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Thomas Jackson's watercolor collage "Walt Whitman," 1985, 22" X 30" image size, 29" X 37" approx. frame size
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"Aspen Grove at Dusk," 2008, by Brian McCormick
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Former Faculty Bruce Bobick, Purple Max Alumni Watercolors at WIU Art Gallery

March 23, 2009

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MACOMB, IL - - Two related exhibitions - - "Bruce Bobick: A Retrospective" and Watercolors by 'Purple Max' Award Alumni Et Al." - - are on display at the Western Illinois University Art Gallery Tuesday, March 24 through Thursday, April 16.

A kickoff public reception, featuring Bobick and many alumni artists, will be held from 6-8 p.m. opening night (March 24) at the Gallery. Bobick will lead a special Gallery walk beginning at 7 p.m. The reception and Gallery viewing are open free to the public.

Bobick is a former art faculty member who taught at Western from 1968-1976. He then went to the State University of West Georgia (Carrollton, GA), where he served as chair and is a professor emeritus. His display is a retrospective exhibition of watercolors, quilts and books produced roughly from 1968-2008.

A companion exhibition in the downstairs galleries, "Watercolors by 'Purple Max' Award Alumni Et Al.," presents winning watercolors of the highly coveted "Purple Max" award, which Bobick gave to his WIU students. He presented the cast pewter watercolor tube trophy to students who showed exceptional merit.

Many alumni are exhibiting early watercolors done when they were students at Western Illinois University in the late 1960s and early 1970s, as well as showing more current work.

Alumni with exhibits include Ken Clubb '73 (Peoria, IL); Rick Clubb '75 (Aurora, IL); Carolyn Cook-Fauble '68 MA '75 (Ravenna, TX); Thomas C. Jackson '72 (Cedar Rapids, IA); Debra Kruse (Iowa City, IA); Carla (Carson) Yager BA '75 MS-ED '80 (Nauvoo, IL); Marcia (Bean) Hansen '75 (Downers Grove, IL); Ed Herbeck '76 (Downers Grove, IL); Jane Buckman '76 MA '77 (Nokomis, FL); Jack Gerard '74 (Pontiac, IL); Debby Kaspar; Jim Kornelly '71 (Phoenix, AZ); Scott Mount '73 MA '75 (N. Aurora, IL); Mike Cottingham '75 (Franklin, TN); Terri (Johnson) Moisan '76 (Tinley Park, IL); Michael McCormick (Madison, WI); Danny Gillogly '72 (Carthage, IL); Claudia (Schmidt) Bismark '81 (Baltimore, MD); Martin Dewitt (Cullowhee, NC); and John R. Graham '73 MA '84, Patricia Hobbs MA '78, Robert Johnson '78, Janice Rockwell '72 and Luanne Sanner '76 (Macomb).

"I have the fortunate pleasure of being one of his former students when he taught at Western Illinois University," said John Graham. "He was my teacher in the early 1970s for several classes in drawing, art education methods and in watercolor. Now, many years later, as curator of exhibits at my alma mater, I have the privilege of producing this retrospective exhibition. Several early watercolors by Bruce Bobick have been given to the Western Illinois University Art Gallery Permanent Collection, donations by Dr. and Mrs. William Burton, Dr. and Mrs. Lowell Lueck and Ms. Sylvesta (Sally) Wassum. In addition, the Sally Wassum bequest of a sculpture, "Flower Form," is now installed on the lawn at the University residence."

The Western Illinois University Art Gallery is open free to the public 9 a.m.-4 p.m. weekdays and 6-8 p.m. Tuesdays during exhibitions. For more information, visit or call (309) 298-1587.

As a courtesy for those who wish to stay later at the March 24 kickoff reception to visit with Bobick, alumni and friends, the Gallery will remain open after the regular reception.

Posted By: WIU News (
Office of University Relations