Sarah Brophy is a multimedia installation artist and abstract animator. Her work grapples with the concept of digital mysticism, using frameworks from the spiritual-abstract nexus like duality, sacred geometry, and cosmic imagery to test the transcendental capabilities of 21st century technology. Through the activation of geometric shapes, found patterns, and hand drawn expressions, her installations create sensory experiences that manipulate space in unexpected ways and complicate our assumptions about the built environment we inhabit. She has exhibited work in multiple large scale public art events including the Berlin Festival of Lights, ILLUMINUS Boston, Areacode, and Boston’s Art on the Marquee program, as well as Gallery 263 (Boston), Williamsburg Art and Historical Society (Brooklyn), and Savvy Contemporary (Berlin). She is currently pursuing her MFA in Art and Technology Studies at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.
Zoe Butler is a hybrid media/performance artist and filmmaker whose work centers embodiment to explore materiality. Her practice meditates on archives and the interconnected exchanges that they cultivate surrounding the synthesis of intergenerational wisdom. Her practice aims to activate memory imbued documents and embrace the ever becoming nature of objects through expanding methods of artful engagement.
Lisha Chen is an artist who focuses on digital sociology and biological relationships. Her art practice consists of conceptual art pieces with interdisciplinary approaches from sculpture, performance, virtual reality, fashion, comics, etc. Her recent works combine objects with performance, taking the objects to their next level of logical activation. She believes art can help people see new possibilities of life in the alienated contemporary. Lisha obtained an undergraduate degree in industrial design in China. She is currently a graduate student in designed objects at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.
Marcelese Cooper is a filmmaker, photographer, poet, illustrator, and part-time human being; he is a former California resident and current academic nomad. Above all else he cherishes the art of storytelling and believes it is with the tools of our respective mediums that we generate understanding of ourselves and our surroundings. He is currently pursuing an MFA in Photography and Digital Media from the University of Houston.
I use my trans* body-world to abstract and satirize gender tropes that manifest within Art world processes. I use art to extend, poeticize, and most importantly manipulate my trans* queer body - as my trans* queer body abstracts and manipulates my art simultaneously. I want to continue not knowing if trans* + art = trans* art. I am a post-passer, a post-dragger, a performative art-maker. (Melon Fernsebner)
Matt Ford is a writer, archivist, and educator from Detroit. They explore music, spirituality, blackness, and the erotic in essays, articles, poetry, artwork, and audio productions. Matt counts God, Janet Jackson, and Audre Lorde as personal saviors. They studied anthropology at Vassar College and African-American Studies at Morehouse College and have published writing in Kaleidoscoped, Wall Street Journal, HuffPost, The Creative Independent, Curbed Detroit, and Chicago Reader as well as comics in South Side Weekly.
KATIA PÉREZ FUENTES is a multi-hyphenate artist, administrator, and emerging astrologer. Using visual access points, they make leisurely experiences for shared narratives through introspection. KPF is a creative problem solver with a background in public arts, museums, and anti-racism work. As a queer, brown, non-binary Mexican immigrant, Pérez became a first-generation graduate from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.
Erika Mei Chua Holum believes in history written on the lips of grandmas, the poetics of dust, and multitudes inside of us.
Safia Ismail is a 19 year old artist, who enjoys painting, photography, drawing, and ceramics. Her work is often based on growth, self reflection, and nature. She is inspired by herself and all of the people around her. Safia’s pieces display her experience as a young woman of color. Being an artist allows her to document new territories of her identity. She is currently working towards a fine arts degree in drawing, painting, and printmaking. Follow her on Instagram at @safcreates.
Rachel Kabukala writes from the occupied territory of the Miami, Delaware, Potawatomi, and Shawnee Nations and wishes to acknowledge their communities (elders past and present, as well as future generations) as caretakers of the land. She is a PhD student in the Department of Art History at Indiana University and spends her time mothering, studying, loving, creating, and revolutionizing.
Amay Kataria is a media artist practicing out of Mana Contemporary Chicago. He holds an MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and a Bachelors in Computer Engineering from Virginia Tech. His practice takes a point of departure in the phenomenon of temporality and finds subjects of inquiry in the traditions of timekeeping, philosophy of control, historical archives, and scientific explorations. His works manifest a hybrid reality - within physical and digital materiality. He has previously held new media residencies at Art Center Nabi and Mana Contemporary and will be an artist-in-residence at Sandnes Kommune in Stavanger, Norway in 2021. His work has been shown at Vector, DeConfine, & Piksel festivals, Electromuseum, Hyde Park Art Center, Ars Electronica, Experimental Sound Studio, HangZhou Triennial of Fiber Art, and amongst many others.
