2023 Lectures

All events take place in the SAIC Ballroom in the MacLean Building.

Shadi Harouni
Thursday, June 22, 6:00 p.m.

Shadi Harouni is an artist based in New York. Harouni's practice is situated at the intersections of image, sculpture, text, and folklore. Her research is centered on marginalized and disavowed histories of dissent, chiefly in her ancestral Kurdistan, connecting quiet personal acts of resistance to global mass movements. Harouni’s work is rooted in spaces, objects and sentient subjects imbued with both the utopian dreams and broken promises of exodus and revolution. Harouni’s art and writing have been featured in The Guardian, New York Times, and Art Forum among other publications. Her projects have been exhibited at Queens Museum (NY), Kunstmuseum Bonn (DE), Prague City Museum (CZ), Fondazione Ratti, and Pecci Center for Contemporary Art (IT). She has been awarded fellowships from Harpo Foundation, Gattuzo Foundation, Civitella Ranieri, and Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, where she also served as Acting Director in 2019. Harouni is an educator, Professor and Head of Studio Arts at New York University’s Department of Art.

Pamela Sneed
Tuesday, June 20, 6:00 p.m.

Pamela Sneed is a New York based poet, performer and visual artist. She is the author of Imagine Being More Afraid of Freedom Than Slavery, KONG and Other Works, Sweet Dreams and Funeral Diva published by City Lights in Oct 2020. Funeral Diva was featured in The New York Times, Publishers Weekly, Lit Hub, Art Net and more. Funeral Diva won the 2021 Lambda Lesbian Poetry Award. Funeral Diva was recommended by The New York Times alongside Barak Obama’s memoir. Additionally in 2021, she was a finalist for New York Theater Workshops Golden Harris Award and received a monetary award. In 2021, she was a panelist for The David Zwirner Gallery’s More Life exhibit, and has spoken at Bard Center for Humanities, The Ford Foundation, The Gordon Parks Foundation, Columbia University, The New School, New York Public Library, The Brooklyn Museum, MOMA, DIA, NYU’s Center For Humanities. She has published in The Paris Review, Frieze Magazine, Art Forum, The Academy of American Poets and more. Her visual work was featured in the group show Omniscient at Leslie Lohman Museum and currently has visual work in a group show at The Ford Foundation. She won the 2021 Black Queer Art Mentorship Award for her leadership and literary talent. She  participated as a reader in the 2022 Whitney Biennial and is a narrator for Coco Fusco’s film, also in the 2022 Whitney Biennial. She has had keynotes at Yale University, Georgetown University and Park Avenue Armory. She has won a BOFFO residency on Fire Island in August 2022.  She is an online professor in the SAIC Low-Res MFA program. She has been a guest artist for 6 consecutive years. She also teaches poetry and art across disciplines in Columbia Universities MFA in Visual Arts program. She has won a 2023 Creative Capital Grant in Literature.

Amina Ross
Tuesday, June 27, 6:00 p.m.

In this artist lecture, Ross unearths the possibilities of a multi-media practice through an active engagement of turbulence. How might an art practice pull apart the complexities of our current conditions by offering transitory spaces of refuge? How might transformation of an unbearable reality become possible only through “staying with the trouble”*?

Coming into an awareness of a world outside of oneself is a textured terrain. Glissant names this navigation of the other “turbulence”**. Our moment, marked by precarity, is readily named turbulent. An eye of a storm is a place of ephemeral peace. Metaphors of meteorological tumult loop like a pop-music refrain. These weather conditions articulate the uncontrollable forces of change that we live within. Through their work, Ross suggests embracing this constant fluctuation, riding the waves of this storm, and being together even when being together is difficult, as strategies for navigating and staying alive through the unknowable.

