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

Faculty Member’s “Journey of Tolerance” Leads Him to Standing Rock

Leading a team of scientists, teachers, and other artists, SAIC faculty member Don Pollack (Visual Communication Design) set out on a 3,000-mile bike ride to “[remap] the Earth as a home for tolerance.”

His project, Crossing the Great Divide, was a “journey of tolerance” and brought him face-to-face with Standing Rock and its people. As a result, Pollack partnered with Joe Podlasek, CEO of Schaumburg’s Trickster Gallery, the only Native American owned and operated arts institution in Illinois, to raise money and gather donations for the people camped out at Standing Rock to demonstrate against the proposed Dakota Access Pipeline. Additionally, Pollack is hoping to connect people in Chicago and at SAIC with people on or near the reservations through partnerships with Native American artists, gallery spaces, and others.

As Pollack told F Newsmagazine, “Artists—and this is something I struggle with— need to consider these issues and bring them out in a way that is understandable without just preaching to the choir. How can we face outward?”