WIUM Tristates Public Radio

Mixing It Up at the WIU Art Gallery

Mar 11, 2021

The Western Illinois University Art Gallery is currently featuring two exhibits that are much different from one another.

“I love it when the schedule works out to exhibit shows that are very different to offer some contrast,” said Gallery Director Tyler Hennings.

“We want to provide a variety of work for students and for the community. There are not a lot of places around the area to see art in person so that’s part of the vision – to bring in a variety of work.”

The downstairs gallery is featuring the works of Bruce Walters. The drawings are from his 36 years as an art professor. He has spent the last two dozen years at Western.

Walters is retiring at the end of the semester.

His exhibit, titled What the Hand Dare Seize the Fire? remains on display through April 9, 2021.

Meanwhile, the upstairs gallery features drawings by Olivia Petrides and three-dimensional works by Sarah Krepp.

Petrides is a painter, illustrator, and Adjunct Associate Professor at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Krepp is a Professor Emeritus of Art and former Chair of the Painting Program in the School of Art and Design at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Petrides said her large-scale abstract drawing are based on travels to natural phenomena such as volcanoes, icebergs, and glaciers. Krepps said her large, three-dimensional art uses found objects, such as blown-out tires gathered from highway debris.

Their exhibit, titled, LINE/FORCE/BURN/RUBBER, remains on display through March 24, 2021.

Hennings said the gallery receives exhibit proposals from artists throughout the U.S. Hennings and a panel of art faculty members go through the submissions to decide what shows to exhibit, keeping in mind that the downstairs and upstairs are each best suited for different types of shows.

“The (current) work upstairs is quite large. Some of the works wouldn’t even fit in the downstairs space because the walls are smaller and more broken (into sections),” he said.

Hennings pointed out the downstairs is divided into two rooms while the upstairs is one large room with three large walls.

The gallery is open weekdays from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Due to the pandemic, the gallery did not hold opening receptions for any exhibits this school year.

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