School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC) Visiting Artists Program

School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC) Visiting Artists Program Join us for lectures presented by the Visiting Artists Program (VAP)—a public forum that features today's most influential practioners and thinkers.

Formalized in 1951 with the establishment of an endowed fund from Flora Mayer Witkowsky, the Visiting Artists Program hosts public presentations by artists in the form of lectures, symposia, performances, and screenings to foster a greater understanding and appreciation of contemporary art through discourse.

Operating as usual

TONIGHT! Don't miss William Cordova's (BFA 1996) virtual Distinguished Alumni Lecture at 6:30pm CT.More info and Zoom li...
09/14/2021

TONIGHT! Don't miss William Cordova's (BFA 1996) virtual Distinguished Alumni Lecture at 6:30pm CT.
More info and Zoom link available at the link: saic.edu/vap
Image: william cordova, huaca (sacred geometries), 2018. Courtesy of the artist.

TONIGHT! Don't miss William Cordova's (BFA 1996) virtual Distinguished Alumni Lecture at 6:30pm CT.
More info and Zoom link available at the link: saic.edu/vap
Image: william cordova, huaca (sacred geometries), 2018. Courtesy of the artist.

Fall 2021 visiting artist William Cordova (BFA 1996) is a lead artist, along with fall 1997 visiting artist Rick Lowe, o...
09/10/2021
Greenwood Art Project

Fall 2021 visiting artist William Cordova (BFA 1996) is a lead artist, along with fall 1997 visiting artist Rick Lowe, of the Greenwood Art Project, an initiative of the 1921 Tulsa Massacre Centennial Commission. The project is a catalyst for uniting the city of Tulsa by working with artists, residents, leaders, organizations, and businesses to elevate awareness of Greenwood’s history. Learn more about the project at the link below.
Tune in this Tuesday, Sept. 14 at 6:30pm CT for a live virtual lecture by cordova about his practice (more info: saic.edu/vap) and check out Lowe's "Black Wall Street Journal" broadcast on SAIC's Sharp Building (37 S. Wabash Ave.), presented in partnership with Toward Common Cause and the Smart Museum of Art. #TowardCommonCause
#Fellows40

In January 2019, Bloomberg Philanthropies announced the 1 million dollar award granted to Tulsa for the Greenwood Art Project. So what is this Greenwood Art Project exactly? It is an opportunity to share the rich history, artistically with the world.

"The materials I use are usually based on research that I’m doing. It’s shaped and culled from what I have accessible at...
09/09/2021
New life for the discards

"The materials I use are usually based on research that I’m doing. It’s shaped and culled from what I have accessible at that point in time." Check out this recent interview with fall 2021 visiting artist William Cordova (BFA 1996)!
Join us live for a virtual lecture by cordova this Tuesday, September 14 at 6:30pm CT.
More info: https://www.saic.edu/events/william-cordova

Artist William Cordova '04MFA gives new meaning to old objects.

One week away! Join us live Tuesday, September 14 at 6:30pm CT for a virtual lecture by interdisciplinary cultural pract...
09/07/2021

One week away! Join us live Tuesday, September 14 at 6:30pm CT for a virtual lecture by interdisciplinary cultural practitioner William Cordova (BFA 1996) followed by an audience Q&A.
cordova's work addresses the metaphysics of space and time and how objects and perception change when we move around in space.
Learn more: https://www.saic.edu/events/william-cordova
Image: william cordova. Courtesy of the artist.

One week away! Join us live Tuesday, September 14 at 6:30pm CT for a virtual lecture by interdisciplinary cultural practitioner William Cordova (BFA 1996) followed by an audience Q&A.
cordova's work addresses the metaphysics of space and time and how objects and perception change when we move around in space.
Learn more: https://www.saic.edu/events/william-cordova
Image: william cordova. Courtesy of the artist.

