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

Art Connects Us, Volume 3

Art has the incredible power to unite, particularly in times of uncertainty. At SAIC, our community is driven by the spirit of engagement and the desire to make positive change in our world. In the weeks to come, we’ll be honoring our citizen artists, taking a look at the way alums, students, faculty, and staff are responding to the COVID-19 pandemic, and how they’re finding ways to create art, continue their scholarship, and build community.

Volume 1
Volume 2

Brejenn Allen
Image courtesy of Happy P’Jappies

Student Brejenn Allen’s Hospital Gowns and Masks Bring Joy to Essential Workers
Inspired by her father’s hospital stay, student Brejenn Allen launched her own line of brightly patterned, functional hospital gowns when she was in high school. During the pandemic, the need for her gowns and masks has skyrocketed, and she’s donating over 80 percent to patients and essential workers.

Melissa Leandro, detailed images of new work, 2020. Image courtesy of ANDREW RAFACZ

Alum Julie Rodrigues Widholm Curates Frieze New York's Tribute to Women Artists of Chicago
Julie Rodrigues Widholm (MA 1999), DePaul Art Museum's director and chief curator and Chicago Tribune's Chicagoan of the Year in museums, is curating Frieze New York’s 2020 tribute to the women artists of Chicago. The exhibition, which is being reimagined as a mobile app due to the pandemic, features several SAIC alums and faculty

Image from April edition of F Newsmagazine

F Newsmagazine Recognized for COVID-19 Coverage
Contributors to F Newsmagazine were recognized by the Society for Professional Journalists for work done in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Students Reilly Branson and Luis López Levi were awarded in the Visual Design and Audio categories of the weekly College Coronavirus Competition.

Michelle Kim
Image courtesy of Michelle Kim

Faculty Member Michelle Kim’s Jewelry Reminds Us We’re #strongertogether
In response to the pandemic, Lecturer Michelle Kim has designed her most recent jewelry collection around the idea of unity, titling it #strongertogether. Her pieces combine different types of craftsmanship, such as beading, sewing, knitting, and embroidering, which she is documenting at home using a camera and desk lamps.

Left: "Bedtime," Right: "Still Life.” Images courtesy of The New Yorker

Alum Chris Ware’s New Yorker Covers Reflect Life Under the Pandemic
Chris Ware (SAIC 1991–93, HON 2019) designed the covers for the April 6 and May 4 issues of The New Yorker, both reflecting life during the coronavirus. The covers depict a medical worker pausing in a crowded hospital hallway to wave goodnight to their family, and snapshots of city life during the pandemic. learn more

The Quarantine Concerts
Image courtesy of Experimental Sound Studio

Alums and Faculty Support Artists with Virtual Quarantine Concerts
Experimental Sound Studio (ESS), a Chicago-based nonprofit, is helping artists and musicians weather the coronavirus storm through The Quarantine Concerts, organized by Assistant Professor Lou Mallozzi and alums Olivia Junell (MA 2016) and Alex Inglizian (BFA 2006). Numerous alums, graduate students, and faculty members will perform in the series. learn more

Images of student work

Instagram Exhibition Showcases Student Work
Students in Lecturer Edra Soto’s Research Studio II course are having their work showcased in a virtual exhibition, titled Supermodels in Pandemic Times. Hosted on The Franklin’s Instagram account, the students’ work responds to existing models of how to be an artist, proposes how we can change these paradigms, and explores what this means in the midst of a pandemic.

Archibald John Motley Jr., Nightlife, 1943, oil on canvas. The Art Institute of Chicago

The Art Institute of Chicago Offers Virtual Exhibitions of Iconic Works of Art
Through the Essentials Tour, the Art Institute of Chicago museum gives virtual visitors the opportunity to learn about five iconic pieces from their collection from the comfort of their home. Learn what experts have to say about pieces such as George Seurat's A Sunday on La Grande Jatte—1884 and Archibald John Motley Jr.’s Nightlife. learn more