Marketing & Communications: SAIC Receives $1 Million Gift To Establish the Joan Livingstone Fiber and Material Studies Merit Scholarship Fund

CHICAGO—The School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC), a global leader in art and design education, received a $1 million gift to support student scholarships from longtime faculty member Joan Livingstone.

Over the next 10 years, the Joan Livingstone Fiber and Material Studies Merit Scholarship Fund will provide one full-tuition scholarship each year, beginning with the fall 2020 incoming cohort. The scholarship provides graduate students studying in the Department of Fiber and Material Studies the opportunity to earn their degree tuition free.

Livingstone has been a faculty member at SAIC for nearly 40 years and played a critical role in developing the progressive curriculum of the School’s Department of Fiber and Material Studies. Currently serving as professor emerita, Livingstone was chair of the department at various points during her tenure, as well as chair of the Undergraduate Division from 2006–08. Livingstone’s work focuses on sculpture, installations, prints, and collages that emphasize the human body in relation to its surroundings. She has received a number of awards and national recognition for her work, which can be seen in the permanent collections of the Art Institute of Chicago; Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago; Boise Art Museum, Idaho; and Portland Art Museum, Oregon, among other places. 

“As an essential practitioner in the field and key architect of the department’s curriculum, Joan has provided hundreds of students with the skills, knowledge base and critical dispositions that make the School of the Art Institute of Chicago’s Fiber and Material Studies department renowned,” said SAIC President Elissa Tenny. “In establishing the Joan Livingstone Fiber and Material Studies Graduate Merit Scholarship Fund, she ensures that tradition will continue.”

The Joan Livingstone Fiber and Materials Studies Merit Scholarship Fund joins the existing Wilson/Livingstone Graduate Fellowship—established in 2014 in honor of Livingstone and faculty member Anne Wilson by Gail Hodges, member of SAIC’s Board of Governors—as another vehicle for attracting exceptional talent to SAIC’s Department of Fiber and Material Studies. The department, ranked the No. 1 fiber arts program in America by U.S. News and World Report, is one of the largest of its kind in the world, with a progressive curriculum grounded in research and driven by innovative concepts, emphasizing the production of textiles and fiber arts with considerations for critical political and social themes.

“Over the past 36 years, my colleagues and I, in concert with our extraordinary students, developed one of higher education’s most innovative and progressive fiber curricula, emphasizing material meaning, labor and historical context,” said Livingstone. “I hope that the Joan Livingstone Fiber and Materials Studies Merit Scholarship Fund will help attract the very best candidates to the School of the Art Institute of Chicago’s Master of Fine Arts program in the department that has been my academic home.”

About the School of the Art Institute of Chicago
For more than 150 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 consistently ranking among the top programs 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—as seen through notable alums and faculty such as Michelle Grabner, David Sedaris, Elizabeth Murray, Richard Hunt, Georgia O’Keeffe, Cynthia Rowley, Nick Cave, Jeff Koons and LeRoy Neiman. 


Press/Media contact

Bree Witt
P: 312.499.4211 (office)
E: communications@saic.edu