Fall 2021 visiting artist Hito Steyerl is a filmmaker, visual artist, writer, and innovator of the essay documentary. He...
09/03/2021

Fall 2021 visiting artist Hito Steyerl is a filmmaker, visual artist, writer, and innovator of the essay documentary. Her prolific filmmaking and writing occupies a highly discursive position between the fields of art, philosophy, and politics, constituting a deep exploration of late capitalism’s social, cultural, and financial imaginaries.
Learn more: https://www.saic.edu/events/hito-steyerl
Image: Hito Steyerl, SocialSim, 2020, single channel HD video and live computer simulation Dancing Mania. Duration: 18:19 minutes (single channel), Dancing Mania duration variable. Installation view, I Will Survive, K21, Düsseldorf, 2020. Courtesy of the artist, Andrew Kreps Gallery, New York and Esther Schipper, Berlin. © Photo: Achim Kukulies, Düsseldorf

Fall 2021 visiting artist Hito Steyerl is a filmmaker, visual artist, writer, and innovator of the essay documentary. Her prolific filmmaking and writing occupies a highly discursive position between the fields of art, philosophy, and politics, constituting a deep exploration of late capitalism’s social, cultural, and financial imaginaries.
Learn more: https://www.saic.edu/events/hito-steyerl
Image: Hito Steyerl, SocialSim, 2020, single channel HD video and live computer simulation Dancing Mania. Duration: 18:19 minutes (single channel), Dancing Mania duration variable. Installation view, I Will Survive, K21, Düsseldorf, 2020. Courtesy of the artist, Andrew Kreps Gallery, New York and Esther Schipper, Berlin. © Photo: Achim Kukulies, Düsseldorf

We are excited to have artist Shirin Neshat serve as this year's Bill and Stephanie Sick Distinguished Visiting Professo...
09/01/2021

We are excited to have artist Shirin Neshat serve as this year's Bill and Stephanie Sick Distinguished Visiting Professor. Neshat employs poetic imagery to engage with themes of gender and society, the individual and the collective, and the dialectical relationship between past and present through the lens of her experiences of belonging and exile.
Learn more: https://www.saic.edu/events/shirin-neshat
Image: Shirin Neshat, Land of Dreams, 2019, single-channel video installation, HD video monochrome. Duration: 25 minutes and 19 seconds. Courtesy of the artist and Gladstone Gallery, New York and Brussels.

We are excited to have artist Shirin Neshat serve as this year's Bill and Stephanie Sick Distinguished Visiting Professor. Neshat employs poetic imagery to engage with themes of gender and society, the individual and the collective, and the dialectical relationship between past and present through the lens of her experiences of belonging and exile.
Learn more: https://www.saic.edu/events/shirin-neshat
Image: Shirin Neshat, Land of Dreams, 2019, single-channel video installation, HD video monochrome. Duration: 25 minutes and 19 seconds. Courtesy of the artist and Gladstone Gallery, New York and Brussels.

Fall 2021 visiting writer Amitav Ghosh is an acclaimed author whose work has been translated into more than 30 languages...
08/27/2021

Fall 2021 visiting writer Amitav Ghosh is an acclaimed author whose work has been translated into more than 30 languages. For his VAP presentation, Ghosh will read from and discuss his non-fiction book, The Great Derangement: Climate Change and the Unthinkable.
Learn more: https://www.saic.edu/events/amitav-ghosh
Image: Left: Amitav Ghosh. Image courtesy of Ivo van der Bent. Right: Amitav Ghosh, The Great Derangement: Climate Change and the Unthinkable, 2016, the University of Chicago Press
Authors Unbound Agency

Fall 2021 visiting writer Amitav Ghosh is an acclaimed author whose work has been translated into more than 30 languages. For his VAP presentation, Ghosh will read from and discuss his non-fiction book, The Great Derangement: Climate Change and the Unthinkable.
Learn more: https://www.saic.edu/events/amitav-ghosh
Image: Left: Amitav Ghosh. Image courtesy of Ivo van der Bent. Right: Amitav Ghosh, The Great Derangement: Climate Change and the Unthinkable, 2016, the University of Chicago Press
Authors Unbound Agency

