Upcoming Exhibitions 


Upcoming Events

    • November 07, 2019
    • 5:00 PM - 8:00 PM


    November 5 - December 31, 2019
    Reception: Thursday, November 7, 5-8 PM

    Holiday Treasures is the McLean County Arts Center’s annual exhibition for the gift-giving season. More than sixty locally and nationally known artists participate, featuring painting, glass, ceramics, photography, fibers, jewelry, and seasonal gifts.


    • January 17, 2020
    • 5:00 PM - 7:00 PM


    January 10 - February 14, 2020
    Reception: Friday, January 17, 5-7 PM

    Melissa Oresky’s art practice is rooted in painting and collage, and her primary output is paintings on canvas and mixed media works on paper. She has also made prints, artist’s books, and beginning in 2011, began a practice making works in moving image, often in collaboration with her spouse, Zak Boerger, a musician.

    Her current work, ongoing since 2014, is focused on plants, their forms, and their modes of being. Rather than directly imaging plants, her work is an attempt to connect to a sort of plantlike process in the studio. Her kinship with plant life began as a child when her mother, in graduate school for botany, took her on wildflower hunts where they would carry her mother’s textbooks, identify and collect specimen, and press these plants into the books. This longstanding and growing plant awareness accompanies a growing ecological awareness.


    • January 17, 2020
    • 5:00 PM - 7:00 PM


    January 10 - February 14, 2020
    Reception: Friday, January 17, 5-7 PM

    When Bill O'Donnell was a kid riding in the back seat of the family car, he'd watch the side of the road and by closing one eye, would align the bottom of the window with the rush of horizontals speeding past. Fence tops, walls and guard rails formed an oscillating horizontal line that danced with the unchanging bottom of the window frame. For him, this was close enough to the infinity of LINE described in his geometry schoolbooks. Once introduced to the iconic shapes and solids in those books, he saw them everywhere, mental templates to be superimposed on any scene. The overlay of geometric ideals transformed a baseball into the perfect sphere, a building block into the flawless cube. He was equally taken by the obliteration of visible details in featureless shadows or blinding glare. With optical proof gone, he was left with his memory's "knowledge" of what was there but unseen. The SOLID AND SPACE pictures celebrate this play between intellectual and perceptual knowledge, the flickering between memory and observation, the blend of mystery and delight when truth and truth disagree.

    • January 17, 2020
    • 5:00 PM - 7:00 PM


    January 10 - February 14, 2020
    Reception: Friday, January 17, 5-7 PM

    Kathryn Lollar has always been drawn to things that are a contradiction in themselves, that make her feel two conflicting feelings at once. Slow, sad sounding songs about the joy of falling in love, or dark, moody movies that make her laugh. With her art, she takes a medium that is typically thought of as delicate, feminine and “safe”, and portray things that are grotesque, taboo, or tongue in cheek. She makes her own patterns from ideas she finds compelling, or draw from her own photographs, then stitch the image onto fabric by hand. She usually leaves the finished piece in the embroidery hoop to further accentuate the medium. Most people associate embroidery hoops with grandmothers stitching images for baby quilts, and she want to break that association while calling attention to it. She seeks to pay homage to the craft while turning it into something that may make the viewer laugh or feel a little uncomfortable.

    • February 29, 2020
    • 2:00 PM - 3:00 PM


    February 28 - April 10, 2020
    Awards Ceremony: Saturday, February 29, 2-3 PM

    The 93rd Annual McLean County Amateur Art Exhibition will feature high school, university, and adult artists. Juried works of painting, graphics, photography/new media, and sculpture will be selected for cash merit awards in each category and division. The Merwin Medal will be awarded to the most outstanding artwork and the Ashely C. Ritter Most Promising Art Award to the artwork exhibiting the most future potential.

    • March 06, 2020
    • 5:00 PM - 7:00 PM


    February 21 - April 10, 2020
    Reception: Friday, March 6, 5- PM

    In a naturalistic style, Aaron Yount depicts wildlife and their habitats through painting and sculpting. He has a passion for educating viewers about the natural world. He works from his studio in rural Towanda, Illinois.

    Pamela Cather photographs Illinois wildlife, particularly around Lake Bloomington, seeking to provide viewers a snapshot of the peace she feels amidst creation.

    • March 06, 2020
    • 5:00 PM - 7:00 PM


    February 21 - April 10, 2020
    Reception: Friday, March 6, 5-7 PM

    Cathie Crawford’s color reduction woodcuts are often meditations on water, exploring it as a source of replenishment and renewal. Her atmospheric color fields are punctuated by rippling lines, creating ambiguous spaces that hint at landscape.


