Graduate Alumni > 2021-2022 Mitchell Lectures

"Hood Academic"
Tuesday, March 29th, 4-5:15pm CST

Free and open to the public

In both gang and gay culture, the feminine patterned bandana fabric acts as a way of identifying, or flagging, oneself. By introducing this textile icon into a gallery setting she seeks to call attention to the space between the art world and various communities of so-called outsiders. Exaggerating the scale is a symbolic gesture of intervention, a way of colonizing and claiming space in the world as a queer, Latina, woman from a barrio. The value of art rests in its ability to communicate across barriers.

Made possible by the generous support of the William Bronson and Grayce Slovett Mitchell Lectureship in Fiber and Material Studies.

All lectures will be live captioned by CART. For additional access requests, including ASL interpretation or audio description, visit

Vanessa Viruet is a Chicago based fiber artist of Puerto Rican descent. She creates monumental scale artworks to examine the complex histories rooted in textiles such as identity, cultural heritage, gender and class. Viruet holds a BFA and a MA in Teaching from the Maryland Institute College of Art as well as an MFA from Cranbrook Academy of Art. She currently serves as an art instructor for Chicago Public Schools and teaches in the Fiber and Material Studies Department at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Someday she hopes to have her own scholarship for artists of color.

Image info: "Black Car Pañuelo," 2018, Silkscreen on fabric, 264x156
[Image description: A photograph of an automobile in the middle of a snowy field, covered completely by an oversized, black and white bandana.]