Get to know the fall 2021 visiting artists! Katie Paterson lives and works in Fife, Scotland and is known for her multid...
08/25/2021

Get to know the fall 2021 visiting artists! Katie Paterson lives and works in Fife, Scotland and is known for her multidisciplinary and conceptually driven work with an emphasis on nature, ecology, geology, and cosmology. Collaborating with scientists and researchers across the world, Paterson’s projects consider our place on Earth in the context of geological time and change.
Learn more: https://www.saic.edu/events/katie-paterson
Image: Katie Paterson, NOW exhibition at Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art. Image © Ian Rutheford

Get to know the fall 2021 visiting artists! Katie Paterson lives and works in Fife, Scotland and is known for her multidisciplinary and conceptually driven work with an emphasis on nature, ecology, geology, and cosmology. Collaborating with scientists and researchers across the world, Paterson’s projects consider our place on Earth in the context of geological time and change.
Learn more: https://www.saic.edu/events/katie-paterson
Image: Katie Paterson, NOW exhibition at Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art. Image © Ian Rutheford

We are so excited to kick off our fall 2021 season on September 14 with a live artist talk and audience Q&A with Disting...
08/19/2021

We are so excited to kick off our fall 2021 season on September 14 with a live artist talk and audience Q&A with Distinguished Alum William Cordova (BFA 1996)! cordova was born in Lima, Peru, and is an interdisciplinary cultural practitioner. His practice has been motivated by a creative engagement with architecture, geometry, and history.
Learn more: https://www.saic.edu/events/william-cordova
Image: william cordova, cumanana (pa’ Nicomedes Santa Cruz, Nicolas Guillen y Alanna Lockward), 2018-2019. Courtesy of Nicolás Sánchez Noa.

We are so excited to kick off our fall 2021 season on September 14 with a live artist talk and audience Q&A with Distinguished Alum William Cordova (BFA 1996)! cordova was born in Lima, Peru, and is an interdisciplinary cultural practitioner. His practice has been motivated by a creative engagement with architecture, geometry, and history.
Learn more: https://www.saic.edu/events/william-cordova
Image: william cordova, cumanana (pa’ Nicomedes Santa Cruz, Nicolas Guillen y Alanna Lockward), 2018-2019. Courtesy of Nicolás Sánchez Noa.

08/18/2021

Brazilian artist Beatriz Milhazes’s brightly colored abstract paintings take their roots from Brazilian and European modernism and baroque forms. They are inspired by the brilliant flora and fauna of her home country, Brazil, and its decorative cultural offerings such as Carnival and local folk arts.

Now you can watch Milhazes's Visiting Artists Program talk on our YouTube channel. Get inspired.

Visit https://youtu.be/8sUSumGgik4 to watch this talk and other past visiting artists. SAIC students also have access to exclusive artist talks on Panopto.

ANNOUNCING our fall 2021 schedule of online programs! We are excited to invite you to tune into lectures by william cord...
08/17/2021

ANNOUNCING our fall 2021 schedule of online programs! We are excited to invite you to tune into lectures by william cordova (BFA 1996), Katie Paterson, Amitav Ghosh, Shirin Neshat, Hito Steyerl, and a conversation with Mark Bradford and Julie Mehretu.
All events are free, open to the public, and registration is not required. Programs will continue to be hosted via Zoom and live captioned by Communication Access Realtime Translation (CART) services. More info: saic.edu/vap

ANNOUNCING our fall 2021 schedule of online programs! We are excited to invite you to tune into lectures by william cordova (BFA 1996), Katie Paterson, Amitav Ghosh, Shirin Neshat, Hito Steyerl, and a conversation with Mark Bradford and Julie Mehretu.
All events are free, open to the public, and registration is not required. Programs will continue to be hosted via Zoom and live captioned by Communication Access Realtime Translation (CART) services. More info: saic.edu/vap

We were thrilled to have Apichatpong Weerasethakul as our fall 2017 Distinguished Alumni Lecturer.
08/13/2021
5 Facts About Artist and Filmmaker Apichatpong Weerasethakul

We were thrilled to have Apichatpong Weerasethakul as our fall 2017 Distinguished Alumni Lecturer.

