School of the Art Institute of Chicago Hosts Online Art Auction and Benefit to Support Student Scholarships

October 25, 2022

Betsy Rupprecht, Untitled, 1980

Betsy Rupprecht, Untitled, 1980

Contemporary Artwork from Notable Alums and Faculty Available for Purchase on from November 1 through 14.

A Happening Auction Party, Taking Place November 11, Highlights Exclusive Work from Contemporary Artists.

CHICAGO—The School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC), a global leader in art and design education, is inviting all art collectors and enthusiasts to an online auction taking place November 1 through 14 on, where a diverse group of SAIC alums and faculty will donate their work to raise crucial funds for student scholarships.

The impressive list of artists includes Nick Cave, Sanford Biggers, Candida Alvarez, Roger Brown, Karl Wirsum, Angel Otero, Richard Hunt, Michelle Grabner, Jeffery Gibson, Diane Simpson, Richard Rezac, and many more.

“Art and design have a significant place in our society, and these practices have the power to help us see our world in unexpected ways and offer solutions to the challenges we face,” said SAIC President Elissa Tenny. “It is our responsibility as a world-class art and design college to break down barriers so any student who has the talent and desire can pursue this education, and supporting student scholarships is critical to this effort.”

In addition to the online auction, on Friday, November 11, beginning at 6:30 p.m., SAIC will host A Happening Auction Party at its flagship public gallery, located at 33 East Washington Street. The event at SAIC Galleries celebrates the world-renowned artists and designers that have generously donated their works. Inspired by the boisterous “Happenings” of Allan Kaprow during 1950-60s where he and his contemporaries would perform small tasks that encompassed art, performance, and spontaneity, the evening will include an exclusive, live auction with works from Suellen Rocca, Karl Wirsum, Roger Brown, Betsy Rupprecht, and Ellen Lanyon.

Proceeds from both the ticket and auction sales will benefit student scholarships. Tickets for A Happening Auction Party begin at $300 and can be purchased at

“For more than 150 years, some of the most renowned artists have attended or taught at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and we’re thrilled to bring together such a prestigious selection of work from faculty and alums who have shaped the world of contemporary art today,” said SAIC Professor and former Dean of Faculty Lisa Wainwright, who is curating the collection. “The SAIC Art Auction and A Happening Auction Party offer a rare opportunity for art buyers to add to their collections while supporting the next generation of great artists.”

Details on Performances
The Happenings of the evening are comprised of 8-10 minute performances, involving audiences dispersed throughout the galleries. The first happening, titled Significant form, highlights 12 performers, or "happeners," who will choreograph audience members into intricate arrangements throughout the space, based on the colors of their garments, while making sounds and donning one-of-a-kind masks made by the artist Oli Watt. For the second happening, titled The Banquet, the happeners will arrange the audience members into an absurd and surreal tableau and document the scene utilizing a number of polaroid cameras.

Chris Ware Giveaway
All attendees on November 11 may enter a drawing to win one of 10 limited edition prints by artist and alum Chris Ware.

For More Event Information

Details can be found at

Among the artists scheduled to be in attendance for A Happening Auction Party are Phyllis Bramson, Lora Fosberg, Judith Geichman, Lorraine Peltz, Paul Rocca, and Mary Lou Zelazny.

About the School of the Art Institute of Chicago

For more than 155 years, the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC) has been a leader in educating the world’s most influential artists, designers, and scholars. Located in downtown Chicago with a fine arts graduate program ranked number two in the nation by U.S. News and World Report, SAIC provides an interdisciplinary approach to art and design as well as world-class resources, including the Art Institute of Chicago museum, on-campus galleries, and state-of-the-art facilities. SAIC’s undergraduate, graduate, and post-baccalaureate students have the freedom to take risks and create the bold ideas that transform Chicago and the world, and adults, teens, and kids in our Continuing Studies classes have the opportunity to explore their creative sides, build portfolios, and advance their skills. Notable alums and faculty include Georgia O’Keeffe, Nick Cave, David Sedaris, LaToya Ruby Frazier, Cynthia Rowley, Michelle Grabner, Richard Hunt, Apichatpong Weerasethakul, and Jeff Koons.