SAIC Collaboration & Drake Elementary School

Project Overview

CPS Lives podcast tells the story of Drake Elementary School in Bronzeville, Chicago, featuring the voices of students and teachers. Specifically, the podcast centers the development of Dolls for Peace, a community art therapy project spearheaded by artist and educator Rochele Royster. Dolls for Peace creates a safe space to address the traumatization caused by gun violence by inviting community members to make a doll for each person killed as a result of gun violence. The podcast documents the development of the Dolls for Peace project and investigates how the need for such a project emerged in Drake Elementary, in Chicago, and in the U.S. The podcast will be about 30 minutes in length and, for now, exist as a single episode. Interviews will be collected and edited by myself, Efrat Hakimi and Larisa Wade — 3 graduate students at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

Meet the Artist

Private: Katie Wood

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Meet the Artist

Larisa Wade

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Meet the Artist

Efrat Hakimi

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I’m a multidisciplinary artist and engineer. I work in installation, sculpture, printmaking and video. I make work to explore and understand the place I’m living in geographically, socially, and politically as Mizrahi Jewish, female identifying artist. I work around instances of contemporary culture I recognize as structural failures and focus on the tension between history and ideology to expose local symptoms of global conditions. I study the relationships between private and public space and look at how power, violence and models of failed masculinity shape narratives.

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I’m a multidisciplinary artist and engineer. I work in installation, sculpture, printmaking and video. I make work to explore and understand the place I’m living in geographically, socially, and politically as Mizrahi Jewish, female identifying artist. I work around instances of contemporary culture I recognize as structural failures and focus on the tension between history and ideology to expose local symptoms of global conditions. I study the relationships between private and public space and look at how power, violence and models of failed masculinity shape narratives.

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Dorian Sylvain & Dolittle Elementary School

Project Overview

Many of the corridors at this school are plain and uninspired. As I toured the school with Ms. Macbeth, we identified a 150’ corridor that we would re-design with colors and images of the current student population. During this process my intention is to expand students visual literacy and development of art language. Through design sessions, students will be engaged in thoughtful skill building activities and create an art expression for their school that they can be proud of. 

On January 24 I meet with my team of students. We talked about themes, design ideas and and how art can change the feeling of a space. The students took rough measurements of the hallway, using the 12” tiles on the floor. 

We will meet again on Thursday, February 21, to create a design board, filled with pictures, color swatches, a ground plan, images of students and other ideas from the internet. From this discussion I will create a more specific plan of action. The base painting will begin the second week of March. 

Meet the Artist

Dorian Sylvain

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Dorian Sylvain is a painter, an interpreter of color; exploring color as it influences her feelings, enhances texture and pattern and how it can be used to exploit imagery. Ms. Sylvain’s painting has crossed many disciplines; studio painting, scenic design, mural painting, decorative arts, education, curation and community planning. For the past three decades she has been committed to the creation of public art projects that expose children and communities to art making, providing a group experience that elevates the neighborhoods aesthetic understanding. Recently awarded “Arts & Culture: Connecting Communities to the Arts” (2013) from the University of Chicago and the South East Commission, recognizing her outstanding work and committed service. In addition, her Decorative Arts Studio has been creating largescale custom painted walls and canvas’ for private clients for over twenty years.

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Dorian Sylvain is a painter, an interpreter of color; exploring color as it influences her feelings, enhances texture and pattern and how it can be used to exploit imagery. Ms. Sylvain’s painting has crossed many disciplines; studio painting, scenic design, mural painting, decorative arts, education, curation and community planning. For the past three decades she has been committed to the creation of public art projects that expose children and communities to art making, providing a group experience that elevates the neighborhoods aesthetic understanding. Recently awarded “Arts & Culture: Connecting Communities to the Arts” (2013) from the University of Chicago and the South East Commission, recognizing her outstanding work and committed service. In addition, her Decorative Arts Studio has been creating largescale custom painted walls and canvas’ for private clients for over twenty years.

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Portrait by Devina Yoestong

Jay Wolke & Dolittle Elementary School

“I’m committed to creating community through shared, visual language and the impact it has on our common interests,” – Jay Wolke, Artist.

