University Art Gallery

Exhibitions 2023-2024

Michael K. Paxton - Interpolated

September 12 – October 19, 2023

Reception: Tuesday, September 12, 4:30-6:00

Michael K. Paxton a well-established Chicago fine artist who is also a sixth generation West Virginian with a career that now spans fifty years. His awards include a grant from the Adolph & Esther Gottlieb Foundation, Inc., New York; Illinois Arts Council Fellowship in Visual Art Award and two Professional Development Grants; Fellowships with both Air le Parc, Project and Research Center, Pampelonne, France and Jentel Artist Residency Program, Banner, Wyoming; a Marshall University Alumni Award of Distinction; Individual Artist Program Grant, DCASE, Chicago; six Professional Development Grants from Columbia College, Chicago; two CAAP Grants, Chicago, IL; Open Studio Residency, Department of Cultural Affairs, Chicago, IL and a Purchase Prize, fom the Chicago Federation of Labor, Chicago, IL.


Andréa Connell - Hold On

August 22 – September 20, 2023

Reception: Wednesday, September 20, 4:30-6:00

Andréa Keys Connell is an Associate Professor of Ceramics in the Department of Art at Appalachian State University. She is a former Fountainhead Fellow and served as the Head of the Clay Area in the Department of Craft/Material Studies at VCU from 2010-17.

Andréa’s work has been featured in a number of national and international publications and she has widely exhibited her work. She has had 19 solo exhibitions in various galleries and museums since 2009, including The Florida Holocaust Museum and The Kentucky Museum of Art and Craft. Andréa also works on large-scale public art commissions such as the See Also endowment commission with the Cleveland Public Library.

Along with exhibiting her work and teaching at App State, Andréa has taught workshops on figure sculpting at various craft schools across the country including Penland, Haystack, Arrowmont, and The Metropolitan Museum of Art, NYC.


Kait Steward - Here Nor There


September 5 - September 28 (instead of 29)

Reception: Thursday, September 28, 4:30-6:00

Kait Steward is an emerging artist located in Carbondale, Illinois. She recently completed her Masters of Fine Arts at Southern Illinois University (2023) after completing her Bachelors of Fine Arts at Murray State University (2019). Her work has been exhibited both regionally and nationally. She often instructs introductory art courses with the Commonwealth Honors Academy at Murray State University, and currently works as a Program Assistant for Artspace304, a local arts non-profit in southern Illinois.


Biennial Faculty Exhibition

October 3 – October 27, 2023

Reception: Tuesday, October 10, 4:30-6:00

faculty exhibit

Marc Nelson - The Caesar Files: War Crimes in the Digital Age


October 24 – November 17, 2023

Reception: Tuesday, October 24, 4:30-6:00

Marc Nelson was born and raised in Glen Ellyn, Illinois. Marc earned his Bachelor of Arts degree from Augustana College in Rock Island, Illinois, an Art Education teaching certificate from Western Illinois University, and a Masters in Art degree from Eastern Illinois University. Marc’s paintings and drawings have been featured on CNN, BBC, DW, AJ+, NPR, CBC, The New York Times, Amnesty International, award winning documentaries, and other news and human rights agencies and publications. His work has been exhibited nationally and internationally, and appears in public and private collections around the world.. Marc and his wife, writer and educator Jill Bartelt, live and work in Kewanee, Illinois.


Sara Dismukes - mishearing Mnemosyne

November 6 – December 15, 2023

Reception: Monday, November 6, 4:30-6:00

Sara Dismukes is a multidisciplinary artist and educator currently living in Montgomery, Alabama. She is a member of the art and design faculty at Troy University. Her studio practice includes drawing, painting and graphic design, as well as traditional bookbinding.


Talent Grant & Tuition Waiver

November 6 – November 28, 2023

Reception: Monday, November 6, 4:30-6:00

Mackenzie White – BFA Exhibition

December 5 – December 15, 2023

Reception: Tuesday, December 5, 4:30-6:00

"Much of my work focuses on personal attachment to self-perception. I have always been drawn to depicting people, and in my most recent works, I have focused on the depiction of myself in various methods of discernible expression. This exploration of self comes out visually in the form of written text, rendered oil portraits, line drawing, and collages of other works. Exploring the idea of the self in 2-D media helps me to map out perception of experiences while trying to understand the space that I take up. It helps me ask why my mind focuses on certain thoughts and not others within my artistic practice. Environments are not always tangible in what I am depicting, but the figure is usually taking up some form of space. Movement is the most important factor in my practice as well as documentation of past experiences. I can not only move forward with a different perspective and mindset, but I can also look back on my past thoughts and technical artistic process. That is why creating is pivotal for helping me understand my place and purpose during a specific moment in time. There will always be something new to explore, regardless of my focus or interest at that given moment."



January 18 – February 16, 2024

Reception: Thursday, January 18, 4:30-6:00

Shelby is currently an Associate Professor in the Department of Art and Art History at the University of Wyoming. Born and raised in Springfield, Missouri, Shelby received his BFA in 2003 from Washington University in St. Louis and his MFA in 2006 from Southern Illinois University Carbondale.

A two-time recipient of the Visual Arts Fellowship from the Wyoming Arts Council, Shelby actively exhibits across the nation. His more recent exhibitions include LIKE AND SHARE IF YOU AGREE!!!, a solo show at the South Bend Museum of Art, DRAWN at Manifest Creative Research Gallery in Cincinnati, OH, and Drawing Discourse at the University of North Carolina Asheville. Shelby was awarded a solo exhibition at the APEX Space at the Portland Art Museum in OR in 2016, and his work is included in their permanent collection. For his research sabbatical from 2021 – 2022, Shelby accepted the Manifest Artist Residency Award, and he spent the year making new work at their Gallery and collaborating on educational opportunities at their Drawing Center in Cincinnati, OH.

