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

Designer Artist Citizen Site: Exploring Belonging

Daniel Salamanca Núñez, "Tejo an Untranslatable Cultural Paradox"

Designer Artist Citizen Site: Exploring Belonging
May 21, 2018 - May 31, 2018

Opening: May 24 at 5 p.m.
Organizers: Iker Gil and Ann Lui
Exhibition Coordinator: Heidi Metcalf (MArch 2019)

Università Ca'Foscari, Cultural Flow Zone
Dorsoduro 1392, Venezia

Student Exhibitors: Adnan Faysal Altunbozar, Tizzie Baldenebro, Cat Bluemke, Mary Do, Andrea Hunt, Ashley Hooker Jons, Junxi Lu, Lanye Luo, Kathia Muniz-Rios, Axel Olson, Alberto Ortega, Meera Rampalli, Xavier Robles Armas, Daniel Salamanca, John Stevens, Kekeli Sumah, Vince Tong, Karen Wang, Raven Xu, and Tinglei Zhang.

Designer Artist Citizen Site: Exploring Belonging is an exhibition featuring the work of twenty School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC) students on themes of citizenship and the built environment. The students, both undergraduate and graduate, represent departments from across the school including Architecture, Interior Architecture, and Designed Objects; Art Education; Fiber and Material Studies; Painting and Drawing; Sculpture; and Visual and Critical Studies. The student works, each of which is presented through a large textile banner and a physical artifact, explore themes of immigration, ecology and the agency of plants, nationalism and national identity, queer spaces and violence toward queer people, and forms of belonging produced by architecture and urbanism.

The exhibition is the culmination of a spring course at SAIC, during which students became familiar with the curatorial approach to the U.S. Pavilion while focusing on developing their own critical positions around the role of art and design in questions of citizenship. Aided by lectures and critiques with Chicago-based curators and practitioners, students developed new manifestations of their own projects from their existing bodies of work and interests. During a summer study course, students present the exhibition at Ca’Foscari, in Venice, Italy, experiencing the behind-the-scenes work of organizing and installing an exhibition first-hand. In parallel, students will have the opportunity visit the 2018 Venice Architecture Biennale, engaging and being exposed to international discourse on design.

Capturing a range of interdisciplinary media and methodologies, the works in Designer Artist Citizen Site: Exploring Belonging produce challenging responses to the question, “What does it mean to be a citizen today?” This exhibition explores the topic through the lens of emerging student art practices—critical and from the front lines, both fierce and fragile.

Raven Xu, "Live Together"
Junxi Lu, "It takes a few days to sprout"
Cat Bluemke, "Phage"
Andrea Hunt, "Whims of the Bialowieza Forest"
Mary Do, "Neither Here Nor There"


Press Contact
Scott Hendrickson, shendrickson@saic.edu