Aliza Shvarts Named as the School of the Art Institute of Chicago’s New Low-Residency Master of Fine Arts Director

Aliza Shvarts Named as the School of the Art Institute of Chicago’s New Low-Residency Master of Fine Arts Director

CHICAGO, Feb. 5, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, a leader in art and design education, today announced the appointment of artist and theorist Aliza Shvarts as the School’s new Low-Residency Master of Fine Arts director. Founded 11 years ago, SAIC’s Low-Res MFA Program gives students living across the country the opportunity to deepen their practice and join SAIC’s thriving community of artists and designers, both virtually and through six-week summer residencies on the School’s campus.

“What drew me to this position was its incredible sense of community—the vibrant artistic network forged between students, faculty, and the local makers where the students live year-round,” said Shvarts. “It will be an honor to serve a program that has so audaciously reimagined MFA training to respond to the evolving needs of working artists today.”

Shvarts’ work takes a queer and feminist approach to reproductive labor and language and often focuses on the circulation of speech in the digital age. Her artwork has been shown in the US and internationally at venues including the Tate Modern, the Athens Biennale, and the LOOP International Film Festival.

She also co-founded the Arts Research Collective, an incubator for experimental and socially engaged arts education; developed queer theory curriculum as faculty for the Leslie-Lohman Museum Queer Artist Fellowship; and has lectured and taught widely, including at Harvard University, Brown University, Columbia University, Barnard College, New York University, Pratt Institute, Sotheby’s Institute of Art-New York, and the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts. Before coming to SAIC, she served as director of artist initiatives at Creative Capital and taught at the Parsons School of Design.

The Low-Res MFA Program, which takes place over the course of three years, is designed to meet the evolving needs of 21st-century artists. It was founded in 2013 to extend the reach of the School, removing barriers for students who were unable to live and work in Chicago during the academic year.

“This is an exciting new chapter for the School of the Art Institute of Chicago’s Low-Res MFA program,” said Provost and Vice Senior President of Academic Affairs Martin Berger. “The program is renowned for its innovative approach to fine arts education, and with Aliza’s unique background in artmaking and scholarship, we have no doubt she will further its reputation as one of the country’s top Low-Res programs.”

School of the Art Institute of Chicago
For more than 150 years, the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC) has been a leader in educating the world’s most influential artists, designers, and scholars. Located in downtown Chicago with a fine arts graduate program ranked number two in the nation by U.S. News and World Report, SAIC provides an interdisciplinary approach to art and design as well as world-class resources, including the Art Institute of Chicago museum, on-campus galleries, and state-of-the-art facilities. SAIC’s undergraduate, graduate, and post-baccalaureate students have the freedom to take risks and create the bold ideas that transform Chicago and the world—as seen through notable alumni and faculty such as Michelle Grabner, David Sedaris, Elizabeth Murray, Richard Hunt, Georgia O’Keeffe, Cynthia Rowley, Nick Cave, Jeff Koons, and LeRoy Neiman.

Media Contact:
Laura Bissett

SOURCE School of the Art Institute of Chicago

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