Sam Kyung Lee is a photographer and writer whose work is primarily concerned with memory, intimacy, and word-to-image adaptations. Their work is informed by their experience studying English literature and their interests in conveying intimacy in all its different registers. Lee's current projects explore the tensions that arise from navigating family, land, and queerness within larger structures and histories of violence.
Jiaqi Li is a visual artist. He uses pictures/images as material to challenge the existed visual experience. He is obsessed with the humor brought by the deception of the image, which is all around us, exists as tricks, camouflage, or ideal vision, and is easy to be produced and circulated. He claims to be a pessimist who pretends to be an optimist, a realist who pretends to be an idealist. After receiving his BFA from China Central Academy of Fine Arts in 2019, and exchanged to Glasgow School of Art (2017), Li is currently pursuing his MFA at School of the Art Institute of Chicago with full scholarship supported by the Chinese Scholarship Council. His first and second solo shows in Glasgow (2017) and Chicago (2020) respectively, questioned the artist's role in society. Li entered the group show “ASA-XYZ Young Artist Award Nomination Exhibition” (2018) and the “2018 Art Nova 100” Opening Exhibition in Guardian Art Center in Beijing as a young artist. In 2020, he received School of the Art Institute of Chicago's Clay Morrison Scholarship, which encourages graduate students to study art originating from beyond the academic mainstream.
Since childhood Bee Losee has found passion and pleasure through artistic expression and sharing it with others. She is drawn to color, light, reflections and shadow, especially in the natural world, and how they intermingle with the body and soul. This led her to pursue a career in interior design; from here she was inspired to become an architect. She received a Master of Architecture and practiced in the profession for a number of years. Her career path encountered many a spin after her diagnosis with Multiple Sclerosis. On this unforeseen path Bee found the innate beauty in what oft is perceived as broken or shattered and the desire to communicate this through her art.
Briana Lynn is a cross-disciplinary language artist and classically trained dancer working at the intersection of a literary and visual practice. She received her MFA in Literary Arts from Brown University (2018), with coursework at Rhode Island School of Design. She is interested in multi-dimensional poetry; in language as object; and in engaging both her body and that of the reader—she is looking to choreograph text. Her work is an exercise in designing poems that can shepherd space and ultimately, perform.
Matt Manalo creates work which involves elements of painting, drawing, sculpture, photography, and printmaking. He uses raw materials, found objects sometimes collected and oftentimes donated... By doing this, he is making his practice environmentally conscious as well as understanding the idea of scarcity and abundance. He uses the grid as a foundation for most of his work to tackle geography, cartography, borders, and the idea of displacement while having a constant conversation of how “home” should be defined. Being a first generation immigrant, Manalo discusses his experiences navigating around the physical and social structures of society through his work. As he explores this, home becomes a two-part environment where the artist is split between the Philippines and Texas. The latter sits on the southern border of the US. It is also important to mention that colonization of the Philippines by Spain, Japan and the United States resulted in erasure, colorism and colonial mentality; a frequent topic in Manalo’s work. Manalo is the founder of Filipinix Artists of Houston, a collective of visual, performing, literary, culinary, and multidisciplinary artists. He also runs an alternative art space: Alief Art House.
Ciera McKissick is an independent writer, curator, cultural producer, and the founder of AMFM. She created AMFM as an independent study project in college in 2009. Her work since then often involves collaboration through supporting Black and brown artists, local arts organizations, and seeks to stimulate community engagement that's driven by inclusivity, accessibility, intention, and care.
Liv Meyer is an undergrad at SAIC studying to get her BFA in writing. Through her attention to the surreal ins and outs of the human experience, Liv Meyer pulls you into a charged world that is just as fanciful as it is familiar. Her writing speaks about gender, sex and love in a way that discusses the internal through the external. Queer relationships are especially highlighted in her body of work as she is a lesbian artist. She is interested in creating written works full of quiet detail and vivacious manifestation of intimate moments. Liv Meyer focuses on highlighting a candid, loose reality that reflects the random beauty of the universe. She has been published in Anti-Heroin Chic, Glitterary Magazine, Pest Control Magazine, Unbound Magazine and F-News.
Juniper Monypenny is an art therapist living in Brooklyn, NY and working in the Bronx. She is an alumnus of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago’s art therapy program and earned her undergraduate art degree from Rhode Island School of Design. Outside of her work as a medical art therapist, her activism has included working in sexual violence prevention and crisis response, facilitating expressive arts opportunities for gender-expansive youth, and queer mutual aid networking. Her current projects include coauthoring a chapter for the forthcoming Oxford Handbook of Queer & Trans Music Therapy, finding stable housing in the state with the greatest wealth gap in the contiguous United States, and pursuing a post-baccalaureate certificate in premedical studies at Columbia University while tuition-striking with the Barnard chapter of the YDSA.
