MONDAY, MAY 20, 2:00 P.M.


Elissa Tenny

Welcome to the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC) 2024 Commencement website. This year, as in every year, Commencement is a rite of passage that honors the achievements of our graduating students as they join the more than 30,000 other alums who are already a part of SAIC’s global artist citizenry.

Upon graduation, our newest graduates bring their skills, perception, and compassion to bear upon the world. As citizen artists—aware of the interconnectedness of people and the impact their work can have in shaping our shared society—the contributions they make will be inspiring, provocative, and life-affirming.

And the contributions of SAIC’s graduating artists, designers, and scholars are needed, now more than ever. As you review the resources you’ll find on this website, please remember these graduates’ extraordinary achievements and join me in a global round of applause.

Elissa Tenny



2:00 p.m.–approximately 4:30 p.m.

Doors open at 12:30 p.m. Students must arrive by 1:15 p.m. to participate in the ceremony.

Can’t make it in person? Watch the livestream by visiting this site and clicking on the livestream icon just prior to 2:00 p.m. CT.

Any person with a disability who would like to request an accommodation should contact as soon as possible to allow adequate time to make proper arrangements.


Graduates will receive five guest tickets, plus their own individual ticket. No one will be allowed to enter the Wintrust Arena without a ticket. At the time graduates pick up their tickets, they may request additional tickets, and the request will be granted if space is available.

Tickets will be available during the weekday Tuesday, April 9, through Wednesday, May 15, from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. at the LeRoy Neiman Center Desk, 37 South Wabash Avenue, second floor. An ARTICard is required to pick up Commencement tickets.


SAIC does not require a cap and gown for the ceremony. This is a celebratory event where graduates are invited to dress as they feel appropriate. Should you wish to wear a cap and gown, you may order one by visiting Orders are due by April 1. Your regalia will be delivered to you directly.


SAIC has contracted with Grad Images to take professional photos of graduates as they walk across the stage. A variety of photo packages will be available for purchase, and proofs will be emailed to the student’s SAIC email address within one week of the ceremony. Learn more about the options available for pictures at


Please plan ahead for hotel accommodations. While there are many hotel options in the area, SAIC has compiled a few convenient options here.


Guests will enter through the main entrance to the arena, on the corner of Cermak Road and Indiana Avenue. Staff will be available to direct you. Guests with mobility impairments will be assisted to the appropriate seating accommodation.

Students will enter at the north end of the arena at the corner of Indiana Avenue and 21st Street. Students will receive their seating assignment and be assisted to their assigned seats. Students should arrive no later than 1:15 p.m. For directions on how to get to Wintrust Arena, please click here.


The CTA Cermak-McCormick Place Green Line Station is located at Cermak Road and State Street, two and a half blocks (0.15 miles) west of the Wintrust Arena. The CTA Cermak-Chinatown Red Line Station is located four blocks west (0.5 miles) of the Wintrust Arena and two blocks west of the Cermak-McCormick Place Green Line Station.


Wintrust Arena has ample parking for the venue. Lot A is the closest to the venue and has access to the pedestrian bridges to the arena. For a GPS location to Lot A, use 2301 South Prairie Avenue, Chicago, IL 60616 as your destination. For more parking options, visit


The arena strongly discourages bags or purses of any kind. Exceptions will be made for medically necessary items after proper inspection at the entrance. Please click here to review the policy. Any bag brought to the arena will be subject to a search. In addition, all guests and students will go through a metal detector as they enter the building.


An image of An-My Lê

AN-MY LÊ – Commencement Speaker

An-My Lê is an internationally renowned photographer primarily based in New York. As a teenager in 1975, however, Lê fled Vietnam with her family, and they eventually settled in the United States as refugees. Her work often addresses the impact of war on culture and on the environment, and she has been the recipient of numerous awards, including the MacArthur Fellowship, Guggenheim Fellowship, and Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation award. Her work has also been exhibited widely, including in the Whitney Biennial and Taipei Biennial as well as the Minneapolis Institute of Art; Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; the Museum of Modern Art, New York; and the Tate Modern, London. Most recently, Between Two Rivers/Giữa hai giòng sông/Entre deux rivières, a 30-year survey of her career, including her forays into film, textiles, and installation was presented at the Museum of Modern Art, New York. Lê is currently the Charles Franklin Kellogg and Grace E. Ramsey Kellogg Professor in the Arts at Bard College, New York.

An image of Sanford Biggers.

Image credit: Justin Lubke


Sanford Biggers (MFA 1999) is a New York-based interdisciplinary conceptual artist who works in sculpture, painting, installation, textiles, sound, video, and performance. His work is an interplay of narrative, perspective, and history that speaks to current social, political, and economic happenings while examining the contexts that bore them. He is the recipient of numerous awards, including Morehouse College’s Bennie Trailblazer Award, the Guggenheim Fellowship, Heinz Award for the Arts, American Academy of Arts and Letters Award, and the Rome Prize in Visual Arts; additionally he has been inducted into the New York Foundation for the Arts Hall of Fame and as a National Academician by the National Academy of Design. Biggers’s work is held in the permanent collections of the Guggenheim Museum, Museum of Modern Art, Metropolitan Museum of Art, and Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; as well as the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, among others. Biggers was also a Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Visiting Professor and Scholar in the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Department of Architecture and has served as an associate professor of Sculpture and New Genres of Visual Arts at Columbia University.

An image of Wu Tsang

Image credit: Gina Folly


Wu Tsang (BFA 2004) is an award-winning filmmaker and visual artist who combines documentary and narrative techniques with fantastical detours into the imaginary. Tsang is the recipient of the MacArthur Fellowship and numerous other awards, including a Guggenheim Fellowship, Hugo Boss Prize Nominee, and Rockefeller Foundation Bellagio Creative Arts Fellowship. Her projects have been presented at museums, biennials, and film festivals internationally, including at the Biennale di Venezia and Whitney Biennial as well as the Tate Modern, London; Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam; Gropius Bau, Berlin; and the Museum of Modern Art, New York, among others. In addition to her bachelor’s degree from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Wu Tsang received a master of fine arts degree from University of California Los Angeles. Currently, she is a director-in-residence at Schauspielhaus Zürich.


Details coming soon.