Thai artist and filmmaker Apichatpong Weerasethakul's Memoria is a strong contender for this year's Palme d'Or at the Cannes Film Festival.

08/11/2021

Nyugen E. Smith (MFA 2016) is a first-generation Caribbean-American interdisciplinary artist based in New Jersey. Through performance, found object sculpture, mixed media drawing, painting, video, photo, and writing, Smith deepens his knowledge of historical and present-day conditions of Black African descendants in the diaspora. Trauma, spiritual practices, language, violence, memory, architecture, landscape, and climate change are primary concerns in his practice.

Now you can watch Smith's Visiting Artists Program talk on our YouTube channel. Get inspired.

Visit https://youtu.be/JtukUFpfabQ to watch this talk and other past visiting artists. SAIC students also have access to exclusive artist talks on Panopto.

Spring 1990 visiting artist Elizabeth LeCompte directed a new production of Bertolt Brecht's 1932 play "The Mother." The...
08/06/2021
Theater Is Closed, But That Hasn’t Stopped the Woosters

Spring 1990 visiting artist Elizabeth LeCompte directed a new production of Bertolt Brecht's 1932 play "The Mother." The play addresses working class women by telling a story of a poor, uneducated Russian mother’s journey to revolutionary action. After a year-long delay due to the pandemic, "The Mother" debuted in June at Wiener Festwochen and will travel to NYC's Performing Garage this October.

For the group, theater is a religion and the process is the point. Its latest: a years-in-the-making adaptation of Brecht’s The Mother.

08/04/2021

Emil Ferris (BFA 2008, MFA 2010) is a graphic novelist whose first book, "My Favorite Thing Is Monsters", has been praised by critics since its publication in 2017.

Set in Chicago in the 1960s, the book is autobiographically infused as Ferris—like her protagonist Karen Reyes—was witness to the highly charged political and social climate of that time. The main character is interested in cultural subjects that have profoundly shaped Ferris herself, including B movies of the Hammer variety, Entertaining Comics (EC) horror magazines, and the collection of the Art Institute of Chicago.

Now you can watch Ferris' Visiting Artists Program talk on our YouTube channel. Get inspired.

Visit https://youtu.be/JpgP2SJSqyQ to watch this talk and other past visiting artists.

To die upon a kiss (2011), a title drawn from Shakespeare’s Othello, is the second of a trilogy of Murano glass chandeli...
08/02/2021
NGV Triennial | Fred Wilson

To die upon a kiss (2011), a title drawn from Shakespeare’s Othello, is the second of a trilogy of Murano glass chandeliers by fall 2020 visiting artist Fred Wilson that examine the history and presence of Africans in Venice.

To die upon a kiss, 2011, is the second of a trilogy of Murano glass chandeliers by Fred Wilson that examine the history and presence of Africans in Venice. ...

Chris Ware (SAIC 1991–93, HON 2019) was a visiting artist in fall 2015. Learn more about Ware's new exhibition below!
07/30/2021
Alum Chris Ware Curates and Designs Comics Exhibition at Chicago Cultural Center

Chris Ware (SAIC 1991–93, HON 2019) was a visiting artist in fall 2015. Learn more about Ware's new exhibition below!

