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

Art Connects Us, Volume 4

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
Volume 3

Image courtesy of Daniel Dorsa for the New York Times

New York Times Talks Painting in a Pandemic with Associate Professor Mike Cloud
“Painting right now feels like the most important thing I can do aside from taking care of myself and keeping my family healthy,” said Mike Cloud, associate professor in the Department of Painting and Drawing in a recent interview with the New York Times. In the interview, Cloud talks about how he continues to draw inspiration for his painting practice. learn more

Hương Ngô (Photographer Paul O’Reilly), ESCAPE, 2004–2006. Courtesy of the artist

Alums and Faculty Featured in Exhibition About the Asian and Asian American Experience
Several alums and faculty are featured in the virtual exhibition, Within Global Isolation: Asian Artists in America. Showcasing the work of Assistant Professor Hương Ngô (MFA 2004) and alums Guanyu Xu (MFA 2019) and Leonard Suryajaya (MFA 2015), the exhibition responds to anti-Asian and Asian American racism experienced during the pandemic. learn more

A screenshot from SAIC Prom

SAIC Prom Brings Together Admitted Students from Around the World
As a result of the pandemic, seniors are missing out on several high school rites of passage. To welcome the incoming class, the School held its very own virtual prom. Over 60 students from around the world tuned in to the remote dance party, which also included a “punch bowl room” where they could connect one-on-one.

Image courtesy of MK Studio

Lecturer Michelle Kliman Launches the Window Gallery Project 
In an effort to keep us feeling connected and inspired, Lecturer Michelle Kliman’s MK Studio is launching a new project series called Shared Experiences. One of these initiatives, the Window Gallery project, asks individuals to use their windows as a gallery space, sharing artwork or messages with passers-by. learn more

Photo by Seed Lynn
Photo by Seed Lynn

Lecturer Sadie Woods DJ’s on Mayor Lightfoot’s Instagram
As part of Mayor Lightfoot’s Sunday Arts Takeover series, Lecturer Sadie Woods (MFA 2016) hosted a remote DJ set on the mayor’s Instagram account. Each takeover raises money for the Arts for Illinois Relief Fund, which supports artists and arts organizations, with a fundraising goal of $65,000.

A still from On Zoomology: Channeling Roy Ascott

BBC Interviews Claudia Hart About Her Zoom-Inspired Video Art
Associate Professor Claudia Hart was interviewed by the BBC about the videos she’s created in quarantine, inspired by her experiences with Zoom. The videos deconstruct the Zoom interface, and were produced in response to her Travels in Hyperreality seminar.

Image courtesy of CNL Projects

Lecturer Cortney Lederer Reimagines the Gallery During a Time of Social Distance
CNL Projects, owned by Lecturer Cortney Lederer (MA 2009), is partnering with Terrain Exhibitions on ART-IN-PLACE, an initiative that asks artists to reimagine their lawns or windows as gallery space. Featured work will be printed on sets of postcards, and a portion of the proceeds from their sale will benefit the Arts for Illinois Relief Fund.

Image courtesy of She Makes Chicago

Lecturer Kylee Alexander Empowers Individuals to Make Masks
To empower individuals to make their own protective gear, Lecturer Kylee Alexander (BFA 2012) produced a mask pattern and tutorial, which was published on She Makes Chicago. The response to the tutorial inspired Alexander to produce over 1,000 masks for essential workers alongside alums Sarah Pramuk (BFA 2019) and Kelsey Denvir (BFA 2019).