Art to Live With

An art loan program, exclusively for University of Chicago students

Art to Live With offers UChicago students living in residence halls the unique opportunity to borrow original works of art to display in their dorm rooms.

This fall, choose from specially designated artworks, including new acquisitions selected by our Student Advisory Committee. Works will be loaned at no cost for the duration of the academic year. Discover a collection curated for student dorm rooms and find your match!

2024 overview

Presented by the Smart Museum of Art with generous support from Greg Wendt, AB’83, who once borrowed an Art to Live With print by Sven Lukin, and Joseph R. Shapiro, EX’34, the program’s original benefactor. Additional support has been provided by Dolores and Donn Shapiro.

About the Collection

“The enjoyment of art is something that multiplies by division...share it with people and it becomes a communal experience, a motivational force for drawing people together.”—art collector and alumnus Joseph R. Shapiro

The Art to Live With collection was established at the University of Chicago in 1958. The core of the original collection was assembled by alumnus Joseph R. Shapiro and includes works on paper by modern American and European artists, including Marc Chagall, Eleanor Coen, Margo Hoff, Fernand Léger, Matta, Joan Miró, Henry Moore, Pablo Picasso, and Georges Rouault. These works continue to cirulate through dorm rooms each year as part of the loan program. In recent years, the Smart, with input from UChicago students, has also worked to expand the Art to Live With holdings and broaden the collection's scope. Now, it also includes works by an array of contemporary artists working in Chicago and globally, such as Bethany Collins, Ann Hamilton, Ester Hernandez, Jenny Holzer, Judy Ledgerwood, Faheem Majeed, Takashi Murakami, Pope.L, Barbara Rossi, Ynka Shonibare CBE, Orkideh Torabi, and Amanda Williams.

You can also preview the artworks available for loan in 2024 by attending the ART-B-Q, visiting the pop-up exhibition, or liking your favorite pieces on the @art_to_live_with Instagram.


Updated summer 2024

How do I participate in Art to Live With?
Attend both days of Art Match events. Day 1 check-in events on Saturday, October 5, starting at 6 pm and Day 2 on Sunday, October 6, with the final check in happening at 7 am and doors opening for the first group at 8 am.

What do I need to bring?
A valid UChicago Student ID, your housemates for good company…and any urban camping essentials!

What about camping?
To secure a spot near the front of the line, some students may decide to camp out in the hours leading up to the first check in time. It’s early fall in Chicago, so be sure to wear warm layers and bring blankets. There will be programming throughout Saturday evening, snacks and board games are encouraged, and we will provide coffee to wake you up in the morning!

When can I set up my sleeping bag and tent?
If you are planning on camping, you can begin to set up your tent on Thursday, October 3. Camping before October 3 IS NOT PERMITTED.

Where can I set up my tent?
This year, the line will start at the west side of the Smart courtyard. There will be signage to show where you can set up. If you have any questions, please ask our guest services team at the front desk.

Do I have to stay in my tent?
Your tent is not a place holder for your spot in line, you must be present with your tent. Please do not leave your tent unattended for extended periods of time.

Where can I get live updates from the line?
Tune in to the @art_to_live_with Instagram for timely updates throughout Art Match.

How do I know what artwork is available for loan?
Browse the Art to Live With collection online for an up-to-date preview of this year’s selection of works available for loan. To see the artworks in person, attend the Art-B-Q and view the pop-up exhibition at the Smart, September 30–October 5, 2024.

They all look so great! Can I borrow more than one?
We appreciate your enthusiasm, but you can only borrow one artwork per year.

I won’t be here fall quarter, but I still want to participate. Can I borrow it later in the year?
As much as we’d like to say yes, artwork can only be borrowed during Art Match in the fall.

This sounds awesome, how much does it cost to borrow?
Luckily for you, works are loaned at no cost for the duration of the academic year.

Who hangs the artwork in my room?
You do! We provide Command Hooks and a handling and hanging sheet that guides you through the process.

Can I hang it in my House lounge or common room?
Nope! Artwork can only be hung in your bedroom. It may not be hung in any other location including apartment living rooms, suite entryways, bathrooms, kitchens, and house lounges.

