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Lorelei Stewart, Director of Gallery 400 since 2000, has organized over 40 exhibitions, including the Joyce Award-winning exhibition Edgar Arceneaux: The Alchemy of Comedy … Stupid (2006). In 2002 she initiated the acclaimed At the Edge: Innovative Art in Chicago series, a commissioning program that encouraged Chicago area artists’ experimental practices. She holds an MA in Curatorial Studies from the Center for Curatorial Studies at Bard College, a BA from Smith College, and a BFA from Corcoran College of Art and Design.


Denny Mwaura is the Assistant Director of Gallery 400. Exhibitions and public programs he has organized and supported include The Mask of Prosperity (2024), A Species of Theft (2022), Young, Gifted and Black: The Lumpkin-Boccuzzi Family Collection of Contemporary Art (2021), and Crip* (2022) at Gallery 400; Malangatana: Mozambique Modern (2020) at the Art Institute of Chicago; and Madeleine Hunt-Ehrlich: Speculative Archives (2021) at Conversations at the Edge. He received his MA in Modern and Contemporary Art History from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and is a recipient of the Schiff Foundation Fellowship for Critical Architectural Writing, an award granted by the Dept. of Architecture and Design at the Art Institute of Chicago.


Mary Kirk is the Business/Administrative Associate of Gallery 400. Kirk received her BA graduate of the Art & Art History department at UIC. She has a background in arts administration and has recently held a position within a West Loop gallery to support programming that amplifies the voices of underrepresented artists within the art history canon. She has also worked as a registrar within an art conservation studio and maintains a continued interest in the practice of conservation and archival methods. She has held assisting roles at renowned Chicagoland cultural museums, such as the Ukrainian National Museum & the Illinois Holocaust Museum & Education Center.


Alan Medina is an artist, filmmaker & programmer interested in archival imaginaries, histories of labor, and alternative forms of self-organization within pedagogical frameworks. With a public practice of film programming and independent publishing, he has created autonomous learning and viewing spaces with an emphasis on accessibility and community building. He is a co-founder of Inga Books and filmfront (Chicago, IL).


Inés Arango-Guingue is a Colombian curator, arts administrator, and writer. With a belief in the potential of art to shift paradigms, she engages with curatorial contexts that explore non-rationality, illegibility, and community building. Growing up surrounded by syncretic magical practices, she gravitates towards epistemologies that look away from Western standards of reason and categorization. Her recent research focuses on Caribbean and South American art and philosophy that acknowledge the social power of the unknown, the opaque, and the illegible. She has curated exhibitions, led artist spaces, and directed art education projects in Colombia and the United States. She holds an M.A. in Arts Administration and Policy from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and a B.F.A. in Art and Cultural Projects from Universidad de los Andes in Bogotá. 


Ivanka Suska is a Master’s student in the department of Art History studying New Media art and  pursuing a concentration in Museum and Exhibition Studies. She is particularly interested in how rapid technological advancements change the way artists and audiences create, experience, and interact with art. Her research focuses on how intersections between art and technology reflect current cultural anxieties. She has served as a Gallery Assistant at Harold Gregor gallery in Bloomington, IL, and has contributed to programs through independent consulting projects. Ivanka received her BA from Illinois State University in 2020, where she studied Art History and Spanish.


Ayrika Hall is a doctoral student at the University of Illinois, Chicago, specializing in contemporary Black art. Hall’s research explores  Black art’s historiography and its interaction with modern realities, questioning established methods to spotlight its multifaceted connections to society and politics. She has held curatorial, research, and programming roles at the Smart Museum of Art, Anthony Gallery, The Floating Museum, and the Chicago Architecture Biennial. Hall received her Master’s degree in Art History with a curatorial distinction from the University of Chicago in 2021, and her BA in History of Art and Architecture, Studio Art, and Museum Studies from DePaul University in 2020.


Colbie Symone Cook is an MA student at the University of Illinois Chicago studying the history and theory of photography in late 19th and 20th century America. Her interests are grounded in constructions of American identities through early modes of portraiture, documentary photography, and post-war absurdity. Most recently, she served as Curatorial Assistant at the Lowe Art Museum. Working in exhibitions, curatorial and research capacities, she contributed to multiple exhibitions including Charles White: A Little Higher (2023), American Impressionism: Treasures from the Daywood Collection (2021), and A Fine Line: Highlights from the Berkowitz Contemporary Foundation (2023). Colbie received her BA from Indiana University in English Literature and Black Studies in 2021.

The UIC Chancellor’s Undergraduate Research Award Interns


Alexee Aitken is a BFA student studying Art Education at the University of Illinois Chicago. Their goal as an educator is to use art to foster community. Aitken is also a Golden Apple Scholar, on track to teach at a school-of-need for five years post graduation. Aitken has worked as a Teen Council Intern at the Art Institute of Chicago, where students created new and unconventional gallery engagements for visitors. They’ve also interned at Enrich Chicago, One Summer Chicago, and After School Matters creating artworks for the south and west sides of the city. As a visual artist, Aitken creates traditional and digital illustrations through their lens as a Black, queer person. They explore Black femininity, familial relationships, and adolescent angst through painting and photography.


Benson is the curatorial intern at Gallery 400 and an art history undergraduate at UIC. They’ve sat on the Committee for Artists in Residence (CAIR) and the Art Institute Partnership Committee at College of DuPage. Benson has exhibited individual and collaborative work in the exhibitions, This is a Censored Exhibition (2023), Beyond the Frontier: Fragmented Realities (2022), Site (2022)and Art and Nature (2022) at College of DuPage’s Wings Gallery, as well as collaborative work from, This is a Censored Exhibition (2023)for Energy: A Closer Look (2023), at Massachusetts College of Art and Design’s Brant Gallery. They’re primarily interested in the intersection between art and robotics, machine-human relationships, language, and gender and queer studies.