Thursday, October 30, 2014

Mercy Housing Lakefront to release postcards from the Edgy 2: Community Edition

Collection features creative works from Mercy Housing Lakefront Residents 

Mercy Housing Lakefront is set to release the second edition of its resident created artwork and poetry collection, Postcards from the Edgy 2: Community Edition, at a book release party sponsored by Capital One on Thursday, November 12th.

The book is focusing on the varied communities that make up the greater MHL community.  The art and writing describes how each contributor experiences community.  

The book features art from more than 28 resident artists from 12 Mercy Housing Lakefront communities.  They represent the far north and far south sides of Chicago including the following neighborhoods: Lakeview, South Loop, Austin, as well as Milwaukee. All proceeds from the sale of the book will go toward the creative arts programming at MHL.  

The book release will take place at the Capital One CafĂ© 360, 
21 E. Chestnut Street, Chicago, IL 60611
on Wednesday, November 12 from 4 – 7 p.m.

Mercy Housing Lakefront creates stable, vibrant healthy communities through the development and management of affordable housing.  Mercy has developed and currently manages 28 properties housing 4,100 residents in 12 communities in Illinois and Wisconsin. Our properties serve seniors, families and people with special needs.  
Mercy Housing Lakefront is the great lakes regional business center of Mercy Housing Inc. a national organization that has developed, preserved, or financed nearly 40,000 affordable homes. 


Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Seamus McGuinness will be speaking about his research and project "Lived Lives" at Sullivan Galleries at 4:30 pm on Wednesday, November 12.

Lived Lives: Materialising Stories of Young Irish Suicide 2003-2008

Lived Lives is an arts practice-led, cross-disciplinary PhD by Seamus McGuinness located within the School of Medicine and Medical Science at University College Dublin (UCD) which goes behind the statistics to capture stories of some of the young lives lost to suicide in Ireland. It emerged from an interdisciplanary research platform, created by the artist and clinical scientist Kevin Malone, Prof. of Psychiatry, St Vincent’s University Hospital/UCD.


  • Through the agency of art to develop effective and innovative research methods informed by a collaborative and integrated process between the project partners which can be applicable to other areas of research, where loss, identity and validation are overlooked, or eclipsed by the silence of stigma.
  • Through the transformative power of art to engage society in a collaborative conversation about suicide and to challenge the silence that fuels the stigma surrounding this subject.
  • Through interactive collaborative installations and conversations to transpose private stories of human loss and pain into the public domain in an ethical manner
For more information:

Leah Gipson. Photo: Sara Condo

Art and Work on the West Side

Alum engages North Lawndale in a conversation about art, social class, and Black labor.

by Bridget Esangga
What does it mean to live, work, and make art in Chicago’s North Lawndale neighborhood? Leah Gipson (MA 2010) invites North Lawndale residents to tell that story during Black Eutopia, an event she is organizing with Rae Taylor as part of Chicago Artists Month that will take place Friday, October 24, at Carter’s Barbershop on Cermak Road.

Black Eutopia intends to spark a critical conversation about art form, social class, and Black labor. The backdrop of the barbershop offers a familiar, accessible setting where people are getting their haircut, yet the space will be transformed with visual art, spoken word, and musical performances. Gipson envisions the experience of walking into the event as “entering into a world.”
Taylor proposed the idea for Black Eutopia during a dinner Gipson hosted. Guests tossed around ideas for the event. Gipson saw it as a good fit for her project West Side Art Chicago and began raising money to make it happen.
“I’m interested in the possibilities that come from people in community…. I think community is something that you have to invest in and build. And so that involves a lot of different voices, a lot of different people,” she says. Her goal is to get people to come together at her event and ask questions such as, “What does community mean?” and “Why are we doing this?” 

Gipson has a Master of Arts in Art Therapy from SAIC and works professionally as an art therapist. While she lives in Austin, another West Side neighborhood, she is invested in North Lawndale, where she has worked for several years. 

During her time at SAIC, Gipson conducted her fieldwork through a North Lawndale-based program called Girl/Friends Leadership Institute, which is run by the nonprofit organization A Long Walk Home. Gipson worked with adolescent girls who were survivors of sexual assault and other forms of gender-based violence. She created a sneaker project in which the young women altered a pair of white canvas sneakers with a message of personal empowerment and a message to the community to end the violence. Later, these shoes were worn in a walk to end violence. “The shoes become this grounding statement that the girls can take with them out into the world,” she says.

This focus on individual relationships and the relationship of the individual to the community is present throughout Gipson’s work, and something she embraced in the Art Therapy program. “Art therapy cannot just be about one person…. [It] has to be about a system that creates inequalities and problems for people…. Working in an interdisciplinary way and looking at social justice through that lens is what creates my work,” she says.

In addition to giving North Lawndale residents a forum to voice their individual ideas about art and Black labor, Gipson says she hopes Black Eutopia will draw in outsiders who may have a limited perception of what the area is like. “I hope they recognize that that’s been constructed. I’m trying to help reconstruct that,” she explains.

The event will culminate with a panel discussion about Black labor and art. Participants range from visual artists to a hair stylist to a business owner, all of whom are connected to the arts in some way. All of the artists involved in the event are being paid for their work, something Gipson feels strongly about. 

“My hope is that the artists who come to this event will come away from it with more ideas about their work and resources—whether that be working with each other or through fundraising efforts—that come with this project,” she says. 

Thursday, October 23, 2014


The U.S. government’s PAYE (Pay As You Earn) program reduces your monathly loan repayment based on your income. It also contains a loan forgiveness clause for people working full-time in qualifying public service organizations!

General information:

PAYE Calculator:

Public Service Loan Forgiveness Q & A:

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Graduate Panel discussion

Please come be a part of SSATA's first recent graduate panel discussion on October 17th from 6-8pm in the Neiman Center featuring three Chicago-based art therapists.

Daniel Eichner, ATRSAIC; Advocate Hope Children's Hospital
Rachel Nelms, ATRAdler; Horizon Hospice
Christine Hendron, MAATMount Mary; NorthPointe Resources

We are expecting an exciting and enriching night with our fellow expressive arts therapy students from Adler, Mount Mary and Colombia College.  Please come and enjoy the fun night with us and bring along some questions for our panelists!
Hope to see you all there!

The SSATA Team

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Share with us!

Thank to you all who were part of the MAAT 30th Anniversary as well as to those who sent us their thoughts! Please do not hesitate share with us pictures of the evening and/ or your thoughts and memories on the department!

Please send to: