinojosa Márquez
  • Nikesh Hotchandani
  • Jiaxuan Huang
  • Isabella Hulne
  • Cristiaan Jackson
  • Yinxi Jiang
  • Sydnie Jimenez
  • Haylie Jimenez
  • Alison Kim
  • Grace Kromah
  • Catherine LaMendola
  • Dustin Lowman
  • Melissa Nava
  • Carly Newman
  • Harini Nilakantan
  • Elisa Petersen
  • Emerald Pitts
  • Reilly Ribeiro
  • Nia Scott
  • Annabelle Sigmond
  • Samantha Smith
  • Jin Wook Song
  • Meimei Song
  • Joseph Starling
  • Fabrizzio Subia
  • Wayne Tate Jr.
  • Kristina Tokar
  • Nicole Vigil
  • Sharon Wang
  • Grace Wells
  • Ian Wenzel
  • Reginald Williamson
  • Michael Winfield
  • Leana Yonan
  • Cy Yoon
  • Christopher Zhu

STUDENT LEADERSHIP AWARD HONORABLE MENTIONS
  • Vani Aguilar
  • Sojin Ahn
  • Angelina Almukhametova
  • Natashna Anderson
  • Hannah Bassewitz
  • Kaelyn Becker
  • Candice Block
  • Reilly Branson
  • Sophie Brittain
  • Barbara Brylka
  • Barrett Burke
  • Billie Carter-Rankin
  • CeCe Chen
  • Christina Chin
  • Su Young Choi
  • Joelle Clapier
  • Decheng Cui
  • Jennifer Dally
  • Ishita Dharap
  • Megan Earl
  • Myia Esper
  • Lussette Espinoza
  • Kate Fairchild
  • Connor Fenwick
  • Graham Feyl
  • Leslie Frempong
  • Lisa Gaedike
  • Leah Gallant
  • Jennifer Gillenwater
  • Grace Gittelman
  • haley goldberg
  • Emma Gudewicz
  • Kathleen Gullion
  • Jaesuk Han
  • Tess Haratonik
  • L Hawley
  • Lily Hernandez
  • Steven Hollander
  • Nura Husseini
  • Darshita Jain
  • Reva Kashikar
  • William Keihn
  • Macklin Kerrigan
  • Diya Khurana
  • Jee-In Kim
  • Andy Lattimer
  • Haerim Lee
  • Diandian Lei
  • Luis Lopez Levi
  • Bao Luong
  • Jennessa Martinez
  • Aiko Masubuchi
  • Caitlin Mattia
  • Kara Maxwell
  • Derrick McCormick
  • Anisa McGowan
  • Krina Mehta
  • Constanza Mendoza Guerra
  • Monica Morris
  • Minh Nguyen
  • Patrick O’Shea
  • Divya Pai
  • Annie Park
  • Golda Pinals
  • Ythan Ponio
  • Anagha Prasan
  • Abdullah Quick
  • Chloe Rahimzadeh
  • Elizabeth Reed
  • Alyse Ruriani
  • Grace Rutter
  • Katerina Sadoff
  • Carlos Salazar Lermont
  • Jacqueline Sartore
  • Abhay Sehgal
  • Naomi Shah
  • Hongxi Shen
  • Yi Sheng
  • Leaf Silver
  • Edward Sin
  • Corrine Slade
  • Natalie Slater
  • Bun Stout
  • Saiyyamee Surana
  • Nicky Trainor
  • Grant Tyler
  • Maria Jose Urbina Gomez
  • Manuela Uribe Arango
  • Isaac Vazquez
  • Emilia Vidal-Hallett
  • Audrea Wah
  • Shannon Waldman
  • Celine Yin Zhi Wang
  • Haorui Wang
  • Minch Wang
  • Rachel Wang
  • Tor Warren
  • Kaitlin Weed
  • Joel Whitely
  • Ola Wilk-Branas
  • Dong Hyeon Won
  • Teresa Yu
  • Heejin Yun

FULL-TIME FACULTY MEMBER OF THE YEAR
Shiben Banerji
Art History, Theory, and Criticism

PART-TIME FACULTY MEMBER OF THE YEAR/
KAREN AND JIM FRANK AWARD FOR EXCELLENCE IN TEACHING
Richard Deutsch
Painting and Drawing

JAMES NELSON RAYMOND FELLOWSHIPS
Will not be determined until early-June

MUNICIPAL ART LEAGUE FELLOWSHIP
Will not be determined until early-June

CARRIE ELLEN TUTTLE FELLOWSHIP IN PAINTING
Christine Turner

SAIC BERLIN RESIDENCY
Billie Carter-Rankin
Jacobo Zambrano

CLAY MORRISON SCHOLARSHIP
Lydia Cardenas
TingChun Cho
Rose Dickson
Lily Homer
Sangheon Kim
Jiaqi Li
Hailing Liu
Letitia Pratt

