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

Meet the Graduating Class


Asiya Toorawa (BFA 2019)

Hometown: Ithaca, New York

Three words that describe you: Caring, assertive, trustworthy

Favorite class or teacher: Aram Han Sifuentes for the invaluable advice she gave me, and all the work she did as a person of color and faculty member in the Fiber and Material Studies department.

Most memorable moment at SAIC: The moment I felt completely comfortable being myself.

One thing you learned at SAIC: How to make political art.

What inspires you? Reflection, grief, travels, memories, books, arguments

One sentence that describes your work: A series of interdisciplinary efforts to reach some understanding about how to navigate the space that I occupy in this country as a Brown, Muslim woman.

Dream job: Running my own boutique hotel/artist residency program with my sister, because it would be a combination of all of my passions in life.


Pascale Jarvis (BFA 2019)

Hometown: Longmeadow, Massachusetts and Phoenix

Three words that describe you: Taurus-sun, Cancer-moon, Libra-ascending

Favorite class or teacher: SAIC’s entire Writing department has been instrumental in my creative practice.

One thing you learned at SAIC: Now I know that a human body cannot carve wood for more than nine hours at a time without cramping up in all sorts of unexpected ways.

What inspires you? I’m impacted by the ways people band together in the face of oppression.

One sentence that describes your work: My work combines minimalist text and imagery of the body to investigate the ways in which we inherit trauma from generations before us.

Dream job: A food critic. I love flavors, and I love words; getting paid to do both things would be the dream.


Carlos Salazar-Lermont (DUAL MA 2019)

Hometown: Caracas, Venezuela

Three words that describe you: Friendly, participative, reliable

Favorite class or teacher: Kate Dumbleton, Rachel Weiss, Jim Elkins, Joseph Grigely, Lori Waxman, Daniel Quiles . . .you can tell they are having a blast when they teach.

Most memorable moment at SAIC: Receiving the Student Leadership Award in 2018 was amazing.

One thing you learned at SAIC: How artists in the late ‘80s and early ‘90s, like Robert Mapplethorpe, Andres Serrano, and Felix Gonzalez-Torres helped to develop awareness on important issues like the LGBTI community’s civil rights and HIV in the United States.

What inspires you? Discontent.

One sentence that describes your work: A powerful encounter with the other.

Dream job: I would choose exactly what I’m doing right now: I would be an artist, curator, and producer. I would love going back to teaching as well.



Giannella Ysasi Tavano (MA 2019)

Hometown: Mexico City

Three words that describe you: Passionate, disciplined, determined

Favorite class or teacher: I loved participating in the Museum Education Graduate Scholars program at the Art Institute of Chicago museum.

Most memorable moment at SAIC: I loved the night at the museum when it was open only for grad students at orientation and realizing I’ll have two more years of having the museum as a backyard!

One thing you learned at SAIC: So much about social practice in the arts! And also getting multiple examples of the vast possibilities of being an artist and creative professional in the world.

What inspires you? Being surrounded by creative minds and passionate people.

One sentence that describes your work: My work advocates for performing arts education, looking at ways in which the body can become part of the conversation to create new ways of thinking about citizenship and social justice.

Dream job: Ballet dancer, always!