Thursday, December 14, 2006

Chicago Art News / Releases:

For immediate release
Media Contact:Zak Boerger School of the Art Institute of

Kate Schaefer, 2006
December 1 – The School of the Art Institute of Chicago is pleased to announce that three SAIC alumni are recipients of 2006 US Student Fulbright Grants for foreign study and the furthering of their creative pursuits. An article in the October 20 edition of The Chronicle of Higher Education listed SAIC as one of the “Top Producers of Fulbright Awards for U.S. Students.”

Maris Curran (MFA 2006), Kate Schaefer (BFA 2006), and James Sweetbaum (MFA 2006) were selected by the Fulbright Program to pursue international study that expands on the work each did while at SAIC. Since its inception in 1946, the Fulbright Program has provided more than 273,000 participants worldwide with the opportunity to observe each others’ political, economic, and cultural institutions, exchange ideas, and embark on joint ventures of importance to the general welfare of the world.

Ms. Curran will use her fellowship to embark on a three-part project in Mexico: teaching workshops on experimental filmmaking in Mexico City; filming a narrative short with her colleagues in the Mexican filmmaking community; and curating a series of film screenings in conjunction with the workshops.

Traveling to Iceland, Ms. Schaefer will investigate the concept of “home” in one of the most remote and volcanic regions of the world, paying attention to the ways in which the uniqueness of the island’s culture and landscape relate to one another. “In Iceland, as it is everywhere, the concept of home is in flux. In Iceland however, the movement is more than the turmoil of people shifting—it is also a shifting of the land itself. The island is continually being formed from the ice inside, from the ocean around it, and from volcanoes bubbling deep beneath the surface… I want to know how feelings of home are made different by such a tumultuous landscape.”
Mr. Sweetbaum will use his award to begin work on a film examining masculinity in contemporary Moroccan society. Preparing for the project, Mr. Sweetbaum recently traveled to Morocco to conduct independent study; through discussions there, he says, “I began to understand that Moroccans have a different conception of identity and how male gender roles are formed and performed…possibly as a result of these differences, a very different kind of camaraderie exists among men from that which I have experienced in the United States.”
About the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC)A leader in educating artists and designers for 140 years, the School of the Art Institute of Chicago ( offers undergraduate and graduate programs to over 2,600 students from around the world. In addition to the time-honored study of painting, sculpture, printmaking, and fashion design, SAIC embraces film and new media, electronic arts, designed objects and architecture, and visual and critical studies. Located in the heart of Chicago, SAIC hosts exhibitions, lectures, and other public programs through venues such as the Gene Siskel Film Center, Betty Rymer Gallery, Gallery 2, Video Data Bank, and the Division of Continuing Studies; and in conjunction with the Poetry Center.

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