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New Tradition at Stamps Commencement Celebration

A unique piece of artwork launched a new tradition at the 2024 Stamps Commencement Celebration.

Stamps alum and Professor Nicole Marroquin (MFA 08) created a special print for each graduating student. The concept was to give each student a piece of artwork that would help start their own personal art collection.

Copy of stamps print marroquin 24

The gift was made possible through the Senior Giving Program established by Ellen (BFA 73) and Gene Rontal (MD 67). As alums, the Rontals have a deep and longstanding commitment to supporting Stamps students through their generous volunteer, advocacy, and philanthropic contributions. 

Marroquin says she was honored to be chosen as the artist for the gift and shared her thoughts on creating the piece for the Stamps Class of 2024

“This was my first year as a new faculty person at Stamps, and it was very exciting to be asked to make an original work of art for our graduating seniors and grad students. While I was making the print, the graduates were still students and some of them were in my class. Some days I would go from teaching in the IP studios to my own studio to work on it. As I worked hard to make the deadline, my students were completing final IP projects and producing their own exhibitions. I saw myself in them and thought each day about my own young aspirations, the fear I might not be able to do it and the faith in myself I had to generate to enable me to beat the odds and live the creative life I dreamed of. That they dream of, too. What a privilege it is to be part of the faculty at Stamps and to be able to honor our newly minted alumni with this print commemorating their time with us.”

—Professor Nicole Marroquin

Marroquin is an artist who explores spatial justice, belonging and Latinx history through projects that decenter dominant narratives to address displacement and erasure. Through research and creative practice, she aims to recover and re-present histories of Black and brown youth and women’s leadership in the struggle for justice. Recently she has presented projects at the Institute for the Humanities at the University of Michigan, the Kochi Biennale, the Annual Conference of the American Association of Research Librarians, University of Maine, New York Archivist Round Table, Jane Addams Hull House Museum, DePaul Museum of Art, on WLPN Lumpen Radio, Gallery 400, Hyde Park Art Center and more. Her essays are included in the Visual Art Research Journal, Counter-Signals, the Chicago Social Practice History Series, Revista Contratiempo, Where the Future Came From, and Organize Your Own: The Politics and Poetics of Self-Determination Movements. She is a 2022 United States Artist Fellowship recipient and a member of the Justseeds and Chicago ACT collectives.