* Donna Haraway, “Staying with the trouble”
** Édouard Glissant, “Poetics of Relation”

Amina Ross makes videos, sculptures, sounds, and situations. Their work questions how systems of power condition reality and how communities facing oppression navigate, resist, reimagine, and refigure these systems to thrive in safety. Ross has worked as an educator at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and Rhode Island School of Design. They received a BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and an MFA from the Yale School of Art in Sculpture. Ross has exhibited work nationally and internationally. They recently completed residencies at Skowhegan School of Sculpture and Painting, Wave Hill, Abrons Art Center, and Harvestworks. Ross is currently part-time faculty at Parsons School of Design, The New School. They are currently a Keyholder at The Lower East Side Printshop and a fellow at The Bronx Museum.

Rodney McMillian
Thursday, June 29, 6:00 p.m.

Rodney McMillian (b. 1969) lives and works in Los Angeles, CA. He received an MFA from the California Institute of the Arts in 2002. Most recently his monumental landscape painting, shaft, 2021 – 22 was on view in the 2022 Whitney Biennial and his immersive 2012 vinyl sculpture, From Asterisks in Dockery was included in the groundbreaking touring exhibition The Dirty South: Contemporary Art, Material Culture, and the Sonic Impulse, which originated at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts. Recent solo exhibitions of McMillian’s work include Historically Hostile, Blaffer Museum, Houston, TX; Videos from the Black Show, the Underground Museum, Los Angeles, CA; New Work, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco, CA; and Against a Civic Death, The Contemporary Austin, Austin, TX. McMillian’s work is included in the collections of the Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, IL; the Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, CA; The Kunstmuseum Wolfsburg, Wolfsburg, Germany; the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles, CA; the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, CA; the Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY; the Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh, PA; and the Studio Museum in Harlem, New York, NY among many others.

Molly Zuckerman-Hartung
Tuesday, July 11, 6:00 p.m.

Molly Zuckerman-Hartung is a painter, writer and teacher who grew up in Olympia, Washington and participated in Riot Grrrl in her formative years. She attended the Evergreen State College in the 1990s. This introduced her to holistic structural ideas about aesthetics and politics. She worked in used bookstores and bars until her thirties, when she moved to Chicago and attended the School of the Art Institute for graduate school, and now she is working and grocery shopping and taking walks in Norfolk, Connecticut with her wife, Fox Hysen, and dog, Moses.

She was a full time senior critic at Yale School of Art until 2021, and she is now teaching part time at Yale and SAIC, as well as low res MFA advising at various schools around the country. She has shown at The Blaffer Museum in Houston, TX, The Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago, The Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, The 2014 Whitney Biennial, The Program at ReMap in Athens, Greece, Kadel Willborn in Karlsruhe, Germany and many others. In 2013 she received a Louis Comfort Tiffany Award. She is a frequent guest lecturer at many schools across the country, including, in the past few years, Princeton University, The University of Texas at Austin, Cranbrook, University of Alabama, the School of the Art Institute of Chicago Low Residency Program, and Columbia University. She is represented by Corbett vs Dempsey in Chicago  In 2021 she opened a mid-career survey show at the Blaffer in Houston, Texas, called Comic Relief and accompanied by a monograph. 

Damon Locks
Tuesday, June 13, 6:00 p.m.

Damon Locks is a Chicago-based visual artist, educator, vocalist/musician. He attended the School of the Art Institute of Chicago where he received his BFA in fine arts. Since 2014 he has been working with the Prisons and Neighborhood Arts Project at Stateville Correctional Center teaching art. He is a recipient of the Helen Coburn Meier and Tim Meier Achievement Award in the Arts. In 2017 he became a Soros Justice Media Fellow. In 2019, he became a 3Arts Awardee. He spent 4 years as an artist in residence as a part of the Museum of Contemporary Arts’ SPACE Program, introducing civically engaged art into the curriculum at Sarah E. Goode STEM Academy High School. In the spring of 2022, he taught his first semester in the Sound Department on improvisation at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Damon leads the Black Monument Ensemble and co-founded the band The Eternals.

Mark Diaz (CAPE)
Tuesday, July 18, 6:00 p.m.

Chicago Arts Partnerships in Education (CAPE) was founded in 1992 as an effort to connect schools and arts groups in Chicago. The organization has since evolved to focus on building the pedagogical and collaborative skills of teachers and teaching artists by developing sustained partnerships among teachers and artists, by working with external researchers to analyze, evaluate, and publish results, and by serving as a flexible, responsive partner to schools.