Project Overview

My project involves the ideation and production of “Schoolrooms”, distilling intrinsic, semiotic characteristics of entire schools into single, immersive installations. I am now working in James R Doolittle Elementary School and Gary Comer High School, using mobile scanning devices to record all manner of environmental surfaces and objects. My intention is to create installations, comprised of visual references from an entire school and then condensing those elements into a single room, measuring approximately 8’x8’x12’– an analogue to the overwhelming school experience and the intrinsic character of each individual school. Accompanying the visual environment will be an audio track of various voices, sounds, lectures, shows, etc. The “Schoolroom” projects will embody many of the aesthetic and content goals I aspire to and will initiate a primary dialogue with public audiences, across the city. I’m committed to creating community through shared, visual language and the impact it has on our common interests.

Meet the Artist

Jay Wolke

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Jay Wolke is an artist and educator living in Chicago Illinois. He is the author of: All Around the House: Photographs of American-Jewish Communal Life, 1998; Along the Divide: Photographs of the Dan Ryan Expressway, 2004 and Architecture of Resignation: Photographs from the Mezzogiorno, 2011. His fourth monograph: Same Dream Another Time: Photographs from Las Vegas, Reno and Atlantic City will be released in July 2017. His works have been exhibited internationally and are in the permanent print collections of the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York MOMA, the Art Institute of Chicago and the San Francisco MOMA, among others. From 1992-1999 he was Coordinator of Graduate Documentary Photography at the Institute of Design, IIT. In 1999-2000 he served as Head of Art and Graduate Studies at Studio Art Centers International, Florence, Italy. He is currently a Professor of Photography at Columbia College where he was Chair of the Art and Design Department from 2000-2005 and again from 2008-2013.

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Jay Wolke is an artist and educator living in Chicago Illinois. He is the author of: All Around the House: Photographs of American-Jewish Communal Life, 1998; Along the Divide: Photographs of the Dan Ryan Expressway, 2004 and Architecture of Resignation: Photographs from the Mezzogiorno, 2011. His fourth monograph: Same Dream Another Time: Photographs from Las Vegas, Reno and Atlantic City will be released in July 2017. His works have been exhibited internationally and are in the permanent print collections of the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York MOMA, the Art Institute of Chicago and the San Francisco MOMA, among others. From 1992-1999 he was Coordinator of Graduate Documentary Photography at the Institute of Design, IIT. In 1999-2000 he served as Head of Art and Graduate Studies at Studio Art Centers International, Florence, Italy. He is currently a Professor of Photography at Columbia College where he was Chair of the Art and Design Department from 2000-2005 and again from 2008-2013.

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Portrait by Devina Yoestong

Marzena Abrahamik & Young Women’s Leadership Charter School

Project Overview

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Meet the Artist

Marzena Abrahamik

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Marzena Abrahamik received her BA from Loyola University in 2002 and her MFA from Yale University in 2013. Her recent solo exhibitions include presentations at Johalla Projects, Chicago (2017, 2015), the Gallery of Classic Photography, Moscow (2013), and the Turchin Center for the Visual Arts, Boone, North Carolina (2012). Group exhibition highlights include the Silver Eye Center for Photography, Pittsburgh (2016), Weinberg/Newton Gallery, Chicago (2016), Soccer Club Club, Chicago (2016), Sushi Bar, New York (2014), the International Photography Festival, Tel-Aviv (2014), and Aperture, New York (2013). Her work is included in the collections of the Art Institute of Chicago and Haas Family Art Library at Yale University. Her work can currently be seen in the Whitney Houston Biennial in New York.

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Marzena Abrahamik received her BA from Loyola University in 2002 and her MFA from Yale University in 2013. Her recent solo exhibitions include presentations at Johalla Projects, Chicago (2017, 2015), the Gallery of Classic Photography, Moscow (2013), and the Turchin Center for the Visual Arts, Boone, North Carolina (2012). Group exhibition highlights include the Silver Eye Center for Photography, Pittsburgh (2016), Weinberg/Newton Gallery, Chicago (2016), Soccer Club Club, Chicago (2016), Sushi Bar, New York (2014), the International Photography Festival, Tel-Aviv (2014), and Aperture, New York (2013). Her work is included in the collections of the Art Institute of Chicago and Haas Family Art Library at Yale University. Her work can currently be seen in the Whitney Houston Biennial in New York.

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Portrait by Devina Yoestong

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