Describe your path since graduating from SAIC, and what you're doing today.
When I graduated from my MA in Visual and Critical Studies at SAIC in 2014, I was hired as a Curatorial Assistant for the inaugural Chicago Architecture Biennial (2015). Since my work is focused mainly on issues in contemporary architecture and the intersections between the social and design realms, collaborating on this unique curatorial endeavor was a formative experience. In 2016, I moved to New York to begin working as a Curatorial Assistant in the Department of Architecture and Design at The Museum of Modern Art, where I was involved in exhibition and publication projects including Insecurities: Tracing Displacement and Shelter (2016), which traced the role and responsibility of architects responding to global refugee emergencies; Frank Lloyd Wright at 150: Unpacking the Archive (2017), which invited scholars to engage anew with Wright’s work to find new interpretations; and Reconstructions: Architecture and Blackness in America (2021), which examines how race structures America’s cities. After focusing on curatorial work for these past few years, I have decided to go back to school to pursue a terminal degree and I will be enrolling in an Architecture PhD program in the fall.
Describe how VCS has impacted where you are today.
VCS provided me with a unique perspective that allows me to approach the field of architecture as an expansive realm. My PhD proposal included VCS methodology and I remain invested in blurring disciplinary boundaries and in exploring the socio-political impacts of architecture, design, and the build environment.
What is the most memorable experience you have from your time in VCS?
The most memorable experiences of my time in VCS are the relationships I built with my cohort and peers at SAIC. I continue to be inspired and bolstered by the brilliant Felecia Mings who has recently been named the new curator at the Art Gallery of York University, Toronto, after a tenure at the Art Institute of Chicago, and the wonderful Kelly Lloyd who is currently pursuing a Doctorate in Fine Arts at University of Oxford, England. I am also deeply grateful for the support of wonderful mentors like Nathanaël Stephens, Shawn Smith, and Rebecca Duclos, who pushed me to be a better, more curious, and more thoughtful writer and scholar.
Describe what VCS students might expect from the program.
I didn’t know what to expect when I enrolled in the VCS program! I was coming from a background in Art History and I just knew I was looking for something less entrenched in disciplinary boundaries. You can expect to work incredibly hard, meet passionate people, be challenged on a daily basis, and be introduced to a whole new realm of thinkers and makers.
What do you wish you had known when you were still in VCS?
Embrace the ambiguity of a non-traditional path and anticipate that you’ll be asked to explain what VCS is a lot!
See also: What Color is Racism? (article about Amanda Williams); Visualizing Refuge (interview with Yara Said); Do-Over at Unrequited Leisure, Nashville (exhibition); and Michelle Millar Fisher: The Politics of Curation (interview with colleague Michelle Fisher).
Disclaimer: All work represents the views of the INDIVIDUAL ARTISTS & AUTHORS who created them, and are not those of the school or museum of the Art Institute.