CAPE’s work is to increase academic success, critical thinking, and creativity through research-based, arts-driven education. CAPE collaborates with schools that serve low-income students of color in order to build equity and improve access for the arts in communities that lack resources to do so.   CAPE teaching artists partner with K-12 teachers and artists in three school districts:  Chicago Public Schools, West Chicago Public Schools (SD33), and Park Forest/Chicago Heights School District (SD163), reaching 4,000 students per year.  In CAPE classrooms, teachers and artists collaborate on developing engaging learning projects that weave the arts and academics, building students’ knowledge and capacities in both areas.  Rather than providing scripted curriculum, CAPE’s model of arts-integration provides a framework for teaching and learning that is adapted to each classroom’s needs and interests.  

CAPE’s students, who are 90% African-American and Hispanic and 76% low-income, reside in neighborhoods that are challenged by economic, social and racial inequities.  CAPE addresses these challenges by providing high-quality, long-term programs that enable teachers and teaching artists to go beyond the traditional curriculum to include issues of importance to students such as community issues, personal expressional, future planning, or social justice issues.  This approach personalizes learning and inspires students to feel agency over their education and investment in their school community. 

Jamillah James
Thursday, July 20, 6:00 p.m.

Jamillah James is Manilow Senior Curator at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago. She was co-curator (with Margot Norton) of Soft Water Hard Stone, the 2021 New Museum Triennial, and has held curatorial positions at the Institute of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (ICA LA); Hammer Museum, Los Angeles; the Studio Museum in Harlem and Queens Museum, New York. Her recent projects include the survey Rebecca Morris: 2001-2022 (2022), Enter the Mirror (2022-23), and Sara Cwynar: Apple Red/Grass Green/Sky Blue (2021). She has organized exhibitions of Nayland Blake, Lucas Blalock, Njideka Akunyili Crosby, Alex Da Corte, Stanya Kahn, Simone Leigh, Harold Mendez, and B. Wurtz, among others. James is the recipient of the Noah Davis Prize from the Underground Museum, Los Angeles, and Chanel Culture Fund (2021), an Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts Curatorial Research Fellowship (2021), and a VIA Art Foundation Curatorial Fellowship (2018).

Pradeep Dalal
Tuesday, July 25, 6:00 p.m.

Pradeep Dalal is a Mumbai-born artist and writer based in New York. His work has been shown at Oakville Galleries, Toronto (2023), Art Cake, Brooklyn (2022), EFA Project Space, New York (2019); Callicoon Fine Arts, New York (2017); Sala Diaz, San Antonio, Texas (2017); and Murray Guy, New York (2011); among other venues. His photographs have been included in Blind Spot, BOMB, Cabinet, Grey Room, Nueva Luz, and Rethinking Marxism. He co-authored the artist book Photography in the Sensorium (2021). His artist book Bhopal, MP (2017) was excerpted in Chandigarh Is in India(2016). His essay “Hand and Loom” was published in Wolf Tones, Soberscove Press, 2022. Dalal co-chaired the Photography Department in the MFA program at Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson, New York, from 2015 to 2020. He has also taught at Pratt Institute, Cooper Union and the International Center of Photography. He directs the Andy Warhol Foundation Arts Writers Grant in New York.

2022 Lectures

Claire Pentecost
Troy Michie
Guadalupe Rosales
Rachel Faller
Pamela Sneed
Laura Harris
Wu Tsang
Heather Dewey-Hagborg
Lynne Cooke
Susanne DesRoches
Nancy Shaver

2021 Lectures

Aram Han Sifuentes
Pamela Sneed
Dr. Eugenia Cheng
Glenn Ligon
Sowon Kwon
Gregg Bordowitz
Kameelah Janan Rasheed
Fred Moten
Patric McCoy

2020 Lectures

Jacqueline Terrassa
Mark Dion
Arnold Kemp
Mendi & Keith Obadike
Kahlil Irving
Judy Ledgerwood
Zach Blas
Gregg Bordowitz
Kamau Patton