Undergraduate Exhibition and Festival Information

  • All enrolled seniors from all departments have the opportunity to participate in one of the two Undergraduate Exhibitions (fall or spring), which take place at SAIC Galleries, 33 E. Washington St. or in one of two spring festivals of time-based work. The Undergraduate Exhibition (UGE) and festivals serve senior level students with their ongoing creative professional practice, helping to develop skills for this and all exhibitions post-SAIC. Participating students will experience the process of how to present work in a professional setting, and how to navigate and collaborate in a large group exhibition or event. As part of the UGE curriculum, registered participants are required to engage with the UGE Canvas. Participation in this senior exhibition and time-based festivals is not a degree requirement. More information about the spring time-based festivals appears below.

    If a senior plans on participating in the UGE, they will be assigned to either the fall or spring shows based on their completed credits as of fall add/drop.

    Note: Seniors may not necessarily receive exhibition placement in their final semester. All seniors enrolled in one or more courses in the fall semester are eligible to be assigned to the fall Undergraduate Exhibition, even if they plan to graduate in the spring semester. This process ensures that all eligible students have the opportunity to participate in an exhibition during their senior year.

    Since UGE eligibility is based on the school's records, students should contact Academic Advising with any questions regarding their credits or degree requirements

  • Undergraduate seniors can choose one of three ways (tracks) to participate in the UGE: through the Capstone 4900: Senior Exhibition course; as an Independent Artist; or in the Spring Digital Feature.

    1. Enroll in a Capstone 4900: Senior Exhibition class
    This is an exhibition Capstone course culminating with a dedicated space and a group-curated, faculty-led exhibition within the larger Undergraduate Exhibition. This course is available both fall and spring semesters. Students who register for fall sections of this course (in April of the preceding spring) will automatically be assigned to the fall UGE. Only students assigned to the spring UGE may enroll in a spring Capstone 4900: Senior Exhibition course.

    Learn more about the Senior Exhibition Capstone courses here.

    2. Participate as an Independent Artist (via The Lottery)
    Students can participate in the UGE as independent artists. Spaces are selected by participating students based on a lottery system during a scheduled Space Claim. 

    3. Register for Spring Digital Feature
    Students not participating in an UGE through a capstone or as an independent artist may register for the Spring Digital Feature. These students submit still images of work to be projected in the gallery's large-scale street-level atrium and throughout the galleries during the Spring Undergraduate Exhibition. Students assigned to either the fall or spring exhibition can register for this option in place of showing their work in person.

    Questions about the Undergraduate Exhibition? Contact us at UG-Exhibition@saic.edu

SAIC Graduate Exhibition and Festival Information

  • MFA, MFA in Writing, MArch, and MDes students graduating in Fall 2023, Winter 2024, Spring 2024, or have 6 or fewer credits to complete in Summer 2024 are eligible to participate in the Spring 2024 thesis shows and festivals.

    Students are only eligible to participate in one culminating thesis exhibition/event over the course of their degree at SAIC and in their final year of study.

    Eligibility to participate will be subject to a credit check through the SAIC Registrar’s Office. We highly recommend that you check your credit status with the Registrar to confirm that your transcript is accurate and that your credits are in order.

    Graduate thesis show options include:

    Graduate Exhibition One (limited participants) at SAIC Galleries – February 26 - March 6, 2024
    IMPACT Performance Festival in the 280 Building – April 2024 (dates to be confirmed)
    Film, Video, New Media, Animation, Sound (FVNMAS) Festival at Siskel Film Center – May 8–11, 2024
    Graduate Exhibition Two at SAIC Galleries – May 10–22, 2024

  • MFA students completing their degrees are required to present a final project in either one of the Graduate Exhibitions, the FVNMAS Festival, or the IMPACT Performance Festival to fulfill their thesis requirement. As an alternative, a presentation in a public venue outside of SAIC may also fulfill this thesis requirement with prior approval from the Dean of Graduate Studies. Students are not permitted to participate in more than one of these presentation options.

    MArch, MArch/IA, and MDes Designed Objects students completing their degrees are required to present a final project in Graduate Exhibition Two in order to complete their thesis requirement.

    MFA in Writing students are not required to present a final project in a thesis event–participation is optional. Any MFAW student wishing to participate in one of the Graduate Exhibitions or festivals is required to complete at least 6 studio credits by the end of the third semester and to consult with a studio faculty member in their final semester.

  • Please review the Art School Considerations checklist for important information and guidelines on health, safety, and legal details to consider when creating works for public presentation at SAIC.

  • Film, Video, New Media, Animation, and Sound (FVNMAS) Festival
    The FVNMAS Festival is a multi-day event featuring the work of Graduate and Undergraduate students, who are completing their degrees.  This festival is coordinated by faculty from the departments of FVNMA and Sound with the support of the Department of Exhibitions and Exhibition Studies.  TheFVNMAS Festival takes place each year at the Gene Siskel Film Center in May.

    Questions? Contact Trevor Martin: tmartin@saic.edu or Emily Eddy: eeddy@saic.edu

    IMPACT Performance Festival
    The IMPACT Performance Festival is a thesis event designed to support graduating students creating live-art and performance.  The festival takes place in the spring semester and is collaboratively produced by the Performance Department and the Department of Exhibitions and Exhibition Studies.

    Questions? Contact Trevor Martin: tmartin@saic.edu