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School News

MFA Show and Other Events, Lucy Knisley's "French Milk," Elkins Roundtable, Changes in the Writing Department

by Caroline Ewing

BFA show’s older sibling, and other graduation-related events

The MFA show will open on Friday, May 4. You can get your sweat on from 7 - 10 p.m., and if you don’t make it in time to elbow your way around G2, don’t worry; the exhibition will be on view through May 18. Graduating students from the MFA in Writing program will present their theses on May 8, in the Ballroom, from 7 - 11 p.m.  The graduate and undergraduate film, video, and audio presentations will be held at the Gene Siskel Film Center on May 11, 2:30 – 10 p.m. and May 12, 10 a.m.– 2 p.m. As with all graduate exhibitions/events, admission is free, but tickets are required from the box office in advance. In off-campus SAIC-related shows, the graduate Visual and Critical Studies exhibition will be on view at Around the Coyote Gallery, (1935 1/2 W. North) from May 13-June 2, with an opening reception on Saturday May 12, 7 - 10 p.m. Graduating art history and arts administration students will present their theses at the Graduate Thesis Symposium, Friday May 18, 9 a.m. - 4 p.m. at the Gene Siskel Film Center.

French Milk, Fresh Book

Comic artist Lucy Knisley has recently published a book, French Milk, through Epigraph Publishing. Published in early April, the comic journal is a chronicle of the six weeks Knisley spent in Paris with her mother early this year. She describes the book as a “drawn journal which I kept in the course of the trip...that deals with the valuable and significant influence that we take in from our mothers.” Named for the exquisitely fresh quality of said beverage in France, the book includes drawings and photographs which chronicle the experience of things bought, trials undertaken, and sights seen during her extended stay there (she says of the preponderance for images of naked ladies in the Louvre, “From now on, I’m only going to make art involving naked men”).  Knisley’s blend of brutal honesty with a touch of sentimentality is perfectly applied to the comic journal format and to the in-between crisis many feel as post-college life looms.

Religion and art, religions vs. art

Re-enchantment, a roundtable discussion organized by professor Jim Elkins, was held on April 17 in the MacLean Center Ballroom. The title refers to the (seemingly contentious) intersection and potential absence of religion in contemporary art and art criticism. The eight panelists included theorist Thierry de Duve, SAIC professor Gregg Bordowitz, Boris Groys, Wendy Doniger, Kajri Jain, Tomoko Masuzawa and David Morgan. The day-long panel discussion (which was preceded by reading groups and an introductory lecture) was as diverse and wide-ranging as its particants’ backgrounds, with conversation running from the relevance of terrorism as an aesthetic statement to the how one proclaims one’s devotion in Hindu and Christian religions.

Another effort spearheaded by Elkins will take place this summer;  the first of SAIC’s Stone Summer Theory Institutes will be held from July 16-21. According to the Institute’s website, (, the new program is “a week-long series of intensive seminars, panel discussions, and public lectures,” including scholars from around the world. This year’s topic is organized around the theme “Globalization in Art,” and  will result in a book, much in the same vein as the seven previous art seminars (of which Re-enchantment was but one) which SAIC has hosted or participated in. Lectures and roundtables in July will be open to the public, and tickets are available on the website.

Ch-ch-ch-changes in the Writing Department

SAIC’s Writing department is in its adolescent phase, and lots of changes are underway. Well-loved professor Dan Beachy-Quick will be leaving for a teaching position at Colorado State University, and the department is looking to fill two faculty positions for the fall (one for playwrighting and one for prose, poetry and image/text).

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