Artist, writer, and alum Chris Ware (SAIC 1991–93, HON 2019) and Chicago Cultural Historian Emeritus Tim Samuelson curated and designed the Chicago Cultural Center’s newest exhibition. Chicago: Where

07/29/2021

🚨 Coming soon: Fall 2021 schedule announcement! 🚨 Keep an eye out for an exciting lineup of virtual programs by today's most influential practitioners and thinkers. 👀

Check out the virtual walk-through of Fall 2016 visiting artist's Cao Fei recent exhibition at the UCCA! "Cao Fei: Stagi...
07/26/2021
UCCA Exhibition | "Cao Fei: Staging the Era" Virtual Guided Tour

Check out the virtual walk-through of Fall 2016 visiting artist's Cao Fei recent exhibition at the UCCA! "Cao Fei: Staging the Era" is the artist's first major solo show in China and largest and most comprehensive career retrospective to date.

From March 12, 2021 to June 6, 2021, UCCA presents “Cao Fei: Staging the Era,” the artist’s first major solo show in China. As one of China’s most prominent ...

Fall 2019 visiting designer and Pentagram partner Eddie Opara explains the persuasive power of color in communication.
07/23/2021
Creativity Explained - On Color with Eddie Opara

Fall 2019 visiting designer and Pentagram partner Eddie Opara explains the persuasive power of color in communication.

Multifaceted design-mind and Pentagram partner, Eddie Opara sheds light on color and helps demystify the rainbow. Creativity, Explained is an animated series from…

ESTAMOS BIEN – LA TRIENAL 20/21 is El Museo del Barrio's first national large-scale survey of Latinx contemporary art. T...
07/20/2021
ESTAMOS BIEN – LA TRIENAL 20/21 | El Museo del Barrio

ESTAMOS BIEN – LA TRIENAL 20/21 is El Museo del Barrio's first national large-scale survey of Latinx contemporary art. The exhibition (on view through September 26) features works by Fall 2020 Distinguished Alumni Lecturer Nyugen E. Smith (MFA 2016) and faculty members Candida Alvarez, María Gaspar and Edra Soto (MFA 2000).

ESTAMOS BIEN – LA TRIENAL 20/21March 13 – September 26, 2021 Curated by El Museo’s Chief Curator Rodrigo Moura; Curator, Susanna V. Temkin; and Guest Curator, Elia Alba INTRODUCTION > ONLINE PROJECTS > PRESS RELEASE > RESERVE TIMED TICKET El Museo del Barrio presents ESTAMOS BIEN – LA TRIENA...

Currently on view! Spring 2018 visiting artist Nari Ward's exhibition “Say Can You See” is at Jeffrey Deitch Gallery in ...
07/16/2021

Currently on view! Spring 2018 visiting artist Nari Ward's exhibition “Say Can You See” is at Jeffrey Deitch Gallery in LA through August 21. If you're in the area, also check out Ward’s sculpture “Carpet Angel” (1992), at The Museum of Contemporary Art, on view as part of the museum’s permanent collection exhibition.

We are saddened to learn of the passing of renowned French conceptual artist Christian Boltanski. It was an honor to hos...
07/14/2021
Christian Boltanski - December 8, 2015

We are saddened to learn of the passing of renowned French conceptual artist Christian Boltanski. It was an honor to host Boltanski in 2015 and have him share his practice with our community. Our deepest sympathies go to his family and friends.

School of the Art Institute of Chicago’s Visiting Artists ProgramChristian Boltanski is one of France’s foremost artists whose installations challenge basic ...

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Chicago, IL
60603

General information

ADMISSION All lectures are FREE and open to the public unless otherwise noted. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. and lectures begin promptly at 6:00 p.m. All seating is first come, first served. Reservations may be accepted for groups of 10 or more made at least two weeks prior to the event. Any person with a disability who would like to request an accommodation for this program should contact the Disability and Learning Resource Center at [email protected] or 312-499-4278 as soon as possible to allow adequate time to make proper arrangements.

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(312) 899-5185

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