- Art Museum
We anticipate presenting limited in-person, live and hybrid, virtual pre-recorded digital experiences. Please regularly check back for new content and instructions on how to join in and watch from home!
Recorded Virtual Events
Artwork for Healing and Focusing
An appreciative look at the art of Mathias Grunewald and Louie Schwartzberg by Art Museum Director Jo Burke.
Arts-based Engagement and Communication Activities
Presentation on the NIU College of Health and Human Sciences arts-based work with stroke and dementia patients given by Jamie Mayer, Ph.D., CCC-SLP, associate professor, allied health/communicative disorders.
A Look on the Bright Side: The Sunny Side of Art with Julie A. Mars
Artist talk and historic look at artworks inspired by the sun and cosmos with Julie A. Mars.
Music for Self-Care and Healing
Jen Conley, board-certified music therapist and licensed professional counselor, will provide an overview of music therapy, share remarkable stories from her practice and provide suggestions on applying the healing powers of music in your own life.
How to Spell USSA with Zachary Cahill
Artist talk about body of work developed around the artist’s invented country, USSA, a project he started in 2009 and continues to explore and develop.
Join us for a screening and panel discussion with video installation artists Richard Alvin Gessert, B. Lynch, Sarah Martin, and Jason Tannen from Storied References at NIU Art Museum. Viewing and discussion moderated by Randy Caspersen, Associate Professor Media Studies, Department of Communication at NIU.
Full videos from the artists on the panel
Of Fantastic Stories, Freaks & Feminism: Beyond Gender Myths in Art
Join us for a panel discussion with artists Sarah Bielski, K. Johnson Bowles, Patricia Constantine, Rhonda Urdang and Lauren Woods from Storied Reference at NIU Art Museum. Conversation and discussion moderated by Kristen Myers, Professor and Chair, Department of Sociology at East Carolina University and Deputy Editor of Gender & Society.
From the Mind of Ellen Roth Deutsch
Join Museum Director Jo Burke for Director's talk remembering the work of Ellen Roth Deutsch.
From the Mind of Ellen Roth Deutsch features Deutsch’s work from several decades in which she revisits various complex themes through symbolic characters and metaphorical imagery. Deutsch tackles experiences of sexual abuse, depression, illness and death through imagery that caricatures, digs in and dramatizes. Notable museums and galleries including the Newberry Library, School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, State of Illinois Gallery in Chicago and the National Museum of Women in the Arts have exhibited Deutsch’s work.
Hatched Stories Landis Blair Artist Talk
Join us for a virtual artist talk with author and illustrator Landis Blair.
Mirth and Mayhem: Landis Blair Selections of Drawings and Books contains illustrations from books by Landis Blair, whose stories contain elements of taboo, nihilism and whimsy. Blair’s black and white imagery evokes inspiration from Edward Gorey and often includes dark and absurd humor, lulling the reader through rhyming descriptions of vignette scenes. On view are illustrations from The Envious Siblings and Other Morbid Nursery Rhymes; The Progressive Problem and The Regressive Solution; A Toasted Passion; and Whetting Engines.
I Yell Because I Care, He Needs Me on instruments real, and imagined Mike Rea and Friends Perform
One of the most talked about pieces in the NIU Art Museum’s NIU School of Art and Design Faculty Continuum is a sculpture of a piano, “Tight Notes and Black Holes, CTINH (Conceptualize there is no Heaven” created by Mike Rea, associate professor of sculpture. While it’s not a fully functioning piano, it didn't stop Rea and a couple dozen of his friends from forming a “band” and performing Harry Nilsson’s “He Needs Me.”
I Yell Because I Care, He Needs Me, is a site-specific performative installation, which combines our desire to see Rea’s sculptural works engaged in the gallery while straddling the virtual environment of digital interactions we are currently immersed in. Performing 1970s singer-songwriter Harry Nilsson’s “He Needs Me” from the soundtrack of Popeye (1980) directed by Robert Altman, Rea combines alternative performances with actual musicians, recorded remotely in the homes and spaces of the various participants. The “band” members are NIU alumni, current students, artists and musicians Rea has cultivated since his own time at NIU as a student in the late 90s.
Mike Rea has conflated the notions of working hard and playing hard for over two decades with his bombastic wooden sculptures. Whether as conventional sculptures standing alone, or as props in interactive installations and performances, these often-massive objects reflect a culture of humor, violence, vulgarity, and sensitivity.
This program is sponsored in part by the Illinois Arts Council Agency through federal funds provided by the National Endowment for the Arts and the Northern Illinois University Arts and Culture Fee with additional support from the Division of Information Technology and University Marketing and Institutional Communications.