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Frank Trankina, "Large Palette Still Life," 2006, oil on linen. Image courtesy of the artist.
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Erin Raedeke, "Refuse 1," 2012, oil on board. Image courtesy of the artist.
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Still Life Exhibit Opens in WIU Art Gallery

March 12, 2014

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MACOMB, IL – The newest exhibit at the Western Illinois University Art Gallery, "Painting the Familiar and the Ordinary: Contemporary Still Life," opened this week and runs through April 19.

The collection of paintings features work by 14 artists from eight states and includes work by current and retired WIU professors and one alumnus. The exhibit was organized by the University Art Gallery.

An exhibit reception will be held from 4:30-6:30 p.m. Thursday, March 20, with a gallery talk to introduce the exhibit beginning at 5 p.m. The reception will feature remarks from featured artists WIU Professor Julie Mahoney, her husband WIU Professor Emeritus Michael Mahoney and WIU Associate Professor Brett Eberhardt, as well as alumnus Joe Morzuch, of Arkansas and artists Elena Peteva, of Massachusetts, and Elana Hagler, of Iowa City, IA.

Gallery Director Ann Marie Hayes-Hawkinson said the exhibit highlights the artistic importance of still life.

"Sometimes still life painting is dismissed because it's perceived to be a traditional genre. However, many painters in this exhibit are exploring a wide range of aesthetic issues through still life, and their works are quite contemporary in both subject matter and approach," said Hayes-Hawkinson."

"This exhibit is also a great teaching exhibit. It offers art majors and minors fine examples of work to study, and students can then apply what they learn to their own still life assignments in drawing and painting courses. Students enrolled in Art 180 (an art appreciation course) also will benefit from this exhibit because they can explore the various meanings of objects depicted in works of art, while learning how artists use a visual vocabulary to transform ordinary objects into something truly beautiful."

Additional gallery talks will be held at 2 p.m. Saturday, March 29 with Hayes-Hawkinson introducing the exhibit and at 5 p.m. Thursday, April 10, when visiting artist Erin Raedeke will speak about her work in at the University Art Gallery. Raedeke will also speak at 11 a.m. that day in Tillman Hall, room 212, and give a painting demonstration in Garwood Hall, room 32, about how to start a painting. The programs are free and open to the public.

Other artists included in this exhibit include Olga Antonova, Byron Gin, Chelsea James, Stephanie Pierce, Carolyn Pyfrom, Gabriella Soraci and Frank Trankina.

For more information about the exhibit, including gallery hours, visit

Posted By: WIU News (
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