About Me

Nadya Kelly (b. 1999) is an oboist, a pianist, and a writer who seeks to shed light on compelling stories and encourages her audience to look at current events in the music industry as events that have an impact on our daily lives. Originally from Houston, TX, Kelly uses her writing and her music as her primary forms of self-expression. She learned how to play the oboe and the piano as a child and went on to study oboe performance at the Berklee College of Music. While studying at Berklee College of Music, she fused her classical music background with an education in contemporary genres like jazz and film music and performed in venues across Boston such as Symphony Hall, Jordan Hall, and MIT's Kresge Auditorium. Kelly started to develop her writing voice as a contributing writer for Berklee's online magazine Berklee Groove. She is currently studying in the New Arts Journalism graduate program at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC) and works on SAIC's editorial team. She enjoys writing about all types of art but has a passion for writing about pop, classical, jazz, R&B, and hip hop music. 

My Latest Work

How Alum Bassim Al-Shaker Pursued Painting in Wartime

When asked to describe who he is as a person and who he is as an artist, School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC) alum Bassim Al-Shaker (MFA 2021) answers both questions the same way. “I am a painter,” he says. “There is no question.” He is most well-known for his oil paintings depicting life in his hometown of Baghdad. In Halal, members of the Shia and Sunni clergy, a politician for the Iraqi government, and Qassem Soleimani, the ex-commander of a division in the Islamic Revolutionary Gua

Show Up and Show Off

To attend Chicago’s Fashion Show on April 8th, you couldn’t arrive just to spectate. The expectations for the guests were written in the dress code: Dress to impress. No gym shoes. No jeans. But most importantly? Be extra. Photographer MomMo Justo and musician Marked Since Day 1 collaborated again this spring to put on their second annual fashion show, and this year promised to be more over-the-top than the last, full of dynamic creativity from artists across many mediums. Doors opened at 8 p.m

Meet the Faculty: Mie Kongo

Mie Kongo (BFA 2006) is an artist, a sculptor, and a professor, but above all, she is an observer. Fueled by a sense of curiosity and discovery, Kongo’s ceramics practice is rooted in exploring the nuance and subtleties of everyday life. Originally born in Japan, Kongo came to Chicago to study at Roosevelt University. During this time, she decided to take studio classes at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC) and later returned to the School to pursue her bachelor of fine arts degree. Now, Kongo has exhibited her artwork internationally and works as an adjunct associate professor in SAIC’s Ceramics department. We talked with Kongo about her SAIC journey, the power of craft, and the importance of an art and design education. Read an excerpt from the conversation below.

How Tyler, The Creator Redefined What It Means To Win a Grammy

Before releasing IGOR, Tyler notably told his followers in an Instagram post not to expect his then-unreleased project to be another rap album and, instead, listen to his newest project without any preconceived expectations based on his past music. However, even though Tyler’s inspiration for IGOR draws far and ride, with rap only being one of many of his inspirations, this specific project was still placed into the rap category of this year’s Grammy Awards.

Frank Ocean: An Example of Finding Balance in Your Career

Why is it that Frank Ocean has become so successful as a solo artist when he is seemingly so reserved in terms of interacting with his audience and releasing new music? Does adhering from the overflow of social media information impact the success of one’s career and connection to one’s fans? Frank Ocean is an interesting example of how adhering to peer or record label pressure to constantly post content is not necessarily the only way of sustaining a successful career.

CAPX Internships Set Students on the Right Path

Studying at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC) is about growing as an artist—and it’s also about establishing a career. Internships are essential to this process: students with internship experience are 32 percent more likely to get a job offer in the months after graduation. Through Career and Professional Experience (CAPX), SAIC students can intern at artist studios, design firms, publishing houses, museums, community organizations, fashion houses, and more. We spoke to three

Class Spotlight: Retro Tech with Lee Blalock

Motivated by her belief that the best way to gain insight into contemporary technology and today’s programming languages is to travel back in time, Assistant Professor Lee Blalock created a programming class to teach students how to use the early computing era programming language BASIC. With guidance from her students, the class evolved into Retro Tech, an undergraduate studio class that explores the world of vintage technology and programming languages and establishes early computing as an art form.

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