Janet Engel-Julian " Graduate Student Exhibition"

The Graduate Thesis Show of Janet Engel-Julian

Opening reception on Dec. 2 from 5:30 - 8:30 p.m

To artist Janet Engel-Julian, a shoe print is more than just the product of a tread forming on the ground. The shoe prints, or in this case, ceramic tiles are the clues to life’s journey and form the basis for her master’s degree thesis art show, which opens Wednesday, November 30 with an opening reception on Friday, Dec. 2, at Governors State University Visual Arts Gallery.

Engel-Julian, a Lake Bluff Middle School art teacher, says her family inspires her artwork, especially her mother’s family, who emigrated to the United States from a small town outside of Palermo, Sicily in 1962.

“I think about the hardships and life-changing experiences my mother went through that make her the person she is today,” she says. “My family’s traditions and experiences and their influence on my life are what I use to inspire and influence me as I create my work.”

The shoe-print ceramic tiles, arranged in an 8’ x 12’ installation, dominate the gallery walls and provide a sense of motion while capturing and cataloging the many steps of this familial and cultural journey. These tiles are joined by other installations such as porcelain, hand-rolled cavatelli, slip cast tomatoes, zucchini and other vegetables, as well as strings of slip cast garlic bulbs that delicately hang from the gallery ceiling.

For the opening night reception on Dec. 2, Engel-Julian will create a culinary performance piece for those in attendance to share the camaraderie of a meal, while creating their own memories, a theme central to the exhibit.

“Even though people may be enjoying the same meal, they’re going to remember certain parts of it differently based on their personalities and past encounters,” she says. “While you can capture time in photos, video, or ceramic tiles, it is always passing and changing, and only really documented in your own memories. Once the memories fade, the past is lost.”

Additive / Subtractive; Sensory Interactions Developed By a Geometric Algorithm

Additive / Subtractive; Sensory Interactions Developed By A Geometric Algorithm

The Graduate Thesis Show of Tim Vitek

November 17 - 23, 2011

Opening reception November 17, 6 - 9 p.m.

Artist Statement:

When we remove all notions of symbolism and iconography the viewer is allowed to focus on color as content and experience a visual reaction within his or her own electromagnetic spectrum.

By calculating a geometric algorithm, true gradation between colors is achieved. By incorporating an additive and subtractive method within this geometric algorithm, a unique spectrum of color is created.

Placing random color fields composed with this algorithm side by side not only combines mathematics with intuition, but develops relationships that make tangible these interior movements of color. A grid system is created and becomes not a playground but a safe house for the exchanges of color. These movements of color are visually controlled experiences that allow the viewer to absorb a continuum of color within a designed space.

Color spectrums are methodically placed to create a reaction in the mind of the viewer. The variations of color develop into patterns themselves and perform a visual rhythm within the grid system. The movements of color work in sync to create synergy. This synergy allows the colors to move freely along the grid and allows the viewer to explore these visual interactions within the confinements of their spaces.

Ways of Making: Work on paper

Michelle Grabner - Zach Mory
Allison Svoboda - Matthew Woodward

Guest Curator Elizabeth Whiting, Curator for the Union League Club of Chicago

Reception and Artists' talk: Wednesday, October 19, 2011 5:30 - 8:30 p.m.
Remarks at 7 p.m.

The "Ways of Making" exhibitions are a series of invitational art shows that focus on art making disciplines taught in the art program at GSU. By inviting professional artists to exhibit their work in our campus gallery, classroom instruction and conversations with students can be energized in new ways, and our GSU community can enjoy interacting with excellent art.

Janice Pratt "Nature Orchestrated" Graduate exhibition

Janice Pratt
Graduate Exhibition
Nature Orchestrated
October 3, - November 11, 2011

The Art on Campus program is activating wall spaces on campus with student, alumni, and community artwork. During Fall Semester 2011,
A graduate thesis exhibition will be featured: Janice Pratt “Nature Orchestrated”. Exhibit will occupy across campus to enjoy the full effect of this artists’ work. Because this gallery is located in the public areas at GSU, the exhibit can be viewed any time the campus is open.

“Essence of Us…Beyond Human Consciousness”-Veronica Cook

Friday, September 30-October 5, 2011

Cook uses the world of reality blended with abstract brushwork to portray images of overlapping dreams and emotions. Veronica Cook creates photographic composites and collages. Her work is painted on board and overlaid with strange and familiar photographs that have been cut to create the desired effect. Veronica works with restored and collected family photographs and her collection of 35mm and digital photographs. The final collages have a swirling or circular pattern that draws you to the image evoking a sense of timelessness. These images are depictions of blended and imbedded human activity in constantly changing traditional and popular culture.

