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

Class Notes


Ekaterina Balueva (MA 2016) welcomed a new baby, Yvo Bogert.


Rashayla Marie Brown (BFA 2015) is a High Concept Labs’ spring 2017 Sponsored Artist and a finalist for the 2017 Chicago Artadia Awards.

Natalie Castro (BFA 2017), Oscar Chen (BFA 2017), and Sappho Finnegan (BFA 2017) were spotlighted in Out magazine for their debut fashion collections, which challenge the binary assertion of gender-specific clothing.

Chantelle Choi’s (BFA 2017) Devil’s Tea Cold Brewer, an easy-cleaning coffee maker, won the academic award at SAIC’s Design Challenge.

Theodore Darst’s (BFA 2011) first solo show was on display at Magenta Plains gallery in New York City.

Patsy Díaz (MA 2015) began a new position as Program and Event Facilitator with the Chicago Park District.

Photo courtesy of Patsy Diaz (MA 2015)

Jiieh G. Hur (MFA 2011) exhibited the work Noanimal for the joint exhibition Clear Confusion with Min ha Park at Whistle, Seoul.

Jac Kuntz (MA 2016) published art reviews for the online publication Burnaway.

Kimia Maleki (MA 2016) curated Sedentary Fragmentation, a group show of Iranian artists including: Hannibal Alkhas (MFA 1959), Yasamin Ghanbari (MFA 2010), Azadeh Gholizadeh (MFA 2012), Maryam Hoseini (MFA 2016), Mehdi Hosseini (BFA 1968), Elnaz Javani (MFA 2015), Sophie Loloi (BFA 2016), Nazafarin Lotfi (MFA 2011), and Raha Raissnia (BFA 1992) at Heaven Gallery.

Brontë Mansfield’s (MA 2017) new podcast, Mystic, is garnering praise from the A.V. Club.

Viraj Mithani (BFA 2015) had a solo exhibition Decalcomania Fractal: An Ode to Naren at Clark House Initiative in Bombay.

Ricardo Phillips (BFA 2013, MA 2015) was selected for the program, “Connecting Collections: Integrating Modern and Contemporary Art into the Classroom” at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Vasia Rigou (MA 2015) launched Rainbowed., a website about art and culture in Chicago.

Mary Serbe (MA 2010) is now Education Director at Yellowstone Art Museum.

JinApril Son (BFA 2014) presented her solo exhibition and curated the multimedia event, RX Vision Space Jam 001 in Detroit.

Vincent Tiley’s (MFA 2013) work is featured in OUT magazine, and the work was at Museum of Art and Design in New York City, curated by Danny Orendorff (MA 2012). Tiley also debuted the video installation Material Eyes at the International Museum of Surgical Science.

Ahran Won (MArch 2014) was selected as one of four prototype winners for the Lexus Design Award.

Lantian Xie (MFA 2012) is representing the United Arab Emirates at the 57th Venice Biennale.


Jozef Amado (MFA 2006) and Işil Eğrikavuk (MA 2005, MFA 2008) are exhibiting After the Fact at the Lenbachhaus museum in Munich.

Karen Archey (BFA 2008) was named curator of contemporary art and time-based media at the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam.

Sharon Burdett (MFA 2005) won the 2017 Startup Challenge for her bread-baking device.

Jason Childers (BFA 2009) was a featured artist in the Occupy Museums installation Debt Fair at the 2017 Whitney Biennial.

Alex Chitty (MFA 2008), and Cameron Clayborn (BFA 2016) are finalists for the 2017 Chicago Artadia Awards.

Emil Ferris (BFA 2008, MFA 2010) recently released her debut graphic novel, My Favorite Thing is Monsters, to critical acclaim, and is finding herself in the spotlight with profiles in the New Yorker, New York Times, and Chicago magazine.

Courtesy of Emil Ferris (BFA 2008)

Ruba Katrib (BA 2004) was named curatorial advisor to the 2017 Frieze London art fair.

Athanasia Kyriakakos (MFA 2000) is a finalist for the National Teacher of the Year award.

Josh Mannis (MFA 2005) is the recipient of the 2017 New York NADA Artadia Award.

Peter Miller (MFA 2005) will be exhibiting work in the central show of the 2017 Venice Biennale.

Huong Ngo (MFA 2004), Aram Han Sifuentes (MFA 2013), and Jenn Smith (MFA 2016) were named 2017 Breakout Artists of the year by Newcity.

Naufus Ramírez-Figueroa (MFA 2008) received the Mies van der Rohe Award from the City of Krefeld and had two solo exhibitions: Two Flamingos Copulating on a Tin Roof at Kunstmuseen Krefeld and Linnaeus in Tenebris at the Contemporary Art Museum Bordeaux.

Sterling Ruby (BFA 2002) is working with longtime collaborative partner, Belgian fashion designer Raf Simons, to reinvent Calvin Klein.

Patricia Treib (BFA 2001) was announced as one of the winners of the 2017 New York Artadia Awards.


Several alumni were selected to create new artwork for the City of Chicagoʹs 50 × 50 Neighborhood Arts Project, including Karen Ami (MFA 1995), Oona D’mello (BFA 2014), and Andryea Natkin (BFA 1981) of the Chicago Mosaic School; Adam Brooks (MFA 1988) and Mathew Wilson (MFA 1993) of Industry of the Ordinary; Erik Debat (SAIC 1991–93); Eric Garcia (MFA 2009) and Katia Perez Fuentes (BFA 2018) of El Paseo Community Garden; Alejandra Garcia Perez (BFA 2017) and Helen McElroy (MFA 2002) of Territory; Elnaz Javanidizaji (MFA 2015) and Meera Rampalli (MA 2019) of Green Star Movement; Erik Peterson (BFA 1999); Cheryl Pope (BFA 2003, MDes 2010); and Bernard Williams (SAIC 1981–84).

