Meet the Team
SITE is a student-led effort where exhibition experience and learning is provided by the administrative, operational, artistic, and curatorial decisions necessary to run a professional gallery. SITE is run by a staff of five undergraduate and graduate Gallery Directors and supported by various student positions. The SITE Directors form and implement the vision for the SITE Galleries exhibition season. Through these efforts, the Directors build the culture of the organization and have an influential role as representatives of the student voice to the SAIC community.
Felipe Villada (he/him)
Director of Administration
Felipe Villada is a Colombian curator and arts administrator. He has worked at galleries and art fairs organizing exhibitions and talks programs, editing publications, as well as leading collector, sponsor, and gallery relations. His research interests focus on Latin American art, particularly in revising its development as a historical category. Within this scope, he is also interested in exploring its connections with popular culture and other regions/contexts.
Currently, Felipe is a second-year student in the MA in Modern and Contemporary Art History at SAIC.
Sofiya Lobanovich (she/her)
Director of Marketing & Communications
Sofiya is an art historian, writer, and arts administrator. Having lived in Russia and Australia, she is currently based in Chicago, IL, where she is in her last year of a Bachelor of Arts in Art History from SAIC. Her writing and research focuses on reimagining Russian identity, both as an immigrant and as an eager opposer of Russian colonialism.
Michelle Davo Ortiz (she/hers)
Director of Programming
Dual Master in Arts Administration and Policy and Art History. Michelle Davo Ortiz is an arts administrator and researcher from Mexico City.
Since 2018, she has worked as the Projects Coordinator of El Insulto, a grassroots archive on sexual culture, where she co-curated the exhibitions Please touch. Embracing the Memories of Desire at La Postal-Terremoto and A Particular Collection at Noche de Archivos Abiertos. Her research focuses on sexuality and social justice within the theoretical and historiographic landscapes of art studies.
Matthew Cortez (he/him)
Director of Installation
Cortez is an artist, curator, and writer investigating love and desire through art history, language, philosophy, and culture.
Currently pursuing a BA in Art History, Theory, & Criticism with interests predominantly in Dada, Abstract Expressionism, and Post-Minimalism. In his curatorial practice, he has curated exhibitions both with SITE Galleries (Allure of the Abject) and Incubator (Goldie: Body Proxy).
Charlie Miller (he/him)
Director of Installation
Masters candidate in Art History.
Since 2018, Charlie has worked in various roles at Intuit: The Center for Intuitive and Outsider Art, most recently taking the position of preparator in March of 2022. His research focuses on the intersection of sound art, the body, and theories of proximity through the lens of art history.
SITE Support Staff
Caitlin Cooner (she/her)
Caitlin is from Houston, Texas, and is in the Dual Master in Arts Administration and Policy and Art History program. Her interests lie in the intersection of art and politics in modern and contemporary American art. She hopes to work in arts administration doing research, archival work, or curation. In her free-time Caitlin enjoys knitting, baking, and ranking Succession characters.
David Zhang (he/him)
Gallery + Install Assistant
David Zhang is a current third-year BFA student hailing from North Virginia. He has a mixed practice combining his studio-based work with his curiosity in the curatorial and exhibition fields. Dave approaches his various disciplines through a painting background, working with a smattering of subjects surrounding autobiography (essentially, he’s just exploring anything he’s currently interested in, from the biological sciences to hobbies). He enjoys music, playing weird games, and slowly working through his 5 year old stack of books.
Clare Haffner (she/her)
Gallery + Archive Assistant
Born and raised in Chicago Illinois, Clare Haffner is a fourth year undergrad currently working on completing her BFA with a focus in painting and drawing. Clare’s work most often explores the uncannier aspects of the human body. Aside from art, Clare also enjoys spending time with her 6 lovely pet birds.
Misa Sourour (she/her)
Gallery Assistant + Exhibition Photo Documenter
Sayeda Misa Sourour is an Egyptian American artist from New Jersey. Misa is pursuing a BFA at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, with a focus in sculpture. They incorporates this education into all of their artistic passions; puppetry, music, cuisine, and circus arts. Their interdisciplinary skillset is combined in performance, where curating an experience becomes an expression of art and immersion.
Ruiying Xiong (she/hers)
Ruiying is a BFA student studying painting and visual communication. Exploring cross-disciplinary subjects with my design expertise, she aims to forge social bonds and innovate new methods of communications. For example, she experiments with food to explore the intersection of culture, art and identity.
Jackie Swanson (she/hers)
Jackie is a performer and sound artist from Connecticut. She exists in the foggy and undefinable space that focuses around physical movement performance. Focusing on slowness in and around sound and video to explore a soft hidden being, she folds out in-between through the metaphysical. Ritualistic, meditative noise and drone influence her movements between slow and soft to purged. She’s interested in the transcendental and immanence of performance in order to search for herself outside of the periphery.
Songe Kvinsland (they/she)
Songe is a painter and printmaker currently based out of Chicago, IL in order to earn their BFA. Songe has worked in gallery curation and art sales. Their paintings focus on the human figure in an obscured style consisting of bold color and shape, while their prints are decorative and floral. Songe takes artistic inspiration from the plant world and the way we move throughout life.
Ella-Madeline Alessandra Brenzel (she/her)
Ella is a second-year BFA student, focusing in fiber art and painting. Through these mediums she explores ideas around relocation, domestic life, and the relationship between objects and the individual. She strives to capture memory and time as well as the essence of loved ones in her artwork. Growing up, she has moved around all over America, but currently calls San Antonio, Texas home.
Madison King (she/her)
Madison is a second year BFA film student from Michigan. Her focus is on human dynamics specifically in the Black community and the adultification of children.
SITE Support Staff
Joseph Josué Mora (he/him)
Assistant Director of Exhibitions, Staff Advisor for SITE Galleries and INCUBATOR
Joseph Josué Mora is a Mexican born and Chicago raised artist and arts administrator. In 2018 he graduated from SAIC with a bachelor’s of Fine Arts degree. During his time at SAIC he worked at SITE Galleries as a Gallery Assistant, Install Assistant and Installation Director. In 2021, he returned to the Department of Exhibition and Exhibition Studies at SAIC to work as a Gallery Technician. Mora is the current Assistant Director of Exhibitions and Staff Advisor for SITE Galleries and INCUBATOR.
Liv (zsa zsa) Helmin (she/her)
zsa zsa received her BFA from SAIC studying Sculpture and Arts Administration, focusing on Museum and Exhibition Studies. She is a multi-media sculpture and collage artist and most often employs found objects in her work. zsa zsa has worked with SAIC’s Department of Exhibitions for a number of years, and has also worked/works as an art handler for various galleries in the Chicago area.
Email SITE Directors: email@example.com
SITE Sharp Gallery
37 S. Wabash Ave.
Chicago, IL, 60603
SITE 280 Gallery
280 S. Columbus Drive
Chicago, IL, 60603
Gallery Hours (during exhibitions)
Monday – Friday: 12:00 – 6:00 pm
Saturday and Sundays: Closed