Current Exhibitions

Contemporary Artists Exploring Relevant Social Issues
August 25 - October 24, 2015
Public Reception for all exhibitions
Thursday, September 10 from 4:30 - 6 p.m.

Embarrassment of Riches

The work on display represents the various artists' perspectives on sustainability and humanity's complicated relationship with the earth and environment. Curator Peter Olson comments, “Many artists view the situation through a lens of creativity, playfulness, wit and irony. In the 21st century, we find ourselves amidst the fallout of our own past—policies and practices that have left us with a high standard of living, but also a planet ravaged with pollution and tons upon tons of garbage—an "embarrassment of riches", so to speak. Can we modify our forward progress to include practices that are more sustainable?”

Melissa Jay Craig                                    Doug DeWitt

Barbara Hashimoto            John Sabraw

Top Left: Melissa Jay Craig. Blood Root Shoot. 2015. Cast abaca pulp, fiber reactive dyes (22 in. diam.).
Top Right: Doug DeWitt. Detail from This is Not a Garden IV Prairie Restoration., 2010-15. Photograph (7 x 10 in.).
Bottom Left: Barbara Hashimoto. Doll with a Ball [Installation and Performance.], 2013.
Bottom Right: John Sabraw. Chroma S1 17., 2013. Mixed media on aluminum composite panel (36 in. diam.).

Sustainability Practices and Research

Panels highlighting the environmentally sustainable practices and research currently being conducted by NIU campus departments associated with the Institute for the Study of the Environment, Sustainability and Energy (ESE) and by DeKalb area community organizations and local companies.  Organized by Melissa Burlingame, Outreach and Communications Coordinator at ESE, Peter Olson, NIU Art Museum, and Sophia Varcados, Creative Services: Graphics with support from Goodwill Industries of Northern Illinois and Waste Management.


A nationally-traveling multi-media group exhibition examining the historical and social issues surrounding the availability, use and impact of guns in our lives from a number of perspectives, though none endorse them as a means to an end. Curated by Susanne Slavick, Andrew W. Mellon Professor of Art, Carnegie Mellon University.

Works by over 20 artists examine and represent the role that guns play in our national mythologies, suicide rates, incidence of individual and mass murder, cases of domestic violence, and the militarization of civilian life. Gun ownership and control is a divisive topic in this country. The artists in Unloaded visualize the power of the gun as icon and instrument, the damage it can do and how weapons might be rejected, broken or silenced. Some show the power that guns wield in our daily realities and personal fantasies. Others mourn and resist that power, doing everything they can to take it away, believing there are better ways to resolve conflicts, ensure safety, and keep the peace.

Shimoyama  Piper  Chin



Top Left: Devan Shimoyama. You will have to sing. Paper won't hold the wound I leave. 2015. Oil, glitter, and colored pencil on canvas, (64 x 54 in.).
Top Middle: Adrian Piper. Imagine (Trayvon Martin), 2013. Tiff formatted digital print, (10.43 x 10.76 in.).
Top Right: Mel Chin. Cross for the Unforgiven: 10th Anniversary Multiple, 1 of 2, 2012. AK47 assault rifles cut and welded, (54 x 54 x 3 in.).
Middle: Stephanie Syjuco. Rifle, 1995. Cotton lace crochet panel, (12 x 53.5 in.) Collection of Marcia Tanner.
Bottom: Andrew Ellis Johnson. Massacre of the Innocents, 2015. HD video, detail from film still.