Shelby was recently honored with the Stone & Deguire Contemporary Art Award in the amount of $25,000 from his alma mater, Washington University in St. Louis. Current and upcoming 2023 solo exhibition venues include Artworks Contemporary Art Center in Loveland, CO, STRATA Gallery in Santa Fe, NM, the Firehouse Art Center in Longmont, CO, and the Kentler International Drawing Space in Brooklyn, NY.


Liz Ensz - Unorganized Territory: Mutable Landscapes

January 16 – February 8, 2024

Reception: Thursday, February 8, 4:30-6:00

LIZ ENSZ was born in Minnesota (unceded Dakota, Chippewa, Ojibwe land) to a resourceful family of penny-savers, metal scrappers, and curators of cast-offs. Liz received a BFA in Fiber from the Maryland Institute College of Art (2005), and an MFA in Fiber and Material Studies from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (2013). Ensz has exhibited their textiles, installation and sculptural work internationally, including The Henry Moore Institute, Leeds, UK; Frontviews Gallery, Berlin, Germany; HTW University of Applied Sciences School of Art and Culture, Berlin, Germany; Franconia Sculpture Park, Shafer, MN; Smack Mellon, Brooklyn, NY; Sarah Lawrence College, Bronxville, NY; and Roots and Culture Contemporary Art Center, Chicago, IL. Their work has been supported by The John Michael Kohler Arts/Industry Program, Franconia Sculpture Park, City of Chicago DCASE Individual Artist Grant, The Creative Baltimore Fund, and The Jacques and Natasha Gelman Travel Fellowship, among others. They currently live and work in Baltimore, Maryland (unceded Piscataway Conoy and Susquahannock land).


Fred Jones - Saving the Planet

February 27 - March 29, 2024

Reception: Saturday, March 2, 4:30-6:00

This exhibition is a presentation of "A Journal of The Spiritual and the Sublime in Nature", a collection of art reproductions, essays, quotations, and statements.

Jones earned a National Diploma in design in 1961 from Cardiff College of Art in Wales, U.K. plus an Art Teachers Diploma from the University of Wales in 1962. In 1965 he earned a Master of Education degree from the University of Pittsburgh. In 1970-71, Jones attended the University of Wisconsin-Madison, completing a Master of Fine Art in printmaking. In 1979, he attended Atelier 17 Paris. In 1987, he returned to the University of Wisconsin as an Honorary Fellow to study Computer Mediated Art.

Jones joined the Western Illinois University art faculty in 1968 as an instructor in Art Education, Design, and Drawing after teaching for two years at Chester College of Art in England. Jones developed the Silkscreen and Computer Mediated Art programs. Jones is the recipient of five Faculty Excellence Awards, four Summer Stipend Research Awards and the Distinguished Faculty Lecture award.


Perry Pollock & Jason Peot - Considerations

February 20 – March 21, 2024

Reception: Thursday, March 21, 4:30-6:00

Jason Peot and Perry Pollock have been faculty colleagues for over twenty years in the Art and Design Department at Harper College in Palatine, IL—one of the northwest suburbs of Chicago.

Peot oversees the design and sculpture curriculum and Pollock, the drawing and painting curriculum. Both artists work in a non-representational mode and emphasize meticulous attention to design and craft. There is an austerity and geometry that binds their work, but their conceptual intentions offer very different considerations. The works in this exhibition are juxtaposed to highlight both artists' shared and contrasting approaches to art making. Pollock's minimalist objects are designed independent of their surroundings. In contrast, Peot's work directly references it's environment or location. The work in this two-person exhibition focuses on these similarities and differences to offer viewers a unique experience.

Pollock 1 Pollock 2

Kyla Culberson - Suspended Moments


March 19 - April 11, 2024

Reception: Thursday, April 11, 4:30-6:00

Kyla Culbertson is a ceramic artist from Canton, Illinois who is currently residing in Tempe, Arizona. In 2017, she graduated with a BFA in Ceramics from Western Illinois University. In 2019, she was a post-baccalaureate student at the University of Iowa and was awarded Ceramics Monthly Emerging Artist. She attended a residency at James May Gallery in Wisconsin. She has exhibited her work regionally and nationally in exhibitions such as Art of Clay National Juried Exhibition in North Carolina, Conroe Art League 4th National International Exhibition in Texas, The Akar Yunomi Invitational in Iowa City, and The Almighty Cup Exhibition in New York City. Culberston completed an MFA in ceramics at Arizona State University in the Fall of 2023.


Juried Student Exhibition

Juror: Samantha Haring

April 9 – May 3, 2024

Reception: Tuesday, April 9, 4:30-6:00

Molly Borth – FED UP

BFA Exhibition / Mavigliano Brabec Senior Prize

April 8 - April 17, 2024

Reception: Tuesday, April 16, 4:30-6:00


Grace Lessen – Whimsical Observations

BFA Exhibition

April 22 - April 29, 2024

Reception: Tuesday, April 23, 4:30-6:00


Rivers Ashton – To Be Changed

BFA Exhibition

May 2 – May 10, 2024

Reception: Thursday, May 2, 4:30-6:00


Molly Paccione - Thinking It Through

BA Exhibition

April 16 - April 25

Reception: Thursday, April 18, 4:30-6:00


Emily Sharon - Older But Not Yet Wiser

BA Exhibition

April 30 - May 10

Reception: Tuesday, May 7, 4:30-6:00