If I move to a new room, or leave campus, what happens to the artwork?
Contact Lauren Payne ( If you move within the dorm, the artwork moves with you. You will receive new Command Hooks to rehang the artwork, and must provide your new room number. If you are studying abroad, you must return the artwork to the Smart Museum. Please arrange in advance with Lauren Payne.

If the artwork is accidently damaged, what should I do?
Do not try to fix it—you risk damaging the work further. Immediately contact Lauren Payne ( If the frame is unstable, lay the artwork on a flat, clean surface.

What’s the Student Advisory Committee? How can I get involved?
The Student Advisory Committee is the voice of the student body at the Smart and a behind-the-scenes pass to all things Art to Live With! The committee is a great way to meet fellow students, artists and curators, check out art exhibitions across the city, and plan exclusive events just for students at the Smart! If you’re into museums, or art, or think you might be, consider joining the advisory committee! Learn more and apply online.

I still have questions!
Great! Contact Lauren Payne ( for more information.

Important Dates

All events take place at the Smart Museum of Art, 5550 S. Greenwood Avenue. Art to Live With is open to UChicago students living in residence halls. Valid UChicago Student ID required. FREE.

Preview the collection

Thursday, October 3, 2024
5–7 pm

Back-to-school BBQ and preview of the Art to Live With collection. Drop by the Smart Museum of Art for free food, music, and learn more about the works of art available for loan.
Pop-up exhibition of the collection on view at the Smart from September 30 to October 5, 2024.

Art Match Day 1

Check-in Events and Overnight
Saturday, October 5, 2024

Get your spot in line and partake in check-in events to participate in Art Match! Tune in to the @art_to_live_with Instagram for live updates throughout Art Match.

Please note: students will start lining up for hours leading up to the first check-in time (in the past, some have even camped out!) and it is highly encouraged you are present for the first check-in to secure a place in line. Last year, all spots were filled by 9 pm. The line will begin under the Smart’s west portico, and curve into the courtyard. While you are lined up during the first check in, an Art to Live With staff member will walk around to add your name to the list. Once your name is one the list, that is your number in line and the order in which you will get to select your piece Sunday morning after the final check-in.

To hold your spot in line you are required to check in during the remaining check in times and events. Before participating in the check-in events, make sure to let the Art to Live With staff know you are present.

First Check-in: Totes n Floats
6 pm

Drop by the Smart’s courtyard for the first check-in, and reserve your spot in line. You’ve made it—yay! Sign in to our first check-in and make some fashionable spray-painted tote bags (inspired by Chicago-based artist Robert Earl Paige) and enjoy a root beer float, courtesy of the Smart’s Student Advisory Committee. Best of all, you’re on the boat! Its time to coast through the evening, meet some new friends, and look toward the horizon, where you’ll see your Art to Live With masterpiece!

Second Check-in: Domino’s n Dominoes
8 pm

Enjoy pizza and lawn games, during this second check-in to hold your spot in line! Grab a slice of Domino’s pizza and play some lawn games! We have giant dominoes and Campus North cornhole for your playing pleasure!

Third Check-in: Karaoke n Cookies
10 pm

It’s the last check-in of the night, so come on out and let your hair down! We’ll bust out the sound system and lay out a spread of cookies to keep you nourished. Test your vocal range and crooning ability. Karaoke winners get bragging rights for the year!

Art Match Day 2

Sunday, October 6, 2024

Final Check-in
7 am

Confirm you are present to secure your final place in line and prepare to select your artwork! You will be given your group number at this time. Coffee and treats provided.

Doors open
8 am–noon

Enter the Smart in your designated group to select a single work of art to enjoy in your dorm room for the entire academic year. Valid UChicago student ID required!

No one will walk away empty handed!
New in 2024! Due to the popularity of Art to Live With, it is possible you may not have a chance to select a piece from the collection to hang in your dorm room. If that’s the case, you will receive a limited-edition takeaway instead.

Returning your artwork

Return Days
Tuesday and Wednesday, May 6 and 7, 2025
10 am–3 pm

The end of the 2024–2025 year is almost here—it’s time to return your artwork to the Smart. Try not to get too many tears on the frame!

Top photos by Eddie Quinones. Historical photos by Rus Arnold from “Art to Live With,” University of Chicago Magazine, Vol. 51, No. 6, March 1959.