Northern Illinois University

Northern Today

David Driesbach’s “Magician’s Sabbath,” 1984
David Driesbach’s “Magician’s Sabbath,” 1984

Käthe Kollwitz’s “Selbstbildnis” (self-portrait), 1912
Käthe Kollwitz’s “Selbstbildnis” (self-portrait), 1912

NIU celebrates art of printmaking
with many exhibitions, Sunday shows 

March 23, 2009

A number of exhibitions in numerous NIU and local galleries will celebrate the art of printmaking during “Printmaking Exhibition Suite.”

The exhibitions all tie in with the annual conference of the Southern Graphics Council, which is meeting this week in Chicago. Many conference participants will travel Sunday, March 29, to DeKalb for “A Day in DeKalb.”

Special gallery hours Sunday are 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. on campus, 12:30 to 2 p.m. (DeKalb Area Women’s Center) and 1:30 to 3 p.m. (Nehring Gallery). Members of the public are welcome at all Sunday showings.


NIU Graduate Printmaking Exhibition
Gallery 214 and throughout the School of Art
Organizers: Ashley Nason and Michael Barnes

This exhibition features the work of current students in the NIU graduate-level printmaking program, directed by Ashley Nason and Michael Barnes.

Play Up!
Jack Olson Memorial Gallery, second floor, Visual Arts Building
Organizer: Jack Olson Gallery and Michael Salmond, guest curator

Playing, interacting and gaming are important aspects for our development as human beings: when we play we learn. As games and interactive media have increasingly added depth to our understanding of society and self, it seems we must learn how to play. Artists Eddo Stern, Ben Chang and the group “The Guardians of the Tradition” engage with technology, gaming and social networking to explore and critique the cultural, sociological and conceptual landscape.


116 Altgeld Hall
Tuesday, March 24, through Saturday, May 9
Hours: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Friday; noon to 4 p.m. Saturday

The Bird Machine is the name of Jay Ryan’s shop in Skokie, Ill., where colorful limited-edition silkscreen posters are produced. Driven less by technological fads than by old-fashioned visual inventiveness and hard work, Ryan’s designs have become highly sought-after worldwide. The North Gallery will recreate studio walls, with posters tacked up from floor to ceiling.

Images of Death and Life
This is a survey exhibition of prints by renowned German artist Käthe Kollwitz (1867-1945). Kollwitz is famous for both her empathic humanity and mordant social commentary, represented through an unmistakable graphic style. This exhibit, curated by Assistant Director Peter Olson, brings together prints from Illinois and Midwest collections.

Moonlight Cocktails are the Thing
Illinois artist and printmaker David Driesbach weaves rich narratives in his complex, colorful and whimsical etchings. Although Driesbach retired from teaching many years ago, he has continued a prodigious production. This exhibition attempts to summarize a lifetime of remarkable achievements. Co-organized with students enrolled in “Museum Exhibitions and Interpretation,” a graduate-level Museum Studies course.

The Mayor of Palookaville
A selection of hand-printed, hand-bound books by David Johnson, a mid-career artist from Ball State University in Muncie, Ind. Johnson’s tools are simple and direct: etching, relief printing and letterpress. His observations are not: perceptive, shrewd, satirical and compassionate views of the people around him and the quotidian spaces they inhabit.


1021 State St.
Dates: through Friday, April 24
Hours: 7 to 9 p.m. Friday and by appointment
Organizer: Lennox Dunbar

Scottish Print Folios from the Gray’s School of Art
Five printmaking portfolios from the Gray’s School of Art at Robert Gordon University in Scotland.


111 S. Second St.
Dates: through Saturday, May 2
Hours: 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Wednesday, from 1 to 5 p.m. Saturday and by appointment
Organizer: Anna Marie Coveny

P2: Prints and Drawings by Peter Olson and Peter Van Ael
P2; Peter Squared; an exhibition of work by two printmakers named Peter. Mr. Olson is the assistant director of the NIU Art Museum; Mr. Van Ael is coordinator of the Jack Olson Memorial Gallery at NIU.