Past Exhibitions

Fall 2023

Aug. 29 through Oct. 14, 2023


The concept of dialogue allows for issue awareness and resolution through listening. Its goal is understanding. The artists whose work is displayed in this exhibition have worked on lens-based projects that have grown and developed organically over the years.

This exhibition will feature selections from "Lines of Authority" by Alan Cohen, "Black Box" by Michael Coppage and "The Folded Map Project" by Tonika Lewis Johnson.


The Remaining, Mourn…

"The Remaining, Mourn…" is a group exhibition addressing the experience of grieving as seen through the lens of nine artists’ practices. Through tactile artworks, they address both individual and collective loss. Holding materials as one would onto someone lost, these artists use various techniques to freeze a moment, allowing themselves time to process what remains as well as what is gone. Their materials, and the memories and emotions they evoke, become the "language" the artist use to create their own rituals to navigate grief/mourning and work toward healing.

The artists featured in this exhibition include Selva Aparicio, Michael Chambers, April Dauscha, Salvador Jiménez-Flores, Millicent Kennedy, Allen Moore, Monika Plioplyte, Nirmal Raja and Anne Wilson.


Spring 2023

March 30 through May 14, 2023

Americans in Burma: The Art of Collecting

From a sacred altar of Buddha images and manuscripts to musical instruments, textiles, silver, bronze, ivory, and lacquerware, the artworks on view tell individual American stories and their love for Burmese arts and crafts. The exhibition asks how these objects may reveal a “true” local tradition or respond by adapting to the western taste and growing souvenir market.

Local Visions II

Local Visions II is a sequel to the first Local Visions exhibition at the NIU Art Museum held in 2015. It will highlight the personal collections of objects that can be found in the homes of local residents. Many of these collectors started at a young age, making significant sacrifices to fuel their growing passion, including making down payments, paying in installments or trading either their own artwork or labor for artwork that would enrich their living environment.

Winter 2022-2023
Nov. 29 through Dec. 17, 2022, and Jan. 10 through Feb. 17, 2023

Stories From My Childhood

"Stories From My Childhood" explores both dark childhood experiences and somewhat humorous and quirky observations of life from a child's perspective. Artists were asked to depict a transformative event that occurred during their childhood through visual media and text.

This exhibition contains mature content and may not be suited for all audiences.

"Stories From My Childhood" features the work and stories of Salma Arastu, Nava Atlas, Karen Avant, Anna Betts, Natalie Christensen, Julia Fauci, Shawna Gibbs, Ronald Gosses, Juan Hernandez, Zach Horn, Fletcher Koehrsen, Oxana Kovalchuk, Julia LaChica, Carol Larson, Kaila Larson, Jamie Luoto, Lex Marie, Lori Markman, DaNice D. Marshall, Norbert Marszalek, Rebecca Mason, Michelle Mullet, Amy Nelder, Janelle O'Malley, Diane Rickerl, Arielle Romano, Griselda Rosas, Boryana Rusenova-Ina, Maryam Safajoo, Baylee Schmitt, Sydney Small, Alfred Stark, Amanda Taves, Christian Ulloa, Kyle White, Lisa Fayiza Wright, Ana Zanic, Abby Moon Zeciroski and Jane Zich.

Image: Diane Rickerl. "Metamorphic Marianne," 2002. Steel, glass linen. Photo: Robert Banke.

Ronald Gonzalez: As a Child I Sailed the World

Regarding his exhibition of figurative objects made periodically over many years, artist Ronald Gonzalez explains, "Behind every object is a story. As a young boy growing up, I was fascinated with everything small. I collected trinkets from gumball machines where a miniature parallel world existed; it had small versions of tiny cars, houses, money, playing cards, books, guns, and trains. Everything was there to have and to hold. I found things from the streets to make toys and playthings. I remember making boats out of bottle caps with paper sails to float ants across water puddles. As a child I sailed the world."

Image: Ronald Gonzalez. 2007-2016. Found objects, wax, wire over rusted and welded steel. Photo: Robert Banke 


A Show of Hands: Recent Work by Ben Stone

Ben Stone, sculptor and coordinator of 2D and 3D Foundations in NIU's School of Art and Design, is showcasing new work in an installation in the North Gallery. According to Stone, "the work relates to several concurrent themes dealing with late 70's and early 80's iconography and aesthetics...the time period my adolescent identity emerged...Dark and terrible things contribute just as much to identity as [do] beauty and the good parts."


Fall 2022
August 23 – October 15, 2022

Golden Legacy: Original Art from 80 Years of Golden Books

The internationally acclaimed historian on children's books, Leonard S. Marcus served as co-curator for Golden Legacy. His "Golden Legacy: How Golden Books Won Children's Hearts, Changed Publishing Forever, and Became an American Icon along the Way" was the impetus for this exhibition in 2007. It has since been updated with newer illustrators of some of the older classics and will feature a wide-ranging selection of original illustration art by Richard Scarry, Garth Williams, Tibor Gergely, Feodor Rojankovsky, Eloise Wilkin, Alice and Martin Provensen, Leonard Weisgard, Mary Blair and more.

Everyday People: The Art of James E. Ransome

Everyday People is clustered in books about the land, books about famous people, books about family, and classic story retellings. James E. Ransome has illustrated over 60 picture books and is the recipient of the 2018 Coretta Scott King Illustrator Honor for "Before She Was Harriet." His books have included the stories of Sojourner Truth, Frederick Douglass, Satchel Paige, Louis Armstrong, the Alvin Ailey Dancers, as well as stories of the use of quilts along the freedom trail and the fight to win access to the ballot box. He is a frequent collaborator with his wife, author Lesa Cline-Ransome, whom he met while both were students at Pratt Institute of Art.

Both of these shows are organized and traveled by the National Center for Children's Illustrated Literature in Abilene, Texas.

Burnishing the Medals of Children's Literature

Burnishing the Medals of Children's Literature celebrates award-winning children's books that honor the frequently forgotten, acknowledge the experience of the traditionally marginalized, and ignite curiosity and empathy in young readers. These works embody an inclusive vision of children's literature that both nourishes the self and expands a vision of the world. This exhibition has been organized by staff members of the NIU University Libraries.

NIU School of Art and Design Faculty Biennial Continuum (January 14 – March 18, extended September 8 – November 14, 2020)

NIU School of Art and Design Faculty Biennial Continuum (January 14 – March 18, extended September 8 – November 14, 2020)