Standing before the works of Veronica Cook, the viewer is overcome by mystery and allure. There is a strange sense of “familiarity with the unknown” combined into a journey of the senses; pleasure, pain, light and dark, seen and unseen events.

Impressions of reality

Sept. 23rd – Sept. 28th

Brooke Nicholson

Artist Statement

My work represents the experience of creating a work of art and its correlation to human life. For me, the process of painting is similar to the way individuals develop over time. Throughout life, we are continuously evolving; events and occurrences are placed in our lives that affect the path of our development in good ways and in bad. My watercolor paintings depict the change, growth, metamorphosis, duality and balance that exist in life. I am interested in finding order among the chaos of everyday living. The delicate point at which opposing forces meet to create balance is what fascinates me.

As I begin a painting, I have no preconceived notion of what it will look like when it is completed. It is an intuitive process as I pour, drip or splash the paint onto the paper. There is a sense of directional control, but I allow the paint to find it’s own path. Going through life, we are not shown the obstacles that are ahead of us, or the blessings that will be given. We simply walk blindly, relying on our faith to drive us and guide our path.

My visual inspiration comes from seeds and the way they parallel human growth and development. Their delicate forms provide an environment in which new life begins to sprout and acquire an identity of its own. The seed itself is a necessary component, although what is protected inside is really most important. In order to portray this idea, my seed-like vessels are delicately drawn with graphite and appear to blend into the white background. The sprout of the seed contrasts with the rest of the composition through its bold color and distinctive form, creating an emphasis on growth, change and evolution.

Rick Edwards "Urban Decay"

September 16th- September 21st

Rick Edwards seeks out images found in neighborhoods that strongly depict society’s general lack of empathy, which has resulted in an overwhelming representation of urban decay. The distressing yet rich depictions found in the work go beyond a superficial representation; they connect on a political, economic and societal self-loathing prospective of reality. Each shot seeks
to connect on an emotional level through choice of landscape, composition
and lighting.
Edwards subject as a photographer is primarily processed in black and white. He ask viewers to consider taking responsibility for their own actions and the effect it has on humanity. With change comes progress and new opportunities but that realization in some of these forgotten communities has not become
a reality. He select imagery of what was once beautiful and full of life and
although life still remains on some level, it is now hard to appreciate its beauty.
Edwards typically show prints in medium to large formats sizes, (8” x10” to
|16” x 24”) to invite viewers to interact and come out of their comfort zones
to see the potential and lost beauty in these neighborhoods.
Edwards uses a digital VR Nikon SRL camera to capture the rich texture of black and white imagery. Edwards preferred media for printing is Epson
Premium Photo Paper Glossy or a variety of matt finishes. Although completing the majority of his education away from Chicago’s South Side neighborhood, he currently resides in a quite middle class community in the suburbs.
His parents still lives in the continuously changing community where he grow up, he prefers to come back to shoot its lost beauty.

Lori White "A Visual Meditation"


Gallery is pleased to present Lori White with her newest body of oil paintings, “A Visual Meditation.” This series explores the idea of one’s mind in a meditative state. The exhibition will be on view from SEPTEMBER 9-SEPTMEBER 15, 2011. The opening reception will be on SEPTEMBER 9, 2011 from 5:30-8p.m. This exhibit will be free and open to the public.

“A Visual Meditation” explores organic forms that reflect the meditative power of the nature. Her mind sees the environment as a place that mirrors a sense of peace and harmony. Miss White’s hope is that each painting inspires a person to visually meditate and become lost within his or her thoughts.

White is a graduate of Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN and is also a graduate of Governors State University with a Master in Arts in painting. She has displayed her artwork locally throughout the Chicago area. White is a teacher of art at Tyler and Bentley Elementary Schools and currently lives in Frankfort, Illinois.

Impromptu: Show Us What You Got September 1 – September 8

Artist Reception

Wednesday, September 7th

5:30-8:30 p.m

Visual Arts Gallery

2011 Art Student Exhibition

September 1- September 8

Water Pollution- an exhibition by Jaclyn Reidy

Opening Reception:
Friday August 19, 2011
5:30 - 8:30 p.m.
free and open to the public

Exhibition Dates:
Friday August 19th - Wednesday August 31st
regular gallery hours:
Monday and Wednesday 1-5 p.m.
Tuesday 1-9 p.m.
Thursday and Friday 5-9 p.m.

