From the Curatorial Team

We are thrilled to curate the inaugural Low-Residency Masters of Fine Arts thesis exhibition at SAIC. Our curatorial team was presented with a unique opportunity to work with a distinct group of artists from all over the world. These artists experiment across a wide range of media and present a rich and diverse body of work. As the culminating exhibition of this first graduating class, we strived to build a curatorial process that considered each student’s individual practice in balance with the interdisciplinary nature of the Low-Residency program. Our primary objective was to advocate for and support each artist’s personal vision, while holding the audience experience of a group show in mind. Operating through virtual platforms with fluidity and flexibility, and culminating in an on-campus intensive session to create the exhibition itself, our curatorial approach mirrored many elements of the Low-Residency program, while always taking into consideration the three areas of focus that define the program’s curriculum: attention, sensation, and perception. Communicating through technology to curate a show among a geographically diverse group proved to be one of the most challenging parts of the curatorial process, but also the most exciting: seeing the work materialize out of the virtual to create a dynamic, physical space of contemplation and discovery. Although there is no single thematic component, we hope the viewer can enter the exhibition with the same attentiveness required of the curatorial process. We invite you to find the poetic thread that connects each of the artworks and this diverse community of artists.


Cortney Lederer, Guest Curator

Zoe Carlson (MA Art History, Theory and Criticism, 2017), Curatorial Assistant

Sarah Skaggs (MA Arts Administration and Policy, 2016), Curatorial Assistant



From the Director

The occasion of the very first thesis exhibition of the SAIC Low-Residency MFA program is truly a cause for celebration. I am proud and grateful to have worked with all of the 2016 graduates.

The artists who completed their studies in our program dedicated themselves to a rigorous curriculum of study that established the ground for a continued commitment to creation. Their participation in the Low-Residency MFA program required a leap of faith in a newly established program with novel approaches to art education. Together the students, faculty, mentors, visiting artists, and staff built the foundation for the program’s sustainable dedication to experimentation.

In our program, students and teachers collectively make discoveries about their art and themselves. We face tough questions and research alternative histories of thought. We foster an atmosphere of fearless exploration grounded in a shared devotion to constructive, generative methods and principles.

To the graduating class: I hope that you will maintain close ties to the program. On behalf of the Low-Residency MFA program, I extend heartfelt congratulations as you continue to expand the definition of art through your work. Remember that art is a special laboratory for investigations and insights into the very real problems that shape our daily lives. I am confident that you will continue to make significant contributions within and outside of the arts and design communities.

A poem by Robert Duncan from his book The Opening of the Field (1960) served as a recurring theme for our program. I hope that on occasion you will recall some lines from that poem:


Often I am permitted to return to a meadow

as if it were a given property of the mind

that certain bounds hold against chaos,


that is a place of first permission,

everlasting omen of what is.


Gregg Bordowitz, Director, SAIC Low-Residency MFA Program


The exhibition is additionally coordinated by Lee Blalock, Low-Residency Program Graduate Coordinator, and Department of Exhibitions staff: Kyle Nylan, Michael Hall, and Curt Miller, Exhibition Managers, with Site Managers and student crew.


The exhibition is on view from Thursday, July 14 through Saturday, July 30.