SUNDAY, MAY 21, 2:00 P.M.
200 EAST CERMAK ROAD
Welcome to the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC) 2023 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.
SUNDAY, MAY 21
200 EAST CERMAK ROAD
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 firstname.lastname@example.org as soon as possible to allow adequate time to make proper arrangements.
Graduates receive five guest tickets, plus their own individual ticket. A ticket is required for entry. Graduates may request additional tickets during ticket pickup. Requests will be granted if space is available.
Tickets are available weekdays from April 11–May 17 from 9:00 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. at the LeRoy Neiman Center Desk, 37 South Wabash Avenue, 2nd floor. An ARTICard is required to pick up 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 herffjones.com/college/saic. Orders are due by April 1. Your regalia will be delivered to SAIC and is available for pickup on May 15 and 16 in the LeRoy Neiman Center.
SAIC contracted Grad Images to take professional photos of graduates as they walk across the stage. A variety of photo packages are available for purchase. Proofs are emailed to the student’s SAIC email address within one week of the ceremony. Photo options.
Please plan ahead for hotel accommodations. Hotel options.
Guests enter through the main entrance to the arena on the corner of Cermak Road and Indiana Avenue. Guests with mobility impairments will be assisted to an 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 assigned seats. Students should arrive no later than 1:15 p.m. Directions to Wintrust Arena.
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 Wintrust Arena. The CTA Cermak-Chinatown Red Line Station is located 4 blocks west (0.5 miles) of Wintrust Arena and two blocks west of the Cermak-McCormick Place Green Line Station.
Wintrust Arena has ample venue parking. Lot A is 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. See parking options.
The arena strongly discourages bags or purses of any kind. Exceptions will be made for medically necessary items after proper inspection at the entrance. 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. Review Wintrust’s policy.
Sonya Clark (BFA 1993) is the Winifred L. Arms Professor of Art and Humanities at Amherst College in Massachusetts. Previously, she was a distinguished research fellow in the School of the Arts at Virginia Commonwealth University where she served as chair for the Craft/Material Studies Department for over a decade. She earned an MFA from Cranbrook Academy of Art and was honored with their Distinguished Alumni Award in 2011. Her first college degree is from Amherst College where she also received an honorary doctorate in 2015. In 2021, she was awarded additional honorary doctorates: one from Franklin and Marshall College and the other from Maine College of Art. Her work has been exhibited in over 500 museums and galleries in the Americas, Africa, Asia, Europe, and Australia. Clark is the recipient of numerous awards including a United States Artist Fellowship, Anonymous Was a Woman Award, Rappaport Prize, Art Prize, and an Art Matters Grant. She has made work alongside creative individuals at the Red Gate Residency in China, the BAU Camargo Residency in France, the Rockefeller Foundation Bellagio Residency in Italy, the Smithsonian Artist Research Fellowship, the Civitella Ranieri Residency in Italy, the Yaddo Residency, the Affiliate Fellowship at the American Academy in Rome, and the Black Rock Senegal Residency Fellowship. Her work has been favorably reviewed in the New York Times, Le Monde, Sculpture, Art in America, Philadelphia Inquirer, Time Magazine, Los Angeles Times, Hyperallergic, Mother Jones, Huffington Post, ArtForum, PBS, NPR, BBC, and many others.
Cynthia Rowley began her career in fashion while studying at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (where she had every intention of becoming a painter). After graduation, she took what little seed money she had and moved to New York City to start her eponymous fashion brand. Whether she’s exploring on a far-flung getaway, surfing secret spots in exotic destinations, or scuba-diving in an arctic glacier, it’s safe to say the designer is known to take risks. It’s this unparalleled sense of adventure that effortlessly translates into the spirit of the brand through a playful assortment of pretty dresses, beachy separates, and swim/surf. Cynthia Rowley has gone on to win numerous accolades including a CFDA Award and Designer of the Year at the American Image Awards. She is also a best-selling author and has appeared on numerous television shows.
Nate Marshall is a writer, editor, and educator from the South Side of Chicago. He is the award-winning author of two full-length books of poems, Finna and Wild Hundreds. He is an editor of The BreakBeat Poets: New American Poetry in the Age of Hip-Hop. He is also co-author (with Eve L. Ewing) of the play No Blue Memories: The Life of Gwendolyn Brooks. Marshall is an assistant professor in the creative writing program at The University of Wisconsin-Madison. His work has been published in Chicago Magazine, The Chicago Tribune, and elsewhere.
Cheuk Yan Cherry Tung
Leah Renee Jones
Jennessa Ilya Martinez
Minmin Han, Seonyoung Lee
Jessica Zi Chen
Ivonne “Alivé” Piliado Santana