Artist Statement

Water Pollution

The images I create evolve from littered waste and debris that I have witnessed in waterways. Being drawn to water and its pristine blue hues in lakes and oceans, I chose to focus on water pollution because it is harmful to the natural resource itself as well as marine organisms and humans that consume those affected organisms as food. Water pollution also contaminates drinking water, which is essential for humans to thrive.

From my observation of polluted waterways, I researched more in-depth information on water pollution as well as images of polluted water and marine organisms, both healthy and infected, from books and the internet. I use those images as references, and draw an original composition from memory onto the canvas. The primary medium in my art is oil paint, for the purpose of bringing out the color and image to attract a person’s eye. In my paintings, I incorporate a great deal of texture to add tactility, which in turn, adds a realistic effect to the painting.

The central theme behind my paintings is that water is essential for the proliferation of life, but it is adversely affected by water pollution, which in turn, harms marine organisms and human health. Water pollution needs to be prevented in some measures, but in many instances, it is beyond human control. It is a global environmental concern due to the fact that water is the foundation of life.

Once Upon a Time an exhibition by Heidi Stachulak

Heidi Stachulak "Once Upon a Time"
Graduate Thesis Exhibition, Governors State University
Aug 12-17
reception Friday August 12 from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m.


JULY 15 TO JULY 30, 2011
Reception and open house
Sunday, July 17
1 - 5 p.m.
a tour of the Nathan Manilow Sculpture Park will be available at 2 p.m.
free and open to the public

FINDING THE LINE - Artwork by Jeff Stevenson made during and inspired by the Ragdale Residency.
As a thank you to GSU for support that made the Ragdale Residency possible, this exhibition features the 42" x 360" (3.5 foot x 30 foot) mixed media work on paper titled Finding the Line, and additional pieces made by artist Jeff Stevenson during and since the April residency.


JULY 5 - JULY 12, 2011

Graduate thesis exhibition by Wayon Collins, "Don't Shoot the Messenger" will be on display in the Visual Arts Gallery at Governors State University from July 5, 2011 to July 12, 2011. The exhibit and the closing reception on Tuesday, July 12 from 5:30 - 8:30 p.m. are free and open to the public.

Collins' work explores current events and crisis through comic inspired screen printed posters and intaglio printed portraits of real life characters he thinks you should know.

Gallery Hours:
M/W 2-4:30
T/Th/F 5-9
Saturday Noon-5
by appointment 708.534.4021, email artsgrad@govst.edu

Brainstorm 2011

CLOSING RECEPTION Saturday, June 25, 2011
4:30 - 7
(awards at 6)
free and open to the public

48 works of art by 28 artists from 13 states were selected by the distinguished jurors Allison Peters Quinn (Hyde Park Art Center, Director of Exhibitions) and Whitney Tassie (Monique Meloche Gallery Director) to fit the show's theme: artwork that documents,
analyzes and/or is inspired by intellectual activity, thought processes, dysfunction, and/or problem solving of the human mind.

Paul Stephenson

"People, Places, and Cars"
May 11-18
Reception on Monday, May 16, 2011 from 6-9pm
Gallery Hours:
Tues, Thurs, Fri - 5-9pm
Sat - noon-5pm
by appointment

Le Nouveau Cirque- Diana Lynch

Le Nouveau Cirque

University Park, Illinois - The Visual Arts Gallery at Governors State University is pleased to present new printmaking work from “Le Nouveau Cirque” the thesis exhibition of Graduate student, Diana Lynch. The exhibit will be on display from May 1st through May 7th 2011 with a public reception on May, 5th from 5:00 to 8:00 p.m. These events are free and open to the public.

In “Le Nouveau Cirque,” a series of hand made prints primarily done through woodcut, lithograph and screen print Diana Lynch explores the female performers of traditional and contemporary circus. In a character driven approach, she shows the strong nature of sisterhood, performance outlet and beauty.

A South Suburban Chicago artist who had shown both locally and internationally, Diana Lynch holds a Bachelor of Art Degree from Northern Illinois University and Master of Art Degree from Governors State University. As an intern at Fugscreen Studios in Wicker Park, IL she has worked along side many Chicago printmakers giving her experience working in a print shop. Diana Lynch is a resident of Orland Park and the oil painting instructor at the Orland Park Cultural Center she is the Art School Coordinator at Tall Grass Art Associations and is actively involved in the South Suburban art community.

B.S Farris- A Face in the Crowd

A Face in the Crowd

University Park, Illinois - The Visual Arts Gallery at Governors State University is pleased to present new ceramic sculptures the thesis exhibition of Graduate student, B.S. Farris. The exhibit will be on display from April 25 through April 29, 2011 with a public reception on April 29 from 5:00 to 8:00 p.m. This event is free and open to the public.

