CHICAGO—This fall, the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC), a global leader in art and design education, will host a distinguished lineup of visiting artists who exemplify the boundary-blurring nature of contemporary art. Beginning in September, SAIC’s Visiting Artists Program lecture series will feature a diverse group of artists including: Nayland Blake, an artist, writer, educator and curator who is inspired by feminist and queer liberation movements; Mierle Laderman Ukeles, the official, unsalaried artist-in-residence of the City of New York Department of Sanitation, whose artwork blurs the boundaries between labor and performance, system and spirit and multifaceted designer Eddie Opara, whose work encompasses strategy, design and technology. The fall season begins on September 9.
This fall, SAIC will present the following visiting artists:
- Nayland Blake is an artist, writer, educator and curator who is heavily inspired by feminist and queer liberation movements, and subcultures ranging from punk to kink, Blake’s multidisciplinary practice considers the complexities of representation, particularly racial and gender identity, play and eroticism and the subjective experience of desire, loss and power.
- Since 1977, Mierle Laderman Ukeles (HON 2019) has been the official, unsalaried artist-in-residence of the City of New York Department of Sanitation. Her artwork—blurring boundaries between labor and performance, system and spirit—unveils connections between feminism, work and workers, the city and the environment.
- Park McArthur creates work that varies materially and formally and often engages critiques of autonomy through the ready-made. The artist is interested in dependency in its many instantiations, but particularly under the guidance and instruction of debility and disability.
- Eddie Opara is a multifaceted designer whose projects have included the design of brand identity, publications, packaging, environments, exhibitions, interactive installations, websites, user interfaces and software, with many of his projects ranging across multiple media.
- Jeffrey Gibson (BFA 1995) is an interdisciplinary artist whose artwork references various aesthetic and material histories rooted in Indigenous cultures of the Americas, and in modern and contemporary subcultures.
- Aaron Williamson is a performance and video artist whose work is informed by his experience of becoming deaf. Williamson engages with disability politic, highlighting issues of access and exclusion, but in a humorous or absurd manner; revealing, playing up to, and skewing social attitudes toward disability.
The Visiting Artists Program, founded in 1868, is the oldest public program at SAIC. In addition to bringing some of the leading artistic voices to SAIC, the program plays a critical role in informing the curriculum by arranging studio critiques and roundtable discussions with students, providing them with direct access to world-renowned speakers working across disciplines.
Visiting Artists Program Lecture Schedule
All presentations are free and open to the public, begin promptly at 6:00 p.m. and take place in Rubloff Auditorium at the Art Institute of Chicago, 230 South Columbus Drive, unless noted otherwise. All seating is first come, first served, and reservations are not required. For more information, visit saic.edu/vap.
Nayland Blake: Bill and Stephanie Sick Distinguished Visiting Professor
Monday, September 9, 6:00 p.m.
Established in 2006 by a generous gift from Bill and Stephanie Sick, this distinguished visiting professorship enables internationally renowned artists and designers to visit and teach at SAIC.
Mierle Laderman Ukeles
Tuesday, September 24, 6:00 p.m.
This lecture is presented in conjunction with the exhibition “Re:Working Labor” at SAIC’s Sullivan Galleries from September 21–November 27, curated by Daniel Eisenberg and Ellen Rothenberg, faculty research fellows at SAIC’s Institute for Curatorial Research and Practice.
Tuesday, October 1, 6:00 p.m
Presented in partnership with the Society for Contemporary Art
An ASL interpreter will be on site, and CART captioning will be available on any personal device with Internet access.
Tuesday, October 15, 6:00 p.m.
Jeffrey Gibson: Distinguished Alumni Lecture Series
Monday, October 28, 6:00 p.m.
Presented in partnership with SAIC Alumni Relations
Tuesday, November 5, 6:00 p.m.
CART captioning will be available on any personal device with Internet access.
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.
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