Installation of multi prints in pink, black, and metallics.

© 2017 School of the Art Institute of Chicago; All Rights Reserved Artwork: Maria Burundarena

Upcoming Events


Friday, May 10 - Wednesday, May 22 11:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m. CDT at SAIC Galleries Street Level, SAIC Galleries Lower Level 1, SAIC Galleries Lower Level 2

Mitchell Lectures in Fiber and Material Studies

Lectures are held throughout the academic year and are made possible by the generous support of the William Bronson and Grayce Slovett Mitchell Lectureship in Fiber and Material Studies. For more information, email

Past Events

Angela Hennessy
Mitchell Lecture Series
April 13, 2023
Angela Hennessy is an Oakland based artist and survivor of gun violence. Tending to themes of loss and liberation, her work draws upon mourning practices that activate hair as a material exchanged between the living and the dead. She is an associate professor at California College of the Arts where teaches courses on visual and cultural narratives of death in contemporary art.

Hong Hong: A Body at Center
Mitchell Lecture Series
March 9, 2023
Hong will trace the evolution of, as well as connections between, two distinct series of works: Tracing with Ashes the Sphere's Shadow (2017 - 2021) and An Earth at the Edge of My Sun (2021 - current). She will also discuss ties between language, diagrams, light/shadow, mythology, painting, performance and temporality.

Alipio Melo, Danitza Willka, and Maria Jose Murillo: Noqanchis Awaqkuna (We The Weavers)
Mitchell Lecture Series
November 3, 2021
This lecture brings together members of the Noqanchis group (Union of Textile Artists - Andes of Peru), recently formed by prominent young Indigenous weavers from Pitumarca, Peru, Alipio Melo and Danitza Willka, together with artist María José Murillo (SAIC MFA 2019). The presentation will create a space for the weavers to speak from their most personal voice, thereby subverting the historical representations that the western perspective has imposed on indigenous cultures. Textile artists from Pitumarca ­– better known as "The Capital of Andean Weaving" – will share reflections on how they keep their traditions alive, focusing on the ancestral and trans-temporal technology of the backstrap loom as a tool for contemporary cultural production.

T'ai Smith
Mitchell Lecture Series
February 13, 2020
Focusing on two recent film projects, by artists Judith Raum and Sascha Reichstein, this lecture will retrace the role of textiles in certain conceptual practices since the 1960s. Textiles, in this narrative—photographed and performing, but not (necessarily) materially present—can be understood as tangential media. If geometric tangents suggest a relationship, it is one where lines may touch or meet at a point on other lines or forms, but do not (ordinarily) intersect. Understood as lines in a network or diagram, textile tangents re-draw the inner logic of media. Understood rhetorically, they become figures that provide a divergence, interventions that re-align the discourse between art, societies, and economies. 

Rachel Meginnes
Mitchell Lecture Series
October 23, 2019
Trained as a weaver, Rachel meginnes' artwork is rooted in the history oand structure of textiles. Her current works, using discarded vintage quilts, center on the themes of loss, love, labor, and repair. Although no longer working directly at the loom, Meginnes identifies a persistent need to work closely with her materials by removing, mending , and adapting each original piece by hand. Through this process, Meginnes shifts her material's narrative from one set in the past to one responding to the present and questioning the future. By simultaneously paying tribute to her source material and displaying her own intuitive impulses, Meginnes breathes new life into post-functional heirlooms.

Diedrick Brackens
Mitchell Lecture Series
October 10, 2019
Diedrick Brackens (b. 1989, Mexia, TX) creates woven tapestries that explore allegory and narrative through the artist’s autobiography, broader themes of African American and queer identity, as well as American history. Brackens employs techniques from West African weaving, quilting from the American South, and European tapestry-making to create both abstract and figurative works. 

Jennifer Huang
Mitchell Lecture Series
April 17, 2019
Jennifer Chen-su Huang is an interdisciplinary artist and writer whose research-driven works weave together elements of art, language, history, and memoir. This last year, she completed a Fulbright Fellowship in Taiwan, where she was a Research Fellow with the Ethnology Department at National Chengchi University as well as a Visiting Artist at Tainan National University of the Arts. She graduated with her MFA in Fiber and Material Studies from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and received her BA from the University of California, Berkeley. Huang has exhibited internationally at Haiton Art Center in Taipei and across the United States at Untitled Prints and Editions in Los Angeles, Kearny St. Workshop in San Francisco, and Gallery 400 in Chicago, among others. 

Tanya Aguiñiga
Mitchell Lecture Series
April 4, 2019
Tanya Aguiñiga (b. 1978) is a Los Angeles based artist/designer/craftsperson who was raised in Tijuana, Mexico. She holds an MFA in furniture design from Rhode Island School of Design and a BA from San Diego State University. In her formative years she created various collaborative installations with the Border Arts Workshop, an artists' group that engages the languages of activism and community-based public art. Her current work uses craft as a performative medium to generate dialogues about identity, culture and gender while creating community. This approach has helped Museums and non-profits in the United States and Mexico diversify their audiences by connecting marginalized communities through collaboration.

Surabhi Ghosh
Mitchell Lecture Series
March 12, 2019
Surabhi Ghosh is an interdisciplinary artist and educator based in Montréal. She is Associate Professor and Program Coordinator of Fibre and Material Practices at Concordia University, where she also co-directs the interdisciplinary research group Ethnocultural Art HistoriesResearch in Media. Recent exhibitions of her work and collaborative projects have been held at the Wing Luke Museum (Seattle, WA), Ditch Projects (Springfield, OR), FOFA Gallery (Montréal, QC), and SPACE Gallery (Portland, ME).

Camille Ann Brewer
Mitchell Lecture Series
February 28, 2019
Camille Ann Brewer began her career in the visual arts over 30 years ago in Northern California, where she earned her BFA in interdisciplinary crafts at the California College of the Arts. Ms. Brewer later earned her MFA in textile design from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.  After completing her education, Ms. Brewer began working over three-decade period in the field of arts administration at many cultural institutions and non-profits such as: The Detroit Institute of Arts; Mott-Warsh Collection, Flint, Michigan; Center for Creative Ageing, Washington, DC; University of Chicago; Romare Bearden Foundation, New York, New York; and The Textile Museum, Washington, DC. Brewer currently operates a hand-weaving studio focused on the production of sustainable textile products in Detroit, Michigan.