Two students talking in the MacLean Media Center.

Creative Innovators, Collaborative Mentors

Fearless innovators, bold rethinkers: SAIC faculty members push the boundaries of creative exploration. In their work as makers, scholars, and innovators, and through their teaching and mentorship, they’re shaping the future of art and design alongside their students. 

Image of Nick Cave.

Nick Cave: Art for Empowerment

Best known for his iconic Soundsuits, Stephanie and Bill Sick Professor of Fashion, Body and Garment Nick Cave works across fashion, sculpture, performance, and installation, turning found materials into creative masterpieces that counter oppression with joy.

    Learning From One Another

    “Trust what you know and also trust not knowing—challenge yourself to continually ask questions and participate in complicated cultural and civic dialogues. We learn from each other, and we grow from being challenged and from being willing to be vulnerable.” Trevor Martin is executive director of exhibitions and exhibition studies, a senior lecturer, and an SAIC alum.

    Image of Trevor Martin

    Embracing Radical Curiosity

    “For art-making, it’s important to stay open-minded and courageous enough to take risks, think beyond what is normal and safe, and never stop being curious.” Mie Kongo is an SAIC alum and associate professor in the Ceramics department.

    Mie Kongo faces the camera while crossing her arms. She is wearing a gray shirt and glasses with clear frames. Her studio can be seen in the background.

    Making Art for Change

    “My job as a teacher is about getting my students to understand how art can give them a space to think critically about the world around them, so they can bear witness and create change.” Maria Gaspar is associate professor of Contemporary Practices.

    Maria in a black dress smiling at the camera.

    Simple Solutions

    "There are elegant designs for complex problems, and they can be very simple solutions. Do more with less. It’s also an ethos of how I operate as an artist. I want to make the simplest things that contain the most." Diana Guerrero-Maciá is a professor of Fiber and Material Studies and chair of the department.

    Diana Guerrero-Macia
    Purposefully Different

    The Draw of Mathematics

    SAIC’s Scientist-in-Residence program opens artists’ minds to abstract concepts outside their disciplines. Theoretical mathematician Eugenia Cheng’s popular courses delve into the meaning of math.

    A shot of campus

    SAIC Announces New Faculty for the 2023–24 School Year

    The School of the Art Institute of Chicago welcomes its newest cohort of tenure-track faculty. These nine artists, designers, and scholars represent the wide breadth of work undertaken at SAIC and highlight each of our core values.