Chicago Torture Justice Memorials is one of 2017's Artist as Activist Fellows

The Robert Rauschenberg Foundation’s Artist as Activist Fellowship is designed to provide support to independent artists and art collectives working to highlight and combat social justice issues through a range of mediums. This year’s cohort aims to address the issue of racial justice through the lens of mass incarceration, a systemic problem that disproportionately affects people of color in America. Several SAIC faculty members are part of the Chicago Torture Justice Memorials (CTJM), a cultural collective and one of 2017’s Artist as Activist Fellows, that has been working to bring justice to police torture survivors in Chicago. Through their range of initiatives, including public events, roundtables, and memorials that honor the experiences of survivors and their families, the collective has been successful in securing reparations for victims who suffered racially motivated brutality at the hands of law enforcement. Members from the SAIC community include core CTJM members Professor Mary Patten of the Film, Video, New Media and Animation, and Visual and Critical Studies departments; Adjunct Assistant Professor of Sculpture and Art Education, Sarah Ross; former Professor of Sculpture, A. Laurie Palmer; and former CTJM members Adjunct Professor in Fiber and Material Studies, Writing, and Low-Residency MFA Ellen Rothenberg; Adjunct Associate Professor in Sculpture Kevin Kaempf; and alum Ben Stagl (MFA 2011). Read more about the project at