A wide shot of a ceramics studio, featuring students working with pottery wheels and other tools.

The 2019–20 Academic Year Begins

Dear SAIC Community,

A new academic year has begun. You could feel it coming for weeks, like a change in season. Faculty have returned to campus, their summer explorations reflected in new syllabi. Throughout all of our buildings, the staff—from enrollment to educational technologies, food service to academic administration, every area you could think of, and many more besides—have gotten the campus in readiness.
And—at perhaps my favorite sign of a new school year—wistful parents watch excited students move into the residence halls with the help of resident assistants, orientation leaders, and staff members, all there to greet the School of the Art Institute of Chicago’s newest artists, designers, and scholars.  

I embrace this cyclical renewal. It mirrors the iterative learning process that takes place in the studio and classroom. We begin with a question, and we pursue it. Then comes research, making, trial, and error. We reach a kind of resolution, perhaps an artwork or paper. Our work is critiqued, and we listen. Maybe we decide we’re on the right track or maybe we take a different path. In either scenario, we try again. We question more and pursue further. This process of risk, failure, and iteration is what helps us grow in our individual practices and progress as a college. 

SAIC is a special place, where a diverse, global community of creative and talented individuals come together to foster a space of belonging. Here we are free to fail, ready for constructive feedback, and encouraged to try again. As we do each year, let's continue to strive to make our campus a community as collaborative, productive, and inclusive as we’d like our shared society to be.

I am so glad that you have returned—or that you have just joined us—for the 2019–20 academic year. I can't wait to see what we make together.

Let us begin,

Elissa Tenny