Kayla Myers is an artist, writer, and programmer whose work and practice centers on the intimacy of relationships between women, Black hair as a form of expression, and the various ways and reasons we embody yearning. Her work has previously been featured in the Citizen Jane Film Festival, the Mizzou Visual Art and Design Showcase, and the Jesse Hall Student Photography Exhibition.
She’s a proud Southern woman and was born in Killeen, TX, but considers Memphis, TN home. Kayla is a graduate of the University of Missouri where she received a Bachelor of Journalism, emphasis in Strategic Communication, from the Missouri School of Journalism and a Bachelor of Arts in Digital Storytelling from the School of Visual Studies. Currently, Kayla works primarily as a programmer at the Indie Memphis Film Festival, the 2021 San Francisco Documentary Festival, and as the Series Producer for The DocYard in Cambridge, MA. She is passionate about intersectional feminist practices within the arts, making films more accessible to those not living in large filmmaking centers, and developing audiences with a thoughtful, community-centered approach.
Hieu Nguyen is a recent graduate of New York University with a Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology and Global Public Health. Currently, he is an MPH Candidate at Columbia University, though on a gap year due to the pandemic. Since leaving New York City, he has moved back into his childhood home in Los Angeles and began exploring his lifelong interest in poetry for the first time. These poems a part of a collection of poems for a forthcoming chapbook entitled, Tar.
When I'm not studying or working, creating and listening to music is my life. I long to make music every day and it brings me great joy.(Will Nielsen)
Azul Alberto Nogueron is a queer non-binary multidisciplinary artist and curator from Chicago, IL. They began their career as an artist in Chicago, where they worked with organizations like After School Matters, Columbia College, Fulton Street Collective, and the National Museum of Mexican Art. They received their BA from Monmouth College and are receiving their Masters of Fine Arts from Maryland Institute College of Art. Their current practice reflects the dichotomy between religious beliefs and the queer experience, specifically in the trans community. They are exploring their conflicting beliefs and use their own experience as a trans person to create stories of acceptance, fear, and curiosity in their paintings. Currently, Azul is focusing on their curatorial work at Fulton Street Collective and has been working with marginalized artists to give them a platform to display their work. They have curated shows with over 500 people in attendance. Upcoming shows are Juice and Queer Chicago. Information about the events are found on their website. Their work can be found via their website and instagram page. W| azulnogueron.weebly.com IG| @azulnog Pronouns| they/them
Mexican art student (Daniela Oliva) and faculty member (Sergio Zamora) who work jointly in the art collective De Siete a Cinco where they engage with discussions involving creative processes while seeking to become a platform that promotes ideas, experiences, and knowledge exchange between contemporary artists and people that don’t belong in the arts field.
Olivier is a queer and trans research-based artist and writer of colour who grew up amid the aftertaste of post-colonial Hong Kong. They dwell on themes like archiving, cataloguing, tautology, and pessimism. By focusing on critical approaches to institutional practices, Olivier explores and compares the ridiculousness and obsessions found in rituals and structures of institutions like museums and religions. They see museums as vehicles for truths, and these truths are unstable. Through videos, participatory performances, installations, and writing, Olivier’s works often directly mimic institutional structures to create satirical environments for audiences to confront. Having a background in studio art, art history, and critical theories, with a passion in fringe-science, Olivier’s writings often critique topics like ufology and cryptozoology, in the context of curatorial methods and institutions. They aim to explore alternative ways of writing about fringe-science from the perspective of visual critical studies, and to create an inclusive space within the fringe-science communities for queer folx and BIPOC. Olivier also runs a project called The Museum (2016-ongoing). The Museum [pronounced with emphatic ‘the’] is a project that mimics bureaucratic structures in institutions to highlight the ridicules in human behaviours while also tempting the audience into participation from their desire for belonging. It examines the hows and whys in hierarchical systems and (late-)capitalism through both physical and virtual work. On top of satirical video works, The Museum Show, and installations, The Museum focuses on making specific administrative documents to different projects for the audience to fill out, in order to explore the process of authorised existence, the alienation and personalised aspects in bureaucracy, and the systemic violence experienced in and through institutions structures and empirical knowledge.
Rebecca Poarch is a 22-year-old artist from Long Island, New York. She recently graduated from Pennsylvania State University where she earned a Bachelor of Fine Art in studio art with a concentration in painting and drawing. Rebecca was awarded the 2019 Margaret Giffen Schoenfelder Memorial Scholarship by Penn State School of Visual Arts, which recognized her as an exceptional fourth-year painter. Rebecca has shown at Greenpoint Gallery in Brooklyn, New York, Zoller Gallery at State College, Pennsylvania, and the Garment District Alliance in New York, New York. Rebecca has worked as a Curatorial Assistant at Isabella Garrucho Fine Art in Greenwich, Connecticut, and as a Curatorial Assistant at the Art Alliance of Central Pennsylvania in State College, Pennsylvania.