“A Face in the Crowd” is a visual diary of ceramic busts portraits both of famous and lesser know artists. Most of the greatest artists that B.S Farris looks up to are no longer living, so she is doing this series to bring herself closer to them. She finds that people tend to separate the artists from the artwork and in her series she is trying to find out who they are.

An award winning artist from Indiana who had shown locally, B.S Farris holds a Bachelor of Art Degree and a minor in Art History from Indiana University and holds a Master of Art Degree from Governors State University. She is the gallery coordinator and a board member for two years at 119th Street Gallery in Whiting, IN. B.S Farris is currently a board member for the group 18 Artist an online art gallery.


Congratulations to the award winners at the GSU All Student Show:
Peoples Choice Award: Nicole Dudik- Growth
Honorable Mention: Abdullah Fadhli „Eman Al-Obaidi‚s Struggle and „The Disposable
3rd Place: Becki Moffett-Moore, „Block Heads and „Tea Pot With Legs
2nd Place: Allen Moore, „St. Whiskey Walker and „The Halcyon Epilogue
1st Place: Jason Knade, „Cyclicity (see the trailer for this film here: http://www.jasonknade.com/cyclicity/ )


Photo Provided by Paul D. Stephenson
Holga Car Series

All Student Art Exhibit at GSU
University Park, Illinois, March 17, 2011 Art Forum, the Governors State University art student organization, and the GSU Visual Arts Gallery are hosting the annual All Student Exhibition, from March 30, to April 15. A reception and awards ceremony will be held on Wednesday, March 30, from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. Distinguished juror Joyce Owens will judge the student
work and award the monetary prizes, which include $300 for best-in-show. Refreshments will be served. The reception and exhibit are free and open to the public. The juried competition is open to all students enrolled in GSU art courses
during the Spring/Summer 2010, Fall 2010, and Spring 2011. The goal of the exhibit is to showcase the best work of GSU graduate and undergraduate students from all disciplines. including at least one film student who submitted a short video piece in the exhibit. "Interacting with this kind of work is stimulating to students creativity and exciting for visitors to the gallery," says gallery director Jeff Stevenson. Gallery graduate assistant Diana Lynch of Orland Park is exhibiting work in the show as well as curating the exhibition.

Regard Resist React

Wafaa Bilal and Major Chicago Artists to Exhibit at GSU

University Park, IL, February 15, 2011– The Governors State University Visual Arts Gallery will host “Regard – Resist – React,” a major exhibit of artists’ creative reactions to the issues that affect them personally, emotionally, and/or intellectually.
“One of our goals for this exhibit is to give artists and the public an opportunity for discourse around otherwise avoided issues like war, politics, religion, immigration, and sex,” said Jeff Stevenson, Gallery Director and co-curator of the exhibit. Stevenson is also a university lecturer in the GSU art department. “We hope the show will tour to other campuses and venues when it leaves GSU.”
Artists contributing work to this exhibit are some of the most prominent developing voices in the artistic world. Most of the artists are based in Chicago but draw from international roots and influences.
Chief among the exhibitors is Wafaa Bilal, Iraqi born artist noted for his unique forms of expression. Bilal is assistant arts professor at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts. He has a camera mounted in the back of his head capturing images of where he has been. He also has an intricate tattoo on his back honoring the U.S. and Iraqi war dead. Bilal’s video “4th of July” will be shown at the exhibit.
Additional exhibitors include Jane Fulton Alt, Nick Azzaro, Lynn Basa, Holly Cahill, Alexander Bruehl, Cleveland Dean, Frederick Holland, Riley Henderson, Salvador Jimnez, Jessica Munguia, Yva Neal, Roland Oria, Jennifer Traff, and Monica Wulfers. Susan Aurinko is co-curator of the exhibit.
The exhibit runs from March 4 through 25 with an opening reception on Saturday, March 5, from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. The exhibit and reception are free and open to the public.
The Visual Arts Gallery is open Monday and Wednesday, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Tuesday and Thursday, from noon to 9 p.m. or by appointment. It is located adjacent to E Lounge, Governors State University, 1 University Parkway, University Park, Illinois. For more information, please visit gsuvisualartsgallery.blogspot.com or call (708) 534-4021.

2011 Illinois Community College Juried Exhibition

February 4, 2011 – February 26, 2011
Juror: Douglas Morris Stapleton (Associate Curator, Illinois State Museum, Chicago Gallery) will be selecting this year’s artwork and awarding the prizes.

50 Illinois Community and Junior Colleges have been invited to participate. Student artists currently enrolled in an Illinois Community or Junior College and their artwork that was completed from August 2009 to present are eligible to participate.