WEINSTEIN MEMORIAL FELLOWSHIP IN PHOTOGRAPHY
Jenny Rafalson

ELDON DANHAUSEN FELLOWSHIP IN SCULPTURE
Ferrell Garramone

ALBA SONIC ARTS ARTIST-IN-RESIDENCE AT
EXPERIMENTAL SOUND STUDIO
Veronica Salinas

LUMINARTS VISUAL ARTS FELLOWSHIP
Jesse Stein

SCHIFF FOUNDATION FELLOWSHIP FOR
CRITICAL ARCHITECTURAL WRITING
Will not be determined until early-June

GRADUATING STUDENT FELLOWSHIP AWARD
FOR ARTS ADMINISTRATION AND POLICY
Rebecca Kelly

DUAL DEGREE FELLOWSHIP AWARD
FOR MASTER OF ARTS IN MODERN
AND CONTEMPORARY ART HISTORY
AND MASTER OF ARTS IN ARTS
ADMINISTRATION AND POLICY
Sophie Jenkins
Shannon Waldman

2020 GRADUATES


A HEARTFELT THANK YOU TO THOSE WHO
HELPED THIS CEREMONY COME TO LIFE.


ANIMATIONS
Juand Bahamon (BFA 2013)
Leah Lee (BFA 2020)
Sophia Muir (BFA 2020)

STUDENT REFLECTIONS VIDEO
  • Dabin Ahn (BFA 2017, MFA 2020)
  • Lily Gabryelle Hernandez (BFA 2020)
  • Emma Gudewicz (BFA 2020)
  • Nikesh Hotchandani (BFA 2020)
  • Belle Hulne (BFA 2020)
  • Cristiaan Jackson (BFA 2020)
  • Diya Khurana (BFA 2020)
  • Alison Kim (BFA 2020)
  • Grace Kromah (BFA 2020)
  • Haerim Lee (MA 2020)
  • Harini Nilakantan (BFA 2020)
  • Elisa Petersen (BFA 2020)
  • Reilly Ribeiro (BFA 2020)
  • Leaf Silver (BFA 2020)
  • Edward Sin (BFA 2020)
  • Natalie Slater (BFA 2020)
  • Estelle Song (BFA 2020)
  • Jin Wook Song (BFA 2020)
  • Meimei Song (BFA 2016, MFA 2020)
  • Swen Swihart-DeCoster (BFA 2020)
  • Michael C. Winfield (MFA 2020)
  • Cy Yoon (MFA 2020)
  • Heejin Yun (BFA 2020)

FACULTY WISHES VIDEO
  • Candida Alvarez
  • Claire Ashley (MFA 1995)
  • Aimée Beaubien (BFA 1989, MFA 1993)
  • Jeremy Biles
  • D. Denenge Duyst-Akpem (MFA 2004)
  • Maria Gaspar
  • Claudia Hart
  • Beth Hetland (BFA 2009)
  • Mark Jeffery
  • William J. O’Brien (MFA 2005)
  • Edra Soto (MFA 2000)
  • Chris Sullivan

ALUM VIDEO
  • Claire Ashley (MFA 1995)
  • William Cordova (BFA 1996)
  • Nia Easley (BFA 2006, MFA 2018)
  • Emil Ferris (BFA 2008, MFA 2010)
  • Allison Glenn (MA 2012)
  • Ricardo Harris-Fuentes (Post-Bac 2008, MFA 2010)
  • Pablo Helguera (BFA 1993)
  • Viraj Mithani (BFA 2015)
  • Al-Qawi Nanavati (BFA 2017)
  • Erina Shibata (Post-Bac 2014, MFA 2016)
  • Ayesha Singh (MFA 2018)
  • Dannielle Tegeder (MFA 1997)
  • Vincent Uribe (BFA 2013)
  • Emilio Williams (MFA 2019)

STAFF AND PRODUCTION
  • Olga Arango (MFA 1990)
  • Riley Brady
  • Joe Behen
  • Sean DeSantis
  • Craig Downs (BFA 1995)
  • Felice Dublon
  • Gonzalo Escobar (BFA 2008)
  • Sarah Gardner
  • Allison Green (MA 2009)
  • Jenny Halpern
  • Mary Hayes
  • Scott Hendrickson
  • Derek Kleckner
  • Laura Lamb
  • Debbie Martin
  • Stephanie Murano
  • Kamau Patton
  • Jefferson Pinder
  • Greg Stephen Reigh (BFA 2013)
  • Jeffrey Sanchez
  • Ashley Spell
  • Patrick Spence
  • Jeff Ward (MFA 2002)

DON'T MISS
THE NEXT
BIG THING.