Yanhan Qiu (b.2000) is an interdisciplinary artist living in Chicago, IL and currently pursuing her bachelors of fine arts from the school of the art Institute of Chicago (2024).She uses sound design and digital media to express physical sensory experience and simulate biological action, as well as visual design and computer coding to explore the possibilities of human-computer interaction art. Her photography goes beyond life itself to focus on the traces of cities created by humans. Focusing on interdisciplinary collaboration, she seeks to open up different experiences and perspectives in contemporary physical and virtual spaces.
Simon Tatum was born in George Town, Grand Cayman. A small set of islands within the English-speaking Caribbean. Tatum received his Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Missouri (USA) in May 2017. He is a current MFA candidate for the Sculpture and Expanded Media program at Kent State University (USA), and he is the first graduate scholar sponsored by the Peter N Thomson Family Foundation in Grand Cayman to pursue an MFA program. Tatum was honored in 2016 with an international travel grant from the National Gallery of the Cayman Islands to attend the Caribbean Linked IV residency program in Oranjestad, Aruba. He also attended the Leipzig International Artist residency in Leipzig, Germany in 2018. Tatum currently studies and resides in Kent, Ohio (USA).
Isabel Vargas is a New York City-born Puerto Rican artist and curator.
Rooted on the West side of Chicago, Jon Veal has forged a Transdisciplinary practice that utilizes installation, writing, painting, drawing, and performance. Primarily focused on the capacity of symbolic gesture as a means of strategic tool; Veal uses his artistic agency as a platform for social engagement and discourse. Veal has exhibited and performed at Chicago Artist Department, Silent Funny, William Hill Gallery, Homewood Science Center, Chicago Cultural Ball, and the Terrain Biennial. Veal holds the honor of being the first African American Artist in Residence at Oak Park Public Library. In 2019 Jon also held the Field/Work Artist in Residence at Chicago Artist Coalition. This year he became a recipient of the 2020 3Arts “Make A Wave” Grant. *Jon also serves as a board member of alt_
Natalia Villanueva Linares is a French Peruvian international artist who graduated with honors in 2010 from L’Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Beaux Arts de Paris. She was awarded an exchange program that led her to also study at SAIC in 2008. She specializes in space understanding, installation art and performance. She currently lives in Chicago and works between South/North America and Europe. Her work has been shown in two major exhibitions at the Palais des Beaux Arts in Paris, in galleries and art fairs in France, Germany, the US, Italy, Spain, France and most recently in Ecuador. She had her first solo show in Lima, Peru, in 2020, where she was also selected to participate for the second time in the ICPNA National Contemporary Art Award show. Natalia is an engaged moment maker, she is the co-founder of the Arts non-profit organization Yaku, the Co-Director of the Artist-run mini mansion High Place and also the founder of the nomadic Art magazine Ukayzine, first trilingual magazine made in Peoria, Illinois created to promote international cultural exchanges through the visual Arts.
Yilin Wang, based in Shanghai, is a digital media artist and designer, also teaching in Tongji University D&I now. She completed her master degree in Royal College of Art in London and bachelor in Tongji University College of Design and Innovation. She is interested in theories about posthuman and postmordernism and other relevant fields. Her practical work includes both 2D and 3D digital videos, augmented reality work, interactive installation and immersive experience design. Her work was displayed in multiple exhibitions. When she was in London, Yilin was positively working on digital theatre project and interested in interdisciplinary collaboration with artists and designers from different areas. She focuses on futuristic themes and explores how to depict and communicate scenario thinking about futures through work.
Riley James Yaxley (they/them) is a writer, poet, and fundraiser based in Chicago, Illinois, occupying unceded land of the Kickapoo, Peoria, Potawatomi, Miami, and Očhéthi Šakówiŋ peoples. They hold a bachelor’s and master’s degree in Writing, Rhetoric, and Discourse from DePaul University, specializing in professional writing and queer and feminist rhetorical histories. They are currently the Resource Development Manager for the National Performance Network. Riley started their career working at a number of arts organizations in Chicago, including Chicago Gallery News, the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, Wrightwood 659, and Intuit: The Center for Intuitive and Outsider Art. They currently serve as the chair of advancement for Intuit’s Young Professionals affiliate group. Most recently, they were the Donor Stewardship Writer at the Art Institute of Chicago, where they served as a cochair for one of the museum’s equity working groups. Through their writing, Riley aims to uplift BIPOC and LGBTQIA+ artists and challenge systems of inequity within the art world.