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

Art Connects Us, Volume 18

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
Volume 14
Volume 15
Volume 16
Volume 17


Alum Bryn Jackson Helps Organize Community Meal for Food Justice
Last fall, alum Bryn Jackson (MFA 2015) and artist Seitu Jones brought together more than 300 artists, business owners, gardeners, and activists to break bread and discuss issues around food insecurity and equity. The project, titled At the Crossroads: A Community Meal, is designed to facilitate deep engagement, reflection, and action within a community. read more

Image courtesy of Jerry Holt for the Star Tribune

Inspired by Black Lives Matter, Alum Peyton Scott Russell Turns to Protest Art
For decades, alum Peyton Scott Russell (BFA 1991) has been working as a graffiti artist, but over the past six months, his portrait of George Floyd and messages of empowerment have become iconic murals in his hometown of Minneapolis. “I knew art was powerful,” Russell said. “But I have been discovering its ability to change things and move people.” read more

Image courtesy of Matt Baume

Alum BenDeLaCreme Inspires Young People Through Her Drag Work
In an interview with The Advocate, alum BenDeLaCreme (SAIC 2001–03) talks about her difficult experiences growing up and how drag gave her an identity and sense of purpose. In her new holiday special, BenDeLaCreme is spreading this message of empowerment. "Everything that you think is wrong with you and that you're told is wrong with you is exactly what is right about you,” she shared. read more