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SAIC faculty members Laurie Palmer and Jim Trainor had their standout brilliance recognized in the Reader’s influential “Best of Chicago” issue last month.

July 12, 2012—“There’s something very ominous about it,” says Elly Fisherman of SAIC Faculty member Laurie Palmer’s sculpture, Hole. Palmer’s work was awarded Best Sculpture You Need A Pully to View as a part of the Chicago Reader’s (circ. 100,000) Best of Chicago Issue published June 21. Faculty member Jim Trainor was awarded Best Chicagoan to Introduce a Film Screening for his introduction to Chopin Theatre’s showing of Wild Strawberries (1957) directed by Ingmar Bergman. “Trainor spoke knowingly of the film but also interspersed his critical observations with personal stories and lots of humor,” Ben Sachs says of the introduction, further noting “Trainor’s conversational approach served to humanize an artist whom most obituaries had mythologized.”

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Recent SAIC alumna Anna Hovet kicked off a summer of runway fashion at the stylish Wit hotel downtown at the end of June, drawing some appreciation from Gapers Block in the process.

July 11, 2012—Alumna Anna Hovet (BFA 2007) discusses her design process in Gapers Block’s June 28 feature by Britt Julious about the ROOF Runway series at the Wit hotel. A show of Hovet’s past work kicked-off the 2012 series on June 28. Of her work, Hovet says it “has to have that artist background in order to get my creative juices flowing.” Now in its second year, ROOF’s uniquely Chicago experience focuses on giving audiences access to local designers.

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“The particular audience he painted for is long gone; the one that has replaced it knows nothing about him,” begins critic Holland Cotter in his careful review of an exciting new biography about Thomas Hart Benton.

July 10, 2012—In the July 1 New York Times “American Issue” Sunday Book Review (circ. 1,645,152), Pulitzer prize–winning critic Holland Cotter reviewed a new biography of painter and legendary SAIC alumnus Thomas Hart Benton by author Justin Wolff. Cotter appreciates how Wolff writes with reserved judgment about the artist, using  “what feels like an undercurrent of empathy” and “dwelling at length on the less familiar story of how he became the person he was.” The story is accompanied by a giant image of Benton’s Threshing Wheat (1938–39) on the book review’s cover.

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“Vivian Maier roamed the streets of Chicago photographing the indigent and rich, the young and the old—pretty much anyone who passed by her lens.…But unlike other amateur shutterbugs, time and time again she took absolutely great and mesmerizing pictures,” notes reporter Alison Cuddy.

July 9, 2012WBEZ reporter Allison Cuddy interviewed longtime Gene Siskel Film Center house manager Jim Dempsey and SAIC faculty member John Corbett for a July 3 story about Vivian Maier: Vintage Prints, the photo retrospective at Corbett vs. Dempsey on view through July 21. The amateur, supremely eccentric Chicago street photographer got international attention after she passed away in 2009; Dempsey tells Cuddy about knowing Maier around 1988 when he was working at SAIC. He speaks highly of Maier’s photos: “When you look at her contact sheets and her negatives you don’t see any duds—it seemed like every time she clicked she was hitting a home run.”

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SAIC alumna Millie Kapp (BA 2010) interviewed by Art21, in partnership with local art-crit website Bad at Sports.

July 6, 2012Art21 posted an interview with SAIC alumna Millie Kapp (BA 2010) on June 26, in partnership with local art-crit website Bad at Sports. Kapp has been working in a collaborative group called Husband of late—which traces its roots to a Sullivan Galleries performance—and she talks about the origin of the group, their art-making process, and her understanding of “body-as-material” in the feature by Caroline Picard. The article is also includes photos by SAIC staffer John Sisson.

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LeRoy Neiman’s passing at the age of 91—on the longest day of the year, after a career that stretched over six decades—has drawn an enormous response from national news media.

July 5, 2012—One week after influential national and local media outlets such as the New York Times (circ. 1,645,152), Huffington Post (circ. 31,151,900), Chicago Sun-Times (circ. 2,256,140), and WTTW’s Chicago Tonight published obituaries of LeRoy Neiman, NPR’s Frank Deford paid tribute to the artist on June 27. Deford notes, “Personally, LeRoy was not at all flamboyant, but courteous, gentle and wonderfully philanthropic. Maybe it wasn’t great art that he sold, but it ended up funding great art schools.” SAIC adjunct faculty member Jerry Saltz also wrote his own eloquent praise for the artist, published by Vulture on June 21. He writes, “LeRoy Neiman was his own artist, someone whose style—mishmash or not—had mysteriously selected him. He then perfected it and took it as far as he possibly could, unashamed, with acceptance, joy, brio, experimentation, and boundless generosity.”

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F News Managing Editor Annette Elliot’s (MFA 2012) light installation at the Garfield Park Conservatory memorializes a catastrophic 2011 hailstorm.

July 4, 2012—An ambitious light installation project by F News Managing Editor Annette Elliot (MFA 2012) is on view at the Garfield Park Conservatory June 30–July 8. The Time Out Chicago art and design blog Exhibitionist covered the project on June 28. Critic Franck Mercurio reports Elliot’s work, commissioned by the Chicago Park District, memorializes the catastrophic 2011 hailstorm that shattered 65,000 panes of glass covering the conservatory’s roof, which remains under repair. “The crack-like illuminations projected onto the dome’s surface will be visible from the surrounding neighborhood and the nearby Green Line,” he notes.

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SAIC alumnus Young Sun Han (BFA 2005) was a shoe-in for this year’s popular 30 Under 30 list.

July 3, 2012—The Windy City Times (circ. 20,000) selected SAIC alumnus Young Sun Han (BFA 2005) for its influential 30 Under 30 issue released June 20. After noting his SAIC studies and exhibitions abroad and locally—as well as his success on season two of Bravo TV’s Work of Art series, on which he finished as runner up—the editors also recount that, on midnight of New Year’s Eve 2009, Young Sun “found a stranger on Craigslist to embrace him for an uninterrupted 24 hours for a performance piece” at the Swimming Pool Project Space.

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About the School of the Art Institute of Chicago

A leader in educating artists, designers, and scholars since 1866, the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC) offers nationally accredited undergraduate, graduate, and post-baccalaureate programs to nearly 3,200 students from across the globe. Located in the heart of Chicago, SAIC's educational philosophy is built upon a multidisciplinary approach to art and design, giving students unparalleled opportunities to develop their creative and critical abilities, while working with renowned faculty who include many of the leading practitioners in their fields. SAIC's resources include the Art Institute of Chicago and its new Modern Wing; numerous special collections and programming venues provide students with exceptional exhibitions, screenings, lectures, and performances.


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