SAIC Magazine Spring 2020

In this issue, School of the Art Institute of Chicago magazine explores the courage of SAIC artists and designers in art school and beyond.

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February 6, 2020

A Critical Eye

Critiques, even the difficult ones, can make an artist resilient, teach them to learn from failure, to be more human.

February 6, 2020

The Bravery of Sanford Biggers

From the start of his career, African American history has been a part of Sanford Biggers’ (MFA 1999) work; he is uncompromising about telling the whole truth of the past. This is intentional, and it takes courage. 

February 5, 2020

The Courage to Belong

SAIC's First-Generation Fellows is a pilot program that aims to create a stronger peer network for first-generation students, who make up nearly 20 percent of SAIC’s undergraduate and graduate community.

Jose Lerma

February 5, 2020

My Chicago

From Pilsen and Bridgeport to the Art Institute of Chicago, José Lerma, chair of the Painting and Drawing department, introduces his Chicago.

February 4, 2020


On July 27, 2019, Jefferson Pinder, interim dean of faculty and vice president of academic affairs, realized a meditative performance called FLOAT in Lake Michigan to honor Eugene Williams.

President Elissa Tenny photo

February 3, 2020

From the President

President Elissa Tenny reflects on the courage of SAIC artists and designers in art school and beyond. 

February 2, 2020

Where I Work

Angee Lennard (BFA 2004), founder and executive director, has steadily expanded Spudnik Press since its humble beginning, moving to a large, industrial space in Chicago’s West Loop in 2009.

February 2, 2020

On View

Courage is not unknown to the work and practices of MacArthur Fellows Jeffrey Gibson (BFA 1995) and Walter Hood (MFA 2013).

Moki Tantoco (BFA 2014)

February 2, 2020

Career Conversations

Read an excerpt from our conversation with Moki Tantoco (BFA 2014), museum educator and artist.

Photo: Tony Favarula

February 2, 2020

En Plein Air

SAIC and the Chicago Botanic Garden team up for a new course.  

Cildo Meireles, Insertions into Ideological Circuits: Coca-Cola Project, 1970 (ongoing)

February 2, 2020

About a Work

For Lecturer Magdalena Moskalewicz, Cildo Meireles' Insertions into Ideological Circuits: Coca-Cola Project is “an opportunity to talk with students about what an ‘ideological circuit’ is."  

February 1, 2020

Empowering a New Wave

RE-TOOL 21, art preparation skills development program provides arts training for professionals.

February 1, 2020

Meet the Graduating Class

Meet what inspires four of our newest alums.

February 1, 2020

Field Trip

Students exhibit work at the 2019 Setouchi Triennale in Japan as part of the course, The Details of Life.

January 31, 2020

Street Style

Here are our editors’ picks from some of the best styles at the Fall Undergraduate Exhibition on November 15 at SAIC’s Sullivan Galleries.  

January 30, 2020

The Process

Nicholas Lowe, program director and associate professor in Historic Preservation, is a visual artist, curator, historian, and archivist.

January 30, 2020

My Obsessions: Mie Kongo (BFA 2006)

Mie Kongo (BFA 2006) divides her time between Chicago and  rural Indiana town, preferring large, bustling cities while finding solace in quiet nature walks. Here are some of the obsessions of someone who welcomes contradiction:    

Emil Ferris (BFA 2008, MFA 2010) Photo: Whitten Sabbatini

January 30, 2020

Q&A with Emil Ferris (BFA 2008, MFA 2010)

Q&A with artist and writer Emil Ferris (BFA 2008, MFA 2010) who returns to SAIC on February 11 for her Distinguished Alumni Visiting Artists Program Lecture. 

Photo: Library of Congress

January 30, 2020

From the Archives

Jane Heap (SAIC 1902–05), a painter born in 1883 in Topeka, Kansas, was an important figure in the fight for artistic freedom.

January 30, 2020

Emerging Designer

Beijing-native Xiang “Sean” Gu’s (MDes 2019) graduate collection of sculptural garments has earned him accolades in the New York City fashion world and at SAIC. He is the recipient of the 2019 NicNac Fellowship, a $10,000 award that recognizes exceptional promise in a graduating master’s student in Fashion, Body and Garment.

January 30, 2020

Why I Give

Claire Ashley (MFA 1995) teaches new generations of young artists at SAIC, challenging them to make the work that matters to them and to go off the grid.  

January 29, 2020

Class Notes

A look at the accomplishment of SAIC alums. 

January 29, 2020

Art Scene

Fall 2019 was full of great events on and off campus.