The 21st NSSMUSA + SAIC Exhibition Brings Student Art to an International Audience
Two seemingly unlikely partners–an innovative art school and a Japanese steel company–are continuing to show that artists can bring humanity and creativity to all kinds of spaces.
This year marks the 21st edition of one of SAIC’s most popular art competitions, the Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal USA (NSSMUSA) Art Appreciation Program Presidential Award Exhibitions, which gives opportunities for SAIC students to display their work beyond the confines of the art world and in the working office of a multinational corporation. The program is part of a long-term relationship that the steel producer has with the SAIC and is rooted in an aim to strengthen understanding and respect between Japan and the U.S. and give students exposure for their work in a nontraditional setting. It also provides a chance for the Chicago Japanese community to better understand the local art scene and help SAIC students learn about local cultural exchange and global perspectives outside of the traditional gallery space.
The winners of this year’s competition, the only one of its kind as a Japanese company’s philanthropic collaboration with an American art educational institution, were introduced and honored at a reception on April 7th. Out of 43 applicants and 339 individual submissions, 20 winners and 40 works (two from each winner) were selected by a panel consisting of NSSMUSA staff and SAIC faculty. Each student whose work is selected receives a $200 honorarium applied to their SAIC tuition and the opportunity to sell commission-free through the office gallery. Two exhibitions, a winter-spring edition that ended on May 28 and a summer-fall show that runs through December 5, mark the culmination of the contest.
“To be a student at SAIC is a big achievement,” remarked Masaharu Yoshida, Consul General of Japan at Chicago, at the ceremony. “To be chosen for this is yet another honor.”
Winners include the following SAIC students working across a wide spectrum of styles and mediums: Jordin Hartwig (BFA), Fred Henzel (BFA), Dana Hee Yun Jang (BFA),Clemens Klinkert (MFA), Haeji Lee (BFA), SeungEun Lee (BFA) Ji Yeon “Yaloopop” Lim (MFA), Elizabeth Merritt Kong (BFA), Tri Ngo (BFA), Lauren Quin (BFA), Peyton Rack (BFA), Wendy Robles (BFA), Yoonjung Seo (BFA), Kevin Stuart (MFA), Monica Moki Tantoco (BFA), Orkideh Torabi (Post-Bacc), Yanping Wu (BFA), Bora Yoo (BFA), Ana Hui Zhang (BFA), and Allison Sara Zuckerman (MFA). Zhenqi Ong (MFA) designed the exhibition pamphlets that highlight the student works.
The exhibition at the NSSMUSA offices at 900 N. Michigan Ave. is open to the public and available to view by appointment by contacting Hiroko Saito (MFA 1992), NSSMUSA/SAIC Art Appreciation Program Director, at firstname.lastname@example.org.