West by Midwest

Art Institute of Chicago

decade


1930s

1920s–30s 1930

Throughout grade school and high school, Charles White wins scholarships to attend Saturday classes at the Art Institute of Chicago.

1936

Charles White wins a scholarship to attend the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC).

1938

Charles White graduates from SAIC.

decade


1940s

mid-1940s 1947

Karl Wirsum attends Saturday classes at the Art Institute of Chicago as a child.

1940s 1948

Judy Chicago attends classes at the Art Institute of Chicago as a child.

decade


1950s

early 1950s 1951

Gladys Nilsson receives a scholarship to attend junior school classes at the Art Institute of Chicago.

late 1950s 1956

Jim Nutt briefly attends college at the University of Kansas, then the University of Pennsylvania, then Washington University in St. Louis. He eventually settles on the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC), where he meets his future wife, Gladys Nilsson.

1957

Karl Wirsum is awarded a full ride to the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC).

1958–62 1958

Gladys Nilsson and Jim Nutt meet at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC), which they both attend.

decade


1960s

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1961

Karl Wirsum earns his BFA from SAIC.

1965

Five recent SAIC graduates including Gladys Nilsson, Jim Nutt, and Karl Wirsum coin the term Hairy Who while working on a title for their group exhibition at the Hyde Park Art Center. The name is in reference to Chicago radio station WFMT’s art critic Harry Bouras.

1965

Jim Nutt earns his BFA from SAIC.

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decade


1970s

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1970

Larry Bell is included in the Art Institute of Chicago’s 69th American Exhibit.

1970s 1975

Karl Wirsum teaches at SAIC. Aaron Curry cites Wirsum as an important figure for him.

1978

After visiting the Art Institute of Chicago, José Antonio Aguirre changes his focus and enrolls in the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

decade


1980s

1982

José Antonio Aguirre earns his BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

1982

Judith Barry teaches a class about video and performance at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC) and creates the video Space Invaders with SAIC students at the home of Laura Kipnis.

decade


1990s

1990

Gladys Nilsson accepts a teaching position at SAIC.

1991

Rebecca Morris moves to Chicago and earns a Post-Baccalaureate Studio Certificate from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC) in 1992.

1993

Kori Newkirk earns his BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC).

1994

Rebecca Morris earns her MFA from the SAIC.

1990s 1994

Rebecca Morris works in the Painting and Drawing Department at SAIC.

1996

Jessica Jackson Hutchins meets Rebecca Morris at SAIC when Morris was working in the Painting and Drawing Department.

1998

Amanda Ross-Ho earns her BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC).

1999

Jessica Jackson Hutchins receives her MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

1999

Sterling Ruby moves to Chicago to attend the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC), where he meets fellow student Aaron Curry.

decade


2000s

2000

Aaron Curry attends SAIC and receives his BFA in 2002 alongside friend and classmate Sterling Ruby. Curry fondly remembers teachers Barbara Rossi and Karl Wirsum.

2000

Rodney McMillian earns his Post-Baccalaureate from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

2000s 2000

Sterling Ruby works at the Video Data Bank, an organization cofounded by SAIC. In Ruby’s words: “I wasn’t exposed to a lot of video art until I started my employment as a secretary at the Video Data Bank. Prior to Chicago, I studied at a four-year foundation program in Pennsylvania where I did figure and still life drawing for eight hours a day. Needless to say, there was no video art in the curriculum. After being promoted from the VDB front desk, I learned how to edit and wound up dubbing endurance-based performance art for eight hours a day. I was holding the [Vito] Acconci, [Lynda] Benglis, and [Bruce] Nauman master tapes and it was a nice opportunity to learn the history of video art in parallel to watching the history of performance art.”

2002

Sterling Ruby earns his BFA from SAIC.

decade


2010s

2010s 2011

Kori Newkirk holds a dual teaching appointment at SAIC and Otis College of Art and Design.

2018

Jim Nutt, Gladys Nilsson, and Karl Wirsum are included in the group exhibition Hairy Who? 1966–1969 at the Art Institute of Chicago.

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