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

Best Wishes for a Restorative Winter Break

Dear SAIC Community,

Fall 2019 classes have ended, and winter break is about to begin at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC). At this time of year, I am reminded how essential a period of repose is to the creative process. All semester long, we have taught and learned; spoken and listened; trained, practiced, and pursued urgent questions. We’ve internalized the events of our lives and the concerns of the world and expressed them through and across our many disciplines. You’ve been giving it your all, and you may feel weary.

Now, I hope you will find time to recuperate before your return in January. To begin this restoration, you need to stop working for a little bit. The effect, however, will be more than physical. When you cease laboring over a problem, temporarily setting aside the questions you pursued all semester, your subconscious continues to percolate. Like when you step back from the canvas, close the book, or take a break during class, your creativity simmers. You’re not actively making, and then: Lightning strikes. Inspiration. The next question.

Ideally, the upcoming respite will help you enter the new year rejuvenated and full of ideas. Upon our return, we’ll reengage with the concerns of the larger world while also continuing to learn, grow, and make our campus a place of belonging. Below, I have shared some of the things we have planned for next semester. But after you review these upcoming projects, mentally file them away until 2020. Take a deep breath and relax. Have a restful and restorative winter break, and I’ll look forward to seeing you, ready to pursue new questions, next year.

Rest well,

Elissa Tenny