Investment in Process and Collaboration Drives MFA Show

Chicago, IL—For over four months a team of three distinguished Guest Curators and 12 Graduate Curatorial Fellows have spent hours in SAIC’s MFA graduate studios: engaging artists, viewing current work, and envisioning the culminating exhibition. This invested approach allows for dialogue, process, and collaborative decision-making to guide the curatorial teams as they work together with 108 participating artists to bring the MFA Show to fruition over time. The results are on view April 13–May 17 in the SAIC Sullivan Galleries, 33 S. State St., 7th floor (Tuesday–Saturday, 11:00 a.m.–6:00 p.m.)

This year’s Guest Curators are Lisa Dorin, Deputy Director for Curatorial Affairs at the Williams College Museum of Art; Duncan MacKenzie (SAIC MFA 2002), artist, founding member, and producer of Bad at Sports; and Encarnación M. Teruel (SAIC 1978–82), Director of Visual Arts, Media, and Multi-Disciplinary Programs at the Illinois Arts Council. This is the third consecutive year that a team of guest curators has led the curatorial process for SAIC’s MFA Show. More information about the MFA Show—including a complete roster of participating artists, information on exhibition special events and programs, artists’ statements, and images—is available at

"For all SAIC graduate students—whether they are exhibitors, performers, writers, scholars, or curators—the MFA Show offers a focused period of production, reflection, and transition that is uniquely supported by SAIC’s extraordinary faculty and staff," says Rebecca Duclos, Dean of Graduate Studies. SAIC Executive Director of Exhibitions and Exhibition Studies Mary Jane Jacob adds, “The 2013 MFA Show seeks to broaden the conversation around the meaning of ‘thesis.’ Experimentation, development, and reciprocity distinguish SAIC’s MFA Show from those of its peers.”

2013 MFA Show
April 13–May 17
Opening reception: Friday, April 12, 7:00–9:00 p.m.
Sullivan Galleries, 33 S. State St., 7th floor

About the Guest Curators

Formerly Associate Curator of Contemporary Art at the Art Institute of Chicago—where she curated one-person contemporary art exhibitions for the museum’s focus series, including recent projects with artists William Pope.L, Monica Bonvicini, Richard Hawkins, and Sharon Hayes—Lisa Dorin became Deputy Director for Curatorial Affairs at the Williams College Museum of Art (Williamstown, MA) this March. She received her BA from the University of California at Santa Cruz in studio art and art history and earned her Master of Art from the Williams College Graduate Program in the History of Art, specializing in contemporary and video art. She recently edited a catalogue of the Art Institute of Chicago’s time-based media collection.

Duncan MacKenzie is an artist, pundit, educator, and a founding member/producer of Bad at Sports ( His works have appeared in galleries all over the world including Canada, Australia, the United States, New Zealand, Estonia, and England. MacKenzie received his Master of Fine Arts from SAIC in 2002, and in 2005 began the project Bad at Sports with Richard Holland. Bad at Sports is one of the largest arts resources in the US and continues to grow every week. Currently the site shares an archive of 390 hours worth of audio documenting art happenings of Chicago, New York, and San Francisco, and more than 2,000 posts by the best art writers in Chicago. MacKenzie is also the author of over 300 interviews and has worked with such arts and arts professionals as Rodney Graham, Kerry James Marshall, Suzanne Lacy, Martha Wilson, Helen Molesworth, Francesco Bonami, Luc Tuymans, Johanna Drucker, Jeff Wall, and David Salle. He is currently an Assistant Professor in Art + Design at Columbia College Chicago.

Encarnación M. Teruel is currently the Director of Visual Arts, Media & Multi-Disciplinary Programs, and the ADA/504 Access Coordinator at the Illinois Arts Council. He is a first generation Mexican-American born in Chicago, where he has an extensive history as a performance artist, performing arts presenter, curator, and educator. Teruel attended SAIC from 1978–82. In 1989 he created and established the Performing Arts Department for the National Museum of Mexican Art and the Chicago Tribune named him one of the 1996 Chicagoans of the Year for Culture. In 1998 he served as the Senior Cultural Arts Officer for the Chicago Park District before developing the first Performing Arts and Lectures Division at the Field Museum of Natural History in 2000. As an artist he has received numerous grants and awards from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Illinois Arts Council. He has served on numerous advisory boards, panels, and committees for arts organizations and foundations including the Bush Foundation, the Rockefeller Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Arts, and is the team leader for the Illinois Arts Council Individual Artist Support initiative, a program that represents the council's commitment to continued support for the work of individual artists in Illinois.

2013 SAIC Graduate Curatorial Fellows

Laura Bickford (Dual MA 2013)
Lee Colon (MA 2013)
Giana Gambino (Dual MA 2014)
Aram Han (MFA 2013)
Brittany Newman (Dual MA 2013)
Raven Munsell (Dual MA 2014)
Laura Nevins (MA 2013)
Ian Ostrowski (MA 2013)
William Ruggiero (MA 2013)
Erin Toale (Dual MA 2013)
Katherine Waddell (Dual MA 2013)
Hanlu Zhang (MA 2013)

History of Past MFA Show Guest Curators

Steven L. Bridges (Dual MA 2009)
grupa o.k. (Joanna Szupinska and Julian Myers)
Pablo Helguera (BFA 1993)
Tumelo Mosaka

Juan William Chávez (MFA 2004)
Jessica Cochran (MA 2008)
Bryce Dwyer (MA 2010)
Gregory J. Harris (MA 2010)

About the School of the Art Institute of Chicago
A leader in educating artists, designers, and scholars since 1866, the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC) offers nationally accredited undergraduate and graduate degrees and post-baccalaureate programs to nearly 3,200 students from around the globe. SAIC also enables adults, high school students, middle school students, and children to flourish in a variety of courses, workshops, certificate programs, and camps through its Continuing Studies program. Located in the heart of Chicago, SAIC has an educational philosophy built upon an interdisciplinary approach to art and design, giving students unparalleled opportunities to develop their creative and critical abilities, while working with renowned faculty who include many of the leading practitioners in their fields. SAIC's resources include the Art Institute of Chicago and its new Modern Wing; numerous special collections and programming venues provide students with exceptional exhibitions, screenings, lectures, and performances. For more information, please visit


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For over four months a team of three distinguished Guest Curators and 12 Graduate Curatorial Fellows have spent hours in SAIC’s MFA graduate studios: engaging over 100 artists, viewing current work, and envisioning the culminating exhibition.

Press/Media contact

Bree Witt
P: 312.499.4211 (office)