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School News Briefs


illustration by Jarad Solomon.

illustration by Jarad Solomon.

Students Studying Abroad Safe after Paris Attacks

After the terror attacks in Paris on November 13, School of the Art Institute of Chicago staff were able to quickly make contact with two SAIC students studying in Paris. The students confirmed they are safe and not in need of any immediate support. SAIC President Walter Massey wrote in an email, “Lawrence Rodriguez, Director of International Affairs, and his team remain in contact with these students to ensure they receive support from SAIC as well as their host institution.”

Ciera Olson, who currently studies photography at l’École nationale supérieure des beaux-arts de Paris, told F, “I was home alone at the time and didn’t even know it had happened until I received a message from a family member asking if I was all right. I immediately searched online and discovered what had happened. I couldn’t believe it. It didn’t even feel real at first, but looking outside it was clear it was. Instead of looking out my apartment window to see people joyfully out late drinking, I saw the streets empty except for police officers doing rounds and carrying guns nearly the size of my legs. It really started to hit me on Monday when there was a vigil at school. During that moment of silence as the bells at Notre Dame rang I could feel the pain and sadness in the room. I am beyond grateful to be safe.”

Massey wrote, “We are saddened by the recent attacks, and our hearts go out to all of those affected.”


SAIC Announces Engagement with Nichols Tower

On November 17, the School of the Art Institute of Chicago opened its first permanent classroom outside of its downtown campus. SAIC will offer arts education to the residents of Chicago’s west side at Nichols Tower in North Lawndale, joining eight non-profit groups moving into the tower located on the Sears, Roebuck and Co. campus in Homan Square. Mayor Rahm Emanuel accompanied SAIC leaders to celebrate the reopening of the historic building.

Scheherazade Tillet, an SAIC artist-in-residence, will move into the tower in December, and the school will begin offering courses early next year.  In the spring semester, Tillet will teach an art therapy course, and SAIC Fashion Department faculty member Cheryl Pope will lead a course in the fall.

The School of the Art Institute will also team up with other nonprofits to lead three pilot courses: “Management Studio,” an art-in-culture management project geared toward 18-24 year olds in the community; “Inside Innovative Minds,” an eight-week afterschool program for students from North Lawndale charter schools; and “That Reminds Me of a Time,” a class focused on writing, live presentation and digital archiving for students ages 12 and up.

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