Peter Barrett (MFA 1996) co-authored the book Project 258, which details the restaurant Fish & Game in Hudson, New York.

Sanford Biggers (MFA 1999) was awarded the Rome Prize.

Natalie Bookchin’s (MFA 1990) film Long Story Short was recently featured in Hyperallergic and screened at BRIC House in Brooklyn.

William Cordova (BFA 1996) had a solo show, smoke signals: sculpting in time, at Sikkema Jenkins & Co.

Zurich Esposito (MS 1995) and Angelique Power (MFA 1998) were included in Newcity’s “Design 50: Who Shapes Chicago” issue.

Warren Fischer (SAIC 1991–93) and Casey Spooner (SAIC 1989–93) will release an album with Michael Stipe and Boots. The duo also had a museum exhibition at MUMOK in Vienna and released an artist’s book, both titled SIR.

Arthur Hon (SAIC 1999– 2004) was named Sommelier of the Year by Food and Wine magazine.

Arthur Polendo (MFA 1998) participated in the 2017 Whitney Biennial as part of the Occupy Museums collective.

Jason Salavon (MFA 1997) was the first artist to integrate his work into a recently unveiled installation at 150 North Riverside Tower.

Krista Steinka (BFA 1993) has been announced as a 2017 Howard Foundation Fellow for Photography.

Gina Szulkowski (BFA 1992) was named Illinois Art Education Association’s Secondary Art Educator for the Year for 2016.

Apichatpong Weerasethakul (MFA 1998, HON 2011) was awarded the Prince Claus Laureate Prize.


Adele Friedman (MFA 1980) had a solo exhibition of her films, Perspectives on Portraits and Place: The Films of Adele Friedman at the Museo Hermann Nitsch in Naples, Italy, and in Nantes, France.

Hong Sang-soo’s (MFA 1989) latest film On the Beach at Night Alone screened at the Berlin Film Festival this year. The film won a Wilf Family Foundation Award at the 34th Jerusalem Film Festival.

David Sedaris (BFA 1987) had a US book tour for Theft by Finding: Diaries 1977–2002, which was released on May 30.

Tony Tasset’s (MFA 1986) sculpture, Deer, was included on Chicago’s Riverwalk as part of Chicago’s “Year of Public Art” initiative.


Andrea Reynders (BFA 1971) and Morlen Sinoway (BFA 1974) were included in Newcity’s 2017 “Design 50: Who Shapes Chicago” issue.


Sheila Elias (BFA 1969) had a solo exhibition, eye-Pad, at Silvana Facchini Gallery in Miami, and she was in the group exhibition The Trace at Lichtundfire Gallery in New York.

Courtesy of Sheila Elias (BFA 1969)

Art Green (BFA 1965, HON 2016), Constantino Mitchell (SAIC 1979), Gladys Nilsson (BFA 1962, HON 2016), James T. Nutt (BFA 1967, HON 2016), Suellen Rocca (BFA 1964, HON 2016), Barbara A. Rossi (MFA 1970), and Karl A. Wirsum (BFA 1961, HON 2016) had work shown alongside vintage, playable pinball machines in the exhibit Kings and Queens: Pinball, Imagists and Chicago at the Elmhurst Art Museum.

Photo courtesy of Merle Temkin (BFA 1959)


Merle Temkin (BFA 1959) exhibited work in the Racine Art Museum’s Wustum Generations and in Reunion II at Woman Made Gallery in Chicago.

Alumni leaders from major SAIC alumni communities across the United States and in China, India, and Korea gathered in Chicago in June for a retreat guided by the Office of Alumni Relations. The goal was to equip and empower these alumni as leaders in their communities, to help them start new alumni groups, support existing groups, and encourage them to serve as ambassadors of the School.

Alumni Retreat 2017

In Memoriam

Mathew Devendorf ʹs (MDes 2015) passion for drawing comics pushed the boundaries of sequential art. Among his most recent accomplishments was designing an object for a special collection for CB2 that debuted in 2016.

Cheng-Yung Kuo (BFA 2007, MFA 2009) was an interdisciplinary artist who applied his experience to projects for nonprofit, academic, private, and government-based organizations. His work has been exhibited nationally and internationally, and he was the president of the Taiwanese Junior Chamber of Commerce of North America.

Katie Kurcz (MA 2009) had an immense impact on the local Chicago arts community. She was the Director of Programs at the Arts & Business Council of Chicago (A&BC), and she was the founding Co-Chair of Snow City Arts’ Auxiliary Board.

Jay Lynch (SAIC 1963–67) was an artist, writer, and satirist who was a central figure in the “underground comix revolution” of the 1960s and ‘70s. He co-founded Bijou Funnies, was the main writer for Bazooka Joe comics from 1967 to 1990, but was best known for his comic strip Nard n’ Pat.

Ryan Wright (MFA 2014) was an accomplished artist, actor, musician, and writer. He was involved with Curious Theater Branch and was a member of the band The Crooked Mouth, in which he sang and played the guitar and mandolin. He also taught creative writing, music, and theater.

If you would like to be included in Class Notes, send your professional or personal accomplishments such as exhibitions, publications, lectures, new additions to your family, or marriages to alumni@saic.edu. Use the hashtag #SAICalumni on public posts in your own social media channels to be featured on saic.edu/alumni.