Winning artists will be announced at the closing reception and awards ceremony on Saturday February 26, 2011 from 1pm to 4pm with juror’s remarks at 3pm. The Art Department at GSU will also host an Open House during this time that will include portfolio reviews for any art student, not just the ones in the exhibit.

GSU Art Department Open House- Showcasing programs in film, Digital Imaging, Photography, Printmaking, Painting, Ceramics, Art History, and the Nathan Manilow Sculpture Park.

Portfolio Reviews- for any art student (not just those in the exhibition) Walk-ins welcome or make an appointment with the faculty in your area of interest. Contact with Questions or to schedule your portfolio review 708-534-4021

We congratulate the award winners:

Juror's Choice Award / Best in Show $300

Jeff Kolak - Elgin Community College

Masks of Mortality
Oil Paint
36 x 36

2011 Merit Awards 7 Merit Awards, $100 each:

Alissa Baker - Kankakee Community College - "Mirror" painting

Jessica Chadwick - Joliet Junior College - "Lion Pot" ceramics

Claudia Frost - Elgin Community College - "Aged" photography

Zach Howerton - Heartland Community College - "Open Doors"

Jason McDowell - Joliet Junior College - "Marshland"

Rachel Long & Rodrigo Montoya - Joliet Junior College - "The Scouts" (Collaboration)

Timothy Schad - Joliet Junior College - "Mind Control" work on paper

2011 People's Choice Awards

1st: Jeff Kolak - Elgin Community College - "Masks of Mortality" painting

Daniel Stetzinger - no school listed - "Dragon"

2nd: Nick Morland - Elgin Community College - "In The Valley of Dreams" painting

Timothy Schad - Joliet Junior College - "Joliet Junior College" work on paper

3rd: Jacee Coelho - Illinois Central College - "Like a Bird from Prison" mixed media

Jenny Darby - Joliet Junior College - "Horse Hair Pot" - ceramics

Special Thanks to Juror:

Douglas Morris Stapleton, Associate Curator, Illinois State Museum, Chicago Gallery.

“Minority Art: Inspiration, Obligation”

Art Exhibit Reflects Inspiration and Obligation

University Park, Illinois, February 9, 2011 - “Minority Art: Inspiration, Obligation” is the featured exhibit, discussion, and reception at Governors State University in celebration of African American History Month. The event will be held on February 28, from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m., with remarks at 7 p.m.
This art exhibition will feature the work of world-renowned artist Kehinde Wiley. The artwork is on loan from the Rhona Hoffman Gallery in Chicago. Wiley’s portraits were initially based on photographs taken of young men on the streets of Harlem. The models, dressed in their everyday clothing, are asked to assume poses depicted in paintings or sculptures found in Western Art History. Wiley’s art also includes an international view with models found in urban landscapes throughout the world – such as Mumbai, Dakar, and Rio de Janeiro.
In addition to Wiley, “Minority Art: Inspiration, Obligation” also includes the works of regional artists who are African American, or who are doing artwork about the African American experience.
An informal discussion will address issues faced by minority artists, from finding inspiration in their minority status and culture to the pitfalls of feeling creatively stuck or obligated to produce art on limited subjects.
Although African American art is the focus of this event, the discussion topics are relevant to other minority groups and pertinent to the experience of many. Everyone is welcome and the event and reception are free and open to the public.
The Visual Arts Gallery and Student Affairs and Academic Services are sponsors of the event, which will be held at the Visual Arts Gallery of Governors State University

Luise Renner (1946-2009) The Girl in the Wicker Suitcase

The Visual Arts Gallery would like to wish you a Happy New Year and remind you to stop in and see our current exhibit “The Girl in The Wicker Suitcase”, a retrospective of Luise Renner’s artwork. Luise Renner (1946-2009) was a former student in the art department at GSU.

January 10 – 28, 2011
Closing Reception, free and open to the public
Wednesday January 26, 2011


"The Girl in The Wicker Suitcase", 2003 (acrylic on paper, 30x22) was inspired by a dream experienced in childhood by Luise Renner in which the devil was carrying her away in a wicker suitcase. The swaying motion and the swishing sound in the dream awakened her.

In this retrospective exhibition we are given an opportunity to experience the highly personal, wonderfully fanciful and colorful paintings of this remarkable artist who was taken from us too soon.

The exhibition features 30 narrative paintings and drawings inspired by dreams, fairy tales, fables and other stories. Luise Renner looked to the Bible, Grimm's Fairy Tales, Dreams, and childhood memories of her hometown in Germany for the imagery in her work.