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

Art Connects Us, Volume 7

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

Image courtesy of by & for

Alums Raise Over $10,000 to Support Black Lives Matter in Instagram Art Auction
Originally founded to support artists during the pandemic, by & for, an art auction relief fund, just raised $10,000 for organizations at the forefront of the Black Lives Matter movement. Hosted on Instagram, by & for was founded by alum Pia Singh (MA 2017), and the latest auction of 33 artworks was curated by Singh, Jameson Paige (SAIC 2015-2018), Fabiola Tosi (MA 2017), and Alex Peyton-Levine (MFA 2017). read more

Image courtesy of Kids Create Change

Alums Melissa Raman Molitor and Angela Lyonsmith Provide Free Arts Resources to Evanston Families
In response to the pandemic, Associate Professor, Adj. Melissa Raman Molitor (MA 1999) and former faculty member Angela Lyonsmith (MA 2001) launched the Access Arts Initiative. Co-directors of Kids Create Change, the pair are providing free online activities and art supplies to Evanston-area children and families. learn more

Claire Ashley, Attack of the Molecule, 2020, spray paint, expandable foam, Tyvek, Ripstop Nylon, yarn, and fan.

Faculty Member Claire Ashley Expands on Her Inflatable Art in Quarantine
WTTW Chicago Tonight recently interviewed Associate Professor, Adj. Claire Ashley (MFA 1995) about the inflatable art she is making in quarantine. “I think in terms of all the seriousness and the trauma that’s happening right now, I was interested in using humor as a way to deal with trauma,” Ashley said. Ashley presented her latest piece from her own front window. read more

Photo courtesy of Hilary Higgins/Chicago Tribune

Faculty Member D. Denenge Duyst-Akpem Looks at the Pandemic Through the Lens of Afro-Futurism
Associate Professor, Adj. D. Denenge Duyst-Akpem (MFA 2004) was featured on What Does the Afrofuture Say?, a new video series from The Afrofuture Strategies Institute founded by curator and former Detroit mayoral candidate Ingrid LaFleur. In this episode, Duyst-Akpem discusses her 2018 course and panel focused on Octavia Butler's prophetic Parable of the Sower, and navigating the pandemic through the lens of Afro-Futurist ecologies. learn more