CHICAGO—The School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC), a global leader in art and design education, announced a $2 million endowment gift from Stephanie and Bill Sick of Winnetka, Ill. The gift will endow a full professorship, available to faculty members in any of the School’s 33 undergraduate and graduate degree programs. Artist and designer Nick Cave was appointed the inaugural Stephanie and Bill Sick Professor of Fashion, Body, and Garment.
Celebrated for his iconic “Soundsuits,” Cave recently opened two new exhibitions to great renown: “Until” at the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art (MASS MoCA) and “Nick Cave” at Stanford University’s Anderson Collection. In September, Cave was featured on the PBS series, Art21, alongside Chicago-based artists Theaster Gates (SAIC honorary doctorate, 2014), Chris Ware (SAIC alum, 1991–93) and Barbara Kasten. Cave has been a faculty member at SAIC for more than 25 years and played a critical role in establishing the School’s graduate program in Fashion Design and in developing SAIC’s approach to the art/design nexus and social practice.
“Stephanie and Bill Sick have long supported the role of artists and designers in shaping our world, and the establishment of the Stephanie and Bill Sick Professorship will allow us to assure that that we can continue to attract and retain world-class faculty,” said Elissa Tenny, President of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. “We are incredibly thankful to Bill and Stephanie for their support of SAIC and its faculty, and we congratulate Nick on his new appointment.”
Stephanie and Bill Sick are longtime supporters of the arts and culture, civic affairs and education throughout the Chicago area. Stephanie is a member of the Art Institute of Chicago’s Board of Trustees (which oversees the School and the Museum) and the Museum’s Woman’s Board. At SAIC, she has served on the Board of Governors since 1994 and is also a member of the School’s Development Committee, Campaign Steering Committee and Fashion Council. In 2006, the Sicks established the Bill and Stephanie Sick Visiting Professorship to bring internationally-renowned artists to SAIC on a visiting basis, including Chris Ware (SAIC 1991–93), Theaster Gates (HON 2014), Andrea Zittel, Catherine Opie, Bruce Mau and Jaume Plensa.
“It is rare to have such a great opportunity to make a significant impact in someone’s life, and we are thrilled to support the School of the Art Institute of Chicago by establishing the Stephanie and Bill Sick Professorship,” said Bill Sick. Added Stephanie Sick: “Nick Cave is an exceptional artist and teacher, who has had a momentous impact on his students and his community, and we are so proud that he is the first recipient of this professorship.”
Coming off of a year-long celebration of its 150th anniversary, the School recently launched the public phase of its $50 million fundraising campaign, Beautiful/Work: The Campaign for SAIC. The Sicks’ gift is part of the more than $43 million raised to date for student scholarships and faculty resources as part of the Beautiful/Work campaign.
SAIC’s endowed professorships provide expanded resources, research funding and opportunities for growth inside and outside of the classroom. Additionally, these prestigious positions help SAIC attract and retain highly regarded faculty members who come from all over the world to teach at the School.
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 alumni and faculty such as Michelle Grabner, David Sedaris, Elizabeth Murray, Richard Hunt, Georgia O’Keeffe, Cynthia Rowley, Nick Cave, Jeff Koons and LeRoy Neiman.