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Be an exhibitionist

Exhibition opportunities abound at SAIC and beyond: in official gallery spaces, hallways, apartments and even a CTA train.

By Alumni

Illustration by Aurelie Beatley

Getting your artwork seen in and around SAIC

Exhibition opportunities abound at SAIC and beyond: in official gallery spaces, hallways, apartments and even a CTA train. Whether you want to curate, network, or show your pieces, these spaces are indispensable.

On campus, the student-run Student Union Galleries (SUGS) offer two exhibition spaces for student curators and artists: the LG Space (Sharp Building, Rm. 220B) and Gallery X (Columbus Building, Rm. 113). The galleries host six exhibitions each semester, in all media, and hold workshops before application deadlines so that students know how best to present their work – an invaluable set of skills for any emerging artist. Detailed application information and the upcoming exhibition schedule can be found at the SUGS website.

The Rymer Gallery hosts exhibitions by international artists as well as SAIC current students, alumni, and faculty and accepts proposals and also holds workshops. This fall, the gallery is organizing New Blood II, the second SAIC performance art event that will take place at Links Hall from November 7th until November 9th. Applications can be found at the Betty Rymer Gallery (280 South Columbus Drive), and the deadline is September 17th.

Sullivan Galleries (33 South State Street, 7th Floor) also plays host to SAIC students and faculty as well as visiting artists. It is also the exhibition space for the Fall Undergraduate Exhibition, which shows the work of graduating studio students. With 32,000 square feet of exhibition space, Sullivan Galleries is the largest contemporary art space in the Loop. The programming for both Rymer Gallery and Sullivan Galleries is coordinated through the Department of Exhibitions/Exhibition Studies

One resource that will become vital to anyone interested in showing their work is the Exhibition Resource Center website and the Exhibition and Media Opportunities guide. Overseen by the Exhibition Curricula Office (ECO), these information hubs provide up-to-date and detailed exhibition opportunities, listing a variety of SAIC spaces available for exhibition, including hallways and display cases, as well as off-campus venues and juried festivals. The website should be up and running in September 2008, and will include maps and floorplans, as well as contact and application information. One of the most helpful aspects of the guide is its tips on navigating the tricky SAIC website and Portal, with their mazes of never ending tabs. The guide also provides important and clear information on year-end and thesis exhibitions.

SAIC students and alumni have also created their own exhibition spaces outside of school, in the form of apartment galleries that can be found throughout the city. Former SUGS Administrative Director Rachel Adams, for instance, co-founded Lloyd Dobler Gallery in 2006. Other apartment gallery spaces with SAIC ties include Mini Dutch, Old Gold, Satin Satan and Brown Triangle.

Beyond the white walls is the Art Train, organized by SAIC students Scott Footer and Tristan Hummel. This is a travelling, juried art exhibition that takes place August 30th on eight CTA train cars. Entrance to the show costs $5, and can be accessed from 6 – 10 pm at the Adams and Washington El platform. Although applications are no longer being accepted for this exhibition, the organizers may be working on more public art displays in the future.

Contact Info:

Student Union Galleries

Exhibition Curricula Office
Sharp Building, 37 S. Wabash
Room 220B
[email protected]

Exhibition Resources Guide

Department of Exhibitions/Exhibition Studies
[email protected]

Proposal forms for Rymer Gallery and Sullivan Galleries can be found at

Lloyd Dobler Gallery
1545 W. Division, 2nd Floor

Mini Dutch
3111 W. Diversey, 1st Floor

Old Gold
2022 N. Humboldt Avenue
[email protected]

Brown Triangle
2214 W. 21st Street
[email protected]

Art on Track

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