About the Team



davidrueter.com and marissaleebenedict.com

Born in Ann Arbor, Michigan, David Rueter is a visual artist, programmer, and professor in Art and Technology at the University of Oregon. At the core of his work is a focus on the social practices embedded in both new and old technologies, the ways these practices can reinforce or challenge established categories and hierarchies, and the politics of visibility these practices engender and operate within. Marissa Lee Benedict, born in Palm Springs, California, is a sculptor, writer, organizer and lecturer. Her work is motivated by a deep curiosity about the function and dysfunction of social, ecologic and industrial systems, and has been exhibited nationally and internationally. She currently lectures in Sculpture and Fiber at the University of Oregon; having previously lectured at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC).

Rueter and Benedict met in Chicago, where they lived and worked together for over four year, collaboratively producing video installations and sculptural projects. Together they continue to work on the subjects of technology, the environment, and social and infrastructural responses to shifts in these arenas,



Claude Powers III is a resident of Gary, Indiana and currently a Manager for the City of Gary Department of Public Parks. Anthony Lillard works with the City of Gary Department of Public Parks and is a lifelong Gary resident; returning to the city after completing his undergraduate degree at Jackson State University in Mississippi. Both are fathers and active members of the community, working with tirelessly energy to improve and maintain the City of Gary’s numerous public parks. Powers and Lillard are always looking for new ways to channel the energy and creativity of Gary’s youth; infecting people with their big ideas and dreams for the city’s future.

Powers and Lillard bring to GLOW vital energy, expansive creativity, and key insight into their community’s history and future potential. Benedict and Rueter have been working with Powers and Lillard to develop the tools and skills they collectively need to build and maintain the current GLOW streetlights, while dreaming up new sound installations and other forms of public art for the residents of Gary.



Dr. Jeffreen Hayes is an art historian, curator and currently the Executive Director of Chicago non-profit Threewalls. From 2014-2018 Hayes worked with GLOW building community relationships and leading community forums. She worked closely with the artists, with the City of Gary, and with numerous stakeholders as GLOW’s NEA Art Works grant Project Manager.

Hayes earned a Ph.D. in American Studies from the College of William and Mary, a MA in Art History from Howard University, and a BA from Florida International University in Humanities. She has worked for several museums and cultural institutions, including Hampton University Museum, Library of Congress and the National Gallery of Art. Hayes held fellowships at Ithaca College in the Art History department and in the Cartoon and Caricature Division at Library of Congress as a Swann Foundation Fellow. She continues to organize exhibitions and projects that span the early 20th century to contemporary time, with a focus on art of the African Diaspora.



Born in Birmingham, Alabama, Lauren Williams has worked extensively in the field of community engagement and art. Living and working in Chicago, she has shared her energy and her wealth of experience with organizations such as Marwen, building and leading community programming for youth and adults as they engage with in art and arts education.

William’s generosity, critical insight, and experience are vital to the workshops and programming that GLOW has developed, and will continue to develop.

Jan Tichy


Jan Tichy is a contemporary artist and educator. Working at the intersection of video, sculpture, architecture, and photography, his conceptual work is socially and politically engaged. Born in Prague in 1974, Tichy studied art in Israel before earning his MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, where he is now Assistant Professor at the Department of Photography and the Department of Art & Technology. Tichy has had solo exhibitions at the MCA Chicago; Tel Aviv Museum of Art; CCA Tel Aviv; Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art; Museum of Contemporary Photography, Chicago; Santa Barbara Museum of Art and Chicago Cultural Center among others. His works are included in public collections of MoMA in New York and Israel Museum in Jerusalem among others. In 2011, he created Project Cabrini Green, a community-based art project that illuminated with spoken word the last high rise building at the Cabrini Green Housing Projects in Chicago during its month-long demolition. Beyond Streaming: a sound mural for Flint at the Broad Museum in Michigan in 2017 brought teens from Flint and Lansing to share their experience of the water crisis. In 2014 Tichy started to work on a long-term, NEA supported, community project in Gary, IN – the Heat Light Water cultural platform.

Participating Artists | Workshop Instructors

Alejandro Acierto


Alejandro T. Acierto is an artist and musician whose work is largely informed by the breath, the voice, and the processes that enable them. He has exhibited artworks at the Film Society of Lincoln Center, Issue Project Room, Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, Art Institute of Chicago, Salisbury University, SOMArts and presented performance works at Rapid Pulse, the Brooklyn International Performance Art Festival, Center for Performance Research, and Center for New Music and Technology. Noted for his “insatiable” performance by the New York Times, Acierto has performed extensively throughout the US and abroad and can be heard on Carrier, Albany, New Focus, Parlour Tapes+, and Avant Media Records and has issued a solo record on Prom Night Records. He is a 3Arts awardee and a recipient of the Kranichsteiner Musikpreis at the Darmstadt Festival for New Music with Ensemble Dal Niente, with whom he is a founding member.

Acierto has also held residencies at Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, Banff Centre, High Concept Laboratories, Chicago Artists’ Coalition and was recently an FT/FN/FG Consortium Fellow and a Center Program Artist at the Hyde Park Art Center. He received his undergraduate degree from DePaul University, an MM from Manhattan School of Music, an MFA in New Media Arts from University Illinois at Chicago (UIC) and is currently Artist-in-Residence for Creative Practice in Critical Race Studies at Michigan State University.



Lindsey french is an artist and educator whose work engages in gestures of communication with landscapes and the nonhuman. Embracing a number of mediation strategies, her projects materialize as texts written in collaboration with trees, scent transmissions, performative lectures, and video documentation of dialogues with landscapes. She has shared her work in places such as the Museum of Contemporary Art and the International Museum of Surgical Science in Chicago, Vox Populi in Philadelphia, and in conjunction with the International Symposium of Electronics Arts in both Albuquerque and Vancouver. Her work has been featured in an essay in Leonardo and discussed on podcasts for Creative Disturbance. Currently, teaches courses that explore new media practices and site-specific research as an Adjunct Assistant Professor at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in the Art and Technology Studies, Sculpture, and Contemporary Practices Departments.



Originally from Washington D.C, A.J. McClenon grew up in “D.C. proper,” Baltimore and New York during the administrations of Reagan, Clinton, and Bush. A.J.’s work sets personal narratives alongside empirical data, leveling the hierarchies of truth. A.J. holds a Masters in Fine Arts from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and a Bachelor of Arts with a minor in creative writing from the University of Maryland College Park. A.J. has also studied at Eugene Lang College. A.J. has performed and shown work throughout the US, at institutions including Steppenwolf, The Promontory, Woman Made Gallery, Echo Park Film Center, Chicago Filmmakers, Fine Art Complex 1101, and Longwood Arts Center. A.J. is currently a co-organizer of Beauty Breaks, an intergenerational beauty and wellness workshop series for black people along the spectrum of femininity. A.J. is also a co-founder of F4F, a domestic venue that cultivates a femme community, centers blackness, and expands upon understandings of what domestic space can be.

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