This past weekend my daughter and I visited Chicago to tour SAIC. She has already enrolled, but we had already booked the flight before she made her decision.
This was the first time either of us had been to the Windy City. We flew LGA to O'Hare, and then took the Blue Line to The Loop. It was mad cold -- there was frost on the ground -- so we didn't walk around much. After checking in to our hotel, we ate at Sayat Nova, an Armenian restaurant on the north side of the river. I had the Armenian plate, which was good except for an eggplant/beef dish, which I found slightly bitter. We then saw 10 Cloverfield Lane, which was one of the more thrilling, enjoyable films I've seen in a long time. (John Goodman was excellent.)
Sunday morning we ate at an excellent breakfast joint at the edge of Millennium Park called Wildberry Pancakes. I had the Rutherford omelet, which was mighty tasty. I'd go there again. :smile:
The rest of the day was devoted to SAIC. I've been on a total of three art school tours, and have to say I think my daughter will get an excellent education at SAIC. From my limited understanding, it seems that SAIC is one of the more conceptual schools (like Cooper Union) that focus more on meaning than technique. It's also interdisciplinary: everyone is exposed to different mediums. For example, someone entering as a photographer still has to learn fabric arts. One good point a faculty member made is that an incoming student doesn't necessarily know yet what medium(s) she works best in, and may discover a way of making art that is more "true" to her than what she had been doing in high school. The program also trains students from the get-go on what it's like to be a working artist (for example, writing proposals, getting rejected.) Although as a father I'm not thrilled that my daughter will be far away from NYC, I trust that she will thrive there.
I was only exposed to a small slice of Chicago (just The Loop and the area just north and south of the river near the lake). Chicago feels more spacious, and the architecture is refreshingly different than that of Manhattan's. I didn't feel as hemmed in as I do here. All that being said, knowing what I do know about Chicago, the area I visited was overwhelmingly white, and I do wish for more diversity. I trust that once my daughter lives off-campus she won't be living such an insular existence.
Photo credit: By Massimo Catarinella (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons