Maria Gaspar

Associate Professor, Contemporary Practices, Architecture, Interior Architecture, and Designed Objects

Maria Gaspar has been teaching at SAIC since 2009. She took her sabbatical during the 2022 Academic Year.

Maria Gaspar is an interdisciplinary artist working in the mediums of installation, sculpture, sound, and performance. Her work addresses issues of incarceration and “spatial justice” – how our built environments embody and administer forms of power and control as well as potential for liberation. Gaspar has mounted sound performances at a military site in New Haven, Connecticut (Sounds for Liberation); a long-term public art project at the largest jail in the United States (96 Acres Project, Chicago, Illinois); interventions into museum archives (Brown Brilliance Darkness Matter, National Museum of Mexican Art); and a multi-media installation project about a jail located in her childhood neighborhood (On the Border of What is Formless and Monstrous).

Gaspar has exhibited at the African American Museum, Philadelphia; Contemporary Arts Museum Houston; the Institute of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; Jack Shainman Gallery, New York; MoMA PS1, New York; and the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago. She is a recipient of the Guggenheim Award for Creative Arts (2022), Latinx Artist Fellowship (2022), United States Artists Fellowship (2021), the Frieze Impact Prize (2021), the Sor Juana Women of Achievement Award in Art and Activism from the National Museum of Mexican Art (2016), and the Chamberlain Award for Social Practice from the Headlands Center for the Arts (2017). Gaspar’s projects have received awards from the Art for Justice Fund (2018), the Robert Rauschenberg Artist as Activist Fellowship (2016), the Creative Capital Award (2015), the Joan Mitchell Emerging Artist Grant (2015), and the Art Matters Foundation (2017, 2020).


2009 MFA Studio Arts, University of Illinois at Chicago
2002 BFA Painting with a Minor in Art Education K-12th Grade, Pratt Institute in Brooklyn

Notable Classes Taught:

Research Studio I