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The School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC) is one of America's largest accredited independent schools of art and design, located in the Loop in Chicago, Illinois.

Notable alumni

Alumni with LGBT-content in articles.

  • Thomas Hart Benton, painter. Claimed homosexuals had excessive influence in art.
  • Nora Dunn, actress. One of her SNL characters is a lesbian psychiatrist.
  • Leon Golub, painter. Inspired by various representations of the body including gay porn.
  • Halston, fashion designer. Lover was André Basil.
  • Hugh Hefner (took anatomy classes), founder of Playboy. Experimented with bisexuality.
  • Jeff Koons, sculptor. Was in 2008 Milk movie.
  • Sterling Ruby, multimedia. One of his exhibitions included photos by Robert Mapplethorpe.
  • David Sedaris (B.F.A. 1987), author, humorist. Gay writer.
  • Mark Tobey, painter. Homosexual or bisexual[1].
  • Apichatpong Weerasethakul, filmmaker. Writer/director of transvestite secret agent film titled Adventures of Iron Pussy and gay romance titled Tropical Malady.
  • Grant Wood, painter. Closeted gay.

Notable faculty

People who are LGBT or have created LGBT work.

  • Gregg Bordowitz, artist and writer. Work at Gay Men's Health Crisis NY. Books including General Idea: Imagevirus.
  • Barbara Degenevieve, artist. Lecture topics including sexuality, gender and trans-sexuality.
  • David Sedaris (B.F.A. 1987), author, humorist. Gay writer.


What is the Proper Way to Display a U.S. Flag?

In February 1989, a student named "Dread" Scott Tyler draped the American flag across the floor for a piece titled "What Is The Proper Way To Display A U.S. Flag?" The piece consisted of a podium with a notebook for viewers to express how they felt about the exhibit. However, the podium was set upon a flag laid on the floor. In order for viewers to write in the notebook, they would have to walk on the flag. Viewers were occasionally arrested at the request of veterans.[1]

The school stood by the student's display in the face of protests and threats. That year, the school's federal funding was cut from $70,000 to $1 and many benefactors pulled donations. Later on, the school would refuse to allow him to display the piece at his MFA thesis exhibition.

The piece has been displayed throughout numerous galleries in the country after this incident including the show "Our Aim Is To Destroy Them!" by the Near NorthWest Arts Council Gallery in 1988.

Dread Scott is often associated with David Nelson (who did controversial Mirth & Girth painting) due to time between the works, but Scott distances himself from Nelson and has been quoted saying, "[Nelson] doesn't mind promoting racism, doesn't mind promoting homophobia, doesn't mind promoting, you know, the oppression of women. I want to liberate people from all of that."[2]

External links


  1. Dubin, Steven (1992). Arresting Images, Impolitic Art and Uncivil Actions. Routledge. ISBN 0-415-90893-0. 
  2. Dubin, Steven (1992). Arresting Images, Impolitic Art and Uncivil Actions. Routledge, 104. ISBN 0-415-90893-0. 
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