SAIC is closely monitoring the COVID-19 outbreak. While our physical offices remain closed, Continuing Studies staff members are available M–F, 8:30 – 4:30 CT at 312.629.6170 to answer your questions. You may also email us at We are here to help! 

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Prompts for Artists in Uncertain Times

Times of uncertainty can create obstacles for artists and designers; they also present opportunities for new ways of thinking, making, and envisioning. This course will provide both first-time and more experienced artists with prompts to inspire their art practice while navigating and reflecting on our current moment. A prompt is a starting point from which ideas can quickly be explored and developed. Some ideas will be successful, some will not; we will explore the generative potential of play and failure, as well as success.

This twice-weekly course will include one studio class and one lecture class each week. Time for ideation and art-making and an accompanying series of lectures and online art collection visits will create opportunities for group discussion and sharing, and will allow you to develop, expand, and give new context to your art practice with support from a network of peers. Prompts will include practical yet open-ended exercises, such as "In a familiar space, seek out something unfamiliar. Document it until you are out of time, or out of space." We will also reference a variety of prompts featured in projects by artists including Yoko Ono, Brian Eno, Miranda July, and curator Hans Ulrich Obrist.

During lectures, you will be introduced to notable recent projects produced by contemporary artists who have used their practice to respond to challenging circumstances of 2020-21, as well as strategies employed by artists and designers to envision new futures. You will be free to choose which materials and process you use to develop your work and will be supported as you create projects in line with your own interests. You can use this class as an opportunity to further your work in your chosen medium, or a change to experiment with something new to you.


Registration for this course is closed.

Course media image
ace hand drafting
Course start date
Course end date
Class meeting time 6:00 PM - 8:30 PM
Class meeting days Monday, Wednesday
Building and room Online
Course number 1081
Course instructor Frances Emma Lightbound