threewallsSALON: Unschooling Arts Education

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threewallsSALON: Unschooling Arts Education

119 N. Peoria #2C
Chicago, IL 60607
March 29th, 2011 7:00 PM - 9:00 PM

West Loop/West Town
Tue-Sat 11-5


*Please note: This threewallsSALON session will be held down the hallway from threewalls at Western Exhibitions.

Come join us for "Unschooling Arts Education," the third session of this year's threewallsSALON series, "@work."

In response to several pedagogic movements of the last century, as well as current practices in DIY and self-education, we are seeing a rebirth of public access education. In turn, this trend is raising a new set of questions, including: who, exactly, is sanctioning what is worthy of being learned, who is worthy of receiving that learning and where that learning should take place?

This session of the @work SALON series will focus on the rebirth of arts education in the public access form. Popping up in Chicago and other cities is a new version of this free education system, which is partially defined by free (or very low-cost) seminars and skill-sharing with an emphasis on democratic education. Participation is open to all, for students and teachers alike, in this horizontal peer-to-peer alt.institutional structure. Creativity, flexibility, experimentation, and collaboration are highly valued in the arts. Why shouldn't these traits be applied to the ways in which we access knowledge, as well as to its content?

Invited guests include Zachary CahillErica Meiners (Northeastern Illinois University), Bert StablerJacqueline Terrassa (MCA), and Rebecca Zorach (University of Chicago).

Visit the threewalls website for a list of suggested readings provided by the speakers.

About the Speakers

zachary cahill head shot.jpg

Zachary Cahill is an interdisciplinary artist whose work has been exhibited at the Center for Art and Media Technology in Karlsruhe, Germany (ZKM); Aarhus Kunstbygning in Aarhus, Denmark; DeVos Museum of Art, Marquette, MI; and The Poor Farm, Maniwa WI, amongst other. Cahill has upcoming solo-exhibitions at the Chicago Cultural Center and threewalls . His writings have appeared in the Journal of Visual Culture, the journal ReThinking Marxism, Proximity Magazine, and Currently he is a Lecturer in the Department of Visual Arts & serves as the Open Practice Committee coordinator at the University of Chicago and is adjunct faculty in the Department of Painting and Drawing at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.



Erica R Meiners teaches, writes and organizes in Chicago. She has written about her ongoing labor and learning in anti-militarization campaigns, educational justice struggles, prison abolition and reform movements, and queer and immigrant rights organizing, in books including,Flaunt It! Queers organizing for public education and justiceRight to be hostile: schools, prisons and the making of public enemies and articles Radical Teacher,Meridians, AREA Chicago and Social Justice. Her day job is teaching at an open-access public university, Northeastern Illinois University, where she is a member of UPI/Local 4100 and she also teaches at other free and community based popular education sites in Chicago. She is also a beekeeper, an errant fruit canner and a long distance runner.


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Bert Stabler was raised in Columbus, Ohio, and spent my time in school drawing piles of cartoons, while still receiving honor-roll grades — most of the time, at least. I went to a great high school that encouraged students to pursue their own interests, most of mine lay in the areas of reading, writing, and artwork. I created music, clothing, and publications on my own and with friends. Trying to buckle down after high school, I graduated from Oberlin College in 1994 with a degree in English and Economics, then ended up going to art school in Chicago, getting my Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 1997. I went back there for my graduate art education degree in 2004; my thesis was on young people creating and exhibiting artwork outside of a programmed institutional context. I have worked on many artistic projects while in Chicago, including creating comics, curating art shows, and writing art criticism for the Chicago Reader. I don’t have a car, which can be rough on an art teacher, but I like riding my bike. I own a shark.

Jackie Terrassa is an art educator and art administrator and currently works as Associate Director of Education, Public Programs at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago. With a BFA from Washington University in St. Louis and an MFA from the University of Chicago, she came to museums looking to learn how other artists gave shape to forms, used materials, invented worlds. Prior to the MCA, she served as Head of Planning at the Freer and the Sackler Galleries of the Smithsonian; as Deputy Director (2005-06), Acting Director (2004-05) and Education Director (1998-2008) of the Smart Museum of Art, University of Chicago, and as Education Director of the Hyde Park Art Center.

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Rebecca Zorach teaches art history at the University of Chicago and writes on art and politics from the Renaissance to the present. An occasional curator and event organizer, she participates in Feel Tank Chicago and works on AREA Chicago in a variety of ways.


@work is a special threewallsSALONS series curated by Rebecca Hernandez and Ania Szremski, both MA candidates at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in Art History, Theory and Criticism and Arts Administration. Held on Tuesday evenings at 7:00 pm, SALONS feature guest respondents in round table discussion with the public about currents in the contemporary visual arts.