Sonja Henderson and Alfonso "Piloto" Nieves
Sonja Henderson received her B.F.A. from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in Painting and Drawing and earned her M.F.A. from the University of California at Berkeley, where she concentrated in Sculpture and Installation. At Berkeley, Sonja created life-size earthworks and temporal structures made of clay, earth, twigs, and organic materials calling attention to the original architecture. Sonja is a public artist who creates restorative communal spaces like the MLK Living Memorial. She recently founded the Mothers Healing Circle (MHC) to help heal Lawndale’s mothers’ traumatic and violent loss of their children. Together, rejuvenating workshops provide a safe in-person and virtual space for gathering, sisterhood, community, understanding, and listening. Sonja is a 2021 Artist in Residence at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago Homan Square campus.
Alfonso “Piloto '' Nieves is an artist who uses clay and garbage as his principal materials. Piloto has roots in both the highlands of Guanajuato and Queretaro in Mexico. He is a formerly undocumented immigrant whose first language is art. Piloto does community-engaged art projects based on social justice and environmental education. He teaches at Northeastern University’s Center for College Access and Success, 21st Century community learning center. Additionally, Piloto is the home-based artist for the ARTivist program of Americas for Conservation + the Arts, the leading national brown-led organization that integrates art and science to advance real-world cultural and environmental resiliency in the face of climate change. Piloto is a 2021 Visiting Artist at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago Homan Square campus.