Graduate Projects


Instructors: Michelle Grabner and John Neff

MFA, 3 credits

Ox-Bow offers currently enrolled MFA students the opportunity to independently study at Ox-Bow over the winter session. Students have their own studios and can work on a project of their design, either in response to the specific environment of Ox-Bow or to prepare for their thesis show.


Michelle Grabner Born in Oshkosh, Wisconsin (1962) Michelle Grabner is an artist, writer and curator. She is the Crown Family Professor of Painting and Drawing at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She has also taught at The University of Wisconsin-Madison, Cranbrook Academy of Art; Milton Avery Graduate School of Arts - Bard College; Yale University School of Art; the University of Pennsylvania; and Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, Maine. Grabner’s work is represented by James Cohan Gallery, NYC; Anne Mosseri-Marlio, Basel; Rocket, London; the Green Gallery, Milwaukee, Gallery 16, San Francisco; bkprojects, Boston,MA She has exhibited her work at Musée d´art Grand-Duc Jean, Luxembourg; Stadtgalerie, Keil; The Indianapolis Museum of Art, Green Gallery, Milwaukee; Kunsthalle, Bern; Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; Daimler Contemporary, Berlin; Midway, Minneapolis; Rocket, London; INOVA, Milwaukee; South!rst, Brooklyn; Gallery 16, San Francisco; Minus Space, Brooklyn; Cranbrook Art Museum, Bloom!eld Hills, MI; Shane Campbell Gallery, Chicago; The Milwaukee Art Museum; Anne Mosseri-Marlio, Zurich; Bricks and Kicks, Vienna; Turbinehallerne, Copenhagen; Ulrich Museum of Art, Kansas; Leo Koenig Gallery, New York; Harris Lieberman Gallery, New York. Public collections include: The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; RISD Art Museum, Providence; Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; MUDAM - Musée d’Art Moderne Luxemburg; IndianapolisMuseum of Art, The Allen Memorial Art Museum at Oberlin College; Milwaukee Art Museum, Wisconsin; Daimler Contemporary, Berlin; Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington DC; The Sheldon Museum of Art; the Dallas Museum of Art; Norton Museum of Art, West Palm Beach, among others. Grabner co-curated the 2014 Whitney Biennial and the 2016 Portland Biennial. With Jens Ho#mann she is currently the co-artistic director of Front International: Cleveland Exhibition for Contemporary Art opening in the Summer of 2018. She is a corresponding editor for X-tra. Her reviews are regularly published reviews in Artforum. She has also contributed essays and reviews to Modern Painters, Frieze, X-tra, Art Press, ArtUS and Art-Agenda among others. In 2010, she and Mary Jane Jacob co-edited THE STUDIO READER, published by the University of Chicago Press. Michelle Grabner and Brad Killam founded The Suburban in 1999 in Oak Park, IL hosting a range of international contemporary art. After 16 years in the Chicago vicinity, Starting in 2015 The Suburban began programming exhibitions in a storefront located in Milwaukee’s Riverwest neighborhood and a storefront space in Milwaukee’s Walker’s Point. In 2009 Grabner and Killam opened The Poor Farm in rural Wisconsin. The Poor Farm is dedicated to annual exhibitions and publications.

Michelle Grabner, Untitled, 2016

Michelle Grabner, Untitled, 2016

John Neff produces artworks and curates exhibitions. He currently serves as a curatorial board member at Chicago’s Iceberg Projects and a consulting curator to Alphawood Exhibitions, Chicago. He has exhibited his installation, photographic, and video work at venues including: Randy Alexander Gallery, Golden Gallery, The MCA Chicago, Motherbox Gallery, Night Club, The Philadelphia Museum of Art, The Renaissance Society, and Donald Young Gallery. Neff is a core faculty member in SAIC's Low-Residency MFA Program and works as a teaching artist in Chicago Public Schools (where he is co-director of the Ravenswood Elementary School Curatorial Practice Program).

John Neff

John Neff

January 8
Design + Anarchy