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

Art Connects Us, Volume 14

At the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC), our community has responded to the current moment as true citizen artists.

Their work demonstrates a belief in our interconnectedness as people and our shared responsibility to make positive change. We know headlines may be overwhelming these days, so below you’ll find good news highlighting the incredible efforts of SAIC’s artists and designers to forge and deepen connections with our communities.

We hope it inspires you for the week ahead.

Volume 1
Volume 2
Volume 3
Volume 4
Volume 5
Volume 6
Volume 7
Volume 8
Volume 9
Volume 10
Volume 11
Volume 12
Volume 13

Photo of Gibson's "Because Once You Enter My House It Becomes Our House"
Jeffrey Gibson, Because Once You Enter My House It Becomes Our House, 2020. Image courtesy of Joe Carrotta for the New York Times

The New York Times Spotlights Alum Jeffrey Gibson’s Homage to Indigenous Culture
Jeffrey Gibson’s (BFA 1995) Because Once You Enter My House It Becomes Our House is featured in MONUMENTS NOW, an ongoing exhibition in Socrates Sculpture Park in Queens, New York. Gibson’s “electrifying” three-tiered tower is an homage to Indigenous peoples and culture, further animated by curated live performances from Indigenous artists on and around it. read more

Wikipedia page of Jacob Lawrence, one of the many webpages edited by the project

Faculty Member Jina Valentine Uses Wikipedia to Expand the Art History Canon
Alongside artist Heather Hart, Associate Professor Jina Valentine is helping to rewrite art history. Frustrated by the lack of representation of Black artists, they began hosting Wikipedia edit-a-thons for artists, students, and teachers dedicated to documenting their history. Over the past six years, they’ve created or expanded more than 1,200 entries. read more

Angel Otero, Sleepy Fire, 2020, oil paint and fabric collaged on canvas, 213.4 by 219.7 by 3.8 cm. Courtesy the artist and Lehmann Maupin, New York, Hong Kong, and Seoul

Alums Donate Work to Artists for New York
This past month, Hauser & Wirth launched Artists for New York, an initiative to raise funds for the city’s arts nonprofits that have been impacted by the pandemic. Alums including Sanford Biggers (MFA 1999), Rashid Johnson (SAIC 2003–04), and Angel Otero (BFA 2007, MFA 2009) have donated works to be auctioned off; the proceeds will benefit these local organizations. read more

Ellen Rothenberg, let's switch it up!, 2020, window installation at 688 North Milwaukee Avenue. Image courtesy of the artist

Faculty Member Ellen Rothenberg’s Latest Work Speaks to the Power of Democracy
Professor, Adj. Ellen Rothenberg’s work is featured in Anthem, an exhibition in collaboration with the American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois at the Weinberg Newton Gallery. Planned to coincide with the 2020 election, Anthem asks artists to examine partisan divisiveness and speak to voting as a fundamental right. read more