Originally from New York, Rebecca Eve Baruc has called Chicago home since 2015. Rebecca is an arts producer, curator, educator and visual artist based in Chicago with 8+ years experience in delivering impactful and transformative programming to diverse audiences. She received her BFA in American Studies and minored in Studio Art from Skidmore College, where she also produced the National College Comedy Festival. Other art schools of study include the Art Students League of New York, The Glasgow School of Art, and The Chicago Mosaic School. Her other professional experiences span project managing, producing and curating with David Wallace Haskins Studio,The Den Theatre, Uncommon Ground, Haymarket Books, and Bruce Mau’s Massive Change Network. Rebecca is passionate about settings that cultivate cultures of liberation, take creative risks, and archive contemporary American culture; she feels the high school classroom is a perfect place to bring these together with the students. Baruc never read Harry Potter, a fact to which her students said “ok so you’re not a weird Millennial.” Baruc is actually your typical millennial: has lots of plants, a cat, and remembers Blockbuster fondly. www.beccabaruc.com
Gwyneth grew up in rural Maryland downstream from a prison. As an artist and educator, she tries to transform the violence of isolation, and celebrate each other as interconnected, weird phenomena. Most of her projects use a frame-by-frame animation process, like traditional cartoon production, but sometimes her animations aren’t watchable, instead becoming sound sculptures, installations, text-based art, or performances. Gwyneth received her BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and has since presented work in galleries, forests, and empty lots around the northern hemisphere, including in Chicago at Roman Susan, the Experimental Sound Studio, and Weinberg/Newton gallery; the NY Art Book Fair at MoMA PS1 in New York; Peephole Cinema in San Francisco; FRISE in Hamburg, Germany; and Utopiana in Geneva, Switzerland. She loves to dance, sincerely enjoys riding the CTA, and feels super lucky to teach at ChiArts. gwynethvzanderson.com
Ms. Barge is an award winning educator and comes to ChiArts with 17 years of teaching experience. She specializes in painting and photography in her spare time and loves working with new teachers as a mentor. She believes that the classroom should be a safe location for students to learn about how design techniques work in real world application. As a goal she continues to work with students to strengthen their skills through the use of the elements and principles of design. Art tells stories and helping students learn to tell theirs through design allows the curriculum to come alive and continue to grow with each set of students she sees.
Eliza Fernand is an artist and educator who works primarily with video, sound, fabric, and clay. After studying sculpture and photography at Interlochen Center for the Arts in Northern Michigan and earning a BFA Sculpture from Pacific Northwest College of Art in Oregon, Eliza led a cross-country career attending over a dozen artist residencies and exhibiting internationally. A new citizen of Chicago, she spent the last eight years in Michigan where she directed and facilitated an artist residency, taught at non-profit organizations, and earned an MFA in Interdisciplinary Arts from Sierra Nevada University. In artmaking and in teaching, Eliza aims to provoke an acceptance of loving practices outside of the norm, and promote experimentation on all levels. www.elizafernand.com
With a background in educational psychology and art, Patrick believes that the camera has the power to transform the way we understand the world and the people around us. By mixing practices of documentary photography, community organizing, and human development, his goal is to encourage young people in Chicago to be their own storytellers. By engaging youth in these practices, he strives to actualize these intersections through a curriculum that centers young peoples’ insight and imagination. lentzphoto.com
Annie Leue is a graphic designer, writer, art director, and educator living in Chicago, IL. She’s most interested in the crossroads among language, design, and civic engagement as a means to drive social change. Much of her work centers on mental health and the ways in which conversation, compassion, and humor facilitate connection and community. Annie received her MFA in Visual Communication Design from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2018 and her BFA in graphic design and BA in music from the State University of New York College at Fredonia. annieleue.com
Chris Lin Dao-Heng is an interdisciplinary artist and educator based in Chicago, working in media including videos, comics, graphic design, puppetry, music, and installation. A major part of his art practice is related to language learning, immigration, humor, and vulnerability. Born and raised in Taipei, Taiwan, he earned his BFA with honor from the University of Victoria in 2005 and an MFA in Fiber and Material Studies from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2008. His visual art, short stories, and comic work have been published by the Chicago Architecture Center, Bailiwick, This Side of West, Fiction At Work, Shampoo, and Levitate. Mr. Lin has taught at ChiArts since 2012 in both the Visual Arts and Creative Writing Conservatories. When he is not creating art and teaching, you can find Mr. Lin building elaborate Lego houses with his son, cooking complicated meals, and rocking out to synth music. abalonemoney.com
Claire Moore is an artist and educator living in Chicago. She uses painting to understand herself and her surroundings, and her work can largely be described as self-portraiture. Claire received a BFA in Painting from the Rhode Island School of Design in 2007, and an MFA in Painting and Drawing from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2021. She has shown her work at various spaces in Florida, Rhode Island, New York, and Chicago. clairemoorestudio.com
Shaquita Reed is a Chicago-based artist and designer. Reed studied fine art at the Chicago High School for the Arts and received her BFA in Fashion Design in 2018 from Columbia College Chicago. Reed is currently studying at the School of the Art Institute Chicago, where she will receive her Master’s in Design(2022). Reed has exhibited in numerous galleries throughout Chicago, including shows at The Hyde Park Art Center, SpringHill Suites, The Harris Theater, The Chicago Cultural Center, Columbia College Chicago, and the School of the Art Institute Chicago. Her work has won awards through both the Scholastic Art and Writing awards and All-City Art exhibitions. In 2016, Reed took part in a group exhibition with Sculpture Objects Functional Art and Design, also known as SOFA art exhibition in a show titled, “Four years later.” Recent exhibitions include the School for the Art Institute Chicago (2021) and Homewood Arts Council (2021). shaquireed.com
Caitlin Ryan is a Chicago-based interdisciplinary artist and filmmaker. Her work explores the nuances between comedy and humor, specifically using the vernacular of the uncanny to investigate systems of anthropology. I am interested in small underground (and sometimes temporary) communities to observe perspectives that push the boundaries of what it means to have radical empathy. Ryan received her MFA from the University of Illinois at Chicago and has most recently shown works at Airlock,Iceberg Projects, Flatlands, Gallery 400, and Hyde Park Art Center. She has also screened works at Onion City Film Festival, Chicago Underground Film Festival, ICDOCS,Cosmic Rays,and the Nightingale Cinema.
Anastasia Sitnikova has worked at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) and Harper College (Palatine, Illinois). In her artistic practice, Anastasia focuses on sculpture and interactive installations. Her art is largely driven by the curiosity about human nature and social relations as a representation of the inner self and the outer world, subconscious and conscious, respectively. Anastasia holds a Master of Fine Arts degree from UIC. Her work has been exhibited at educational institutions, non-profit and commercial galleries in Illinois, Indiana, and Ohio. Anastasia is Fall 2021 Artist in Residence at the International Museum of Surgical Science (IMSS), Chicago. anastasiasitnikova.com
Frank Vega (b.1992, Cuenca, Ecuador) is an artist based in Chicago. He received an MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and a BFA from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Vega’s practice includes collaging and assembling objects, ceramics, paintings, and sound materials into hybrid structures that resemble bodies, architecture, and garments. Vega has received the Leroy Neiman Fellowship at Ox-Bow School of Art and has been featured in New American Paintings Magazine Issue #159, 2022. He has exhibited at The Green Gallery (Milwaukee, WI), The Franklin (Chicago, IL), Patient Info (Chicago, IL), Casa Lü (Mexico City, MX), Galeria 54 (Mexico City, MX), and has an upcoming solo show at Devening Projects (Chicago, IL).