    • April 17, 2020
    • 5:00 PM - 7:00 PM


    April 17 - May 22, 2020
    Reception: Friday, April 17, 5-7 PM

    For her most recent body of work, Susan Emmerson’s imagery is that of creating and destroying; of depicting the horrible violence that natural storms, worsened by human mistakes, can do to our structural environment and to our fellow humans. Her wall sculptures depict disheveled, broken surfaces where Tyvek painfully peels away like paint or skin, exposing a raw inner core. Everyday objects become precious; she uses their bits and pieces as signifiers of the lost reassurance of a safe and intact home. Her work exists in the space between image and object; between the picture and the palpable. The drawings she makes are meditative renderings of the ridiculous and horrifying scope of the violent destruction of our now insecure world. They serve to present a different aspect of the question of what a home is and what happens to our human spirit when the physical safety of home is destroyed.

    Specifically feeble and precisely precarious, Lisa Walcott’s work translates elements of daily life. Moods, guilt, sensations, monotony, accumulation and change are given bodies in objects and movement. Spaces of the mind are realized in physical form and daydreams animated. Up close and in combination they begin to represent the fluidity and contradictions of the everyday. The task of locating and giving form to shapeless sensations like presence, agitation or what it feels like to be full after eating will eventually fail because these feelings can never quite be manifested. However, there is often something more desirable in the always-absent compared to the attainable. The attempt to find shape and materiality for these abstract ideas involves collecting, combining, squinting, and meandering forward. The works are as energetic as they are visual—agitation buzzes overhead as a housefly and presence unexpectedly gurgles from an unknown space. In many cases, the objects feel essential, like they couldn’t be anything besides what they are—their physicality is vital for them hold their position and their essence is what the work is about. There is a sense of balance that is on the verge of being lost as joints are precarious and elements within the pieces are codependent—everything has a place for now.



    • April 17, 2020
    • 5:00 PM - 7:00 PM


    April 17 - May 22, 2020
    Reception: Friday, April 17, 5-7 PM

    The three-dimensional constructions Jim Neeley builds press him to think like a graphic designer, use his hands like a finish carpenter, and obsess over the details. His inspirations are numerous and varied. The iconic design and culture of the 1970s. Bird’s-eye views of the rural landscape where he cycles. High/low architecture, studied wherever he travels. Quirky things, irreverent things. Unrelated bits and pieces such as local found objects and recycled stuff that he re-imagines and reorganizes into meticulous, elegant tableaus, all neatly contained in handmade boxes. Superfluous details of the objects he incorporates into these pieces are “erased,” leaving just the essence of mundane elements. For the observer, he hopes that his work pings a distant recollection, conjures a smile, and also inspires a bit of self-indulgence.

    Wayne Bertola combines found objects and images—the discarded debris of the once-functional and the most humble of materials—in a way that demonstrates their capacity to transform. Recontextualized, the objects engage the viewer in a creative dialogue of association, allusion, and reverie beyond the limitations of the utilitarian and preconceived notions of what is worthy of notice and what constitutes value.



    • April 17, 2020
    • 5:00 PM - 7:00 PM


    April 17 - May 22, 2020
    Reception: Friday, April 17, 5-7 PM

    Karl Smith’s still life photos utilize the medical supplies he personally used to treat his diabetes since he was a teen. The debris includes hundreds of syringes, insulin bottles, glucose testers and supplies, and hospital wrist bands. More recently, the series shifted to photographs of his life after receiving kidney and pancreas transplants, including photographs of his organ donor’s family.


    • June 05, 2020
    • 5:00 PM - 7:00 PM



    May 29 - July 10, 2020
    Reception: Friday, June 5, 5-7 PM

    Nichole Gronvold Roller creates ambiguous spaces that possess an unpredictable gravity or no gravity at all. She constructs these spaces with vortexes, fragmented planes, and energy pathways borrowed from both human-made and natural systems. Her shaped canvases explore the material, geographical, and cultural influences of architectural design.

    David Linneweh’s work reflects on the idea of the American Dream, asking if its tenets are based on illusion or reality. He begins with photographs of suburban streets, which are then printed and transferred over a wood veneer. Layers of graphite and paint serve to emphasize or flatten compositional elements, resulting in images that are altered and weathered by time.

    Megan Hinds explores ecosystems and architecture in her three-dimensional prints, drawing inspiration from beehives to human cities. Her layered compositions provide opportunities for visual exploration and discovery, with camouflage and chaos giving way to organized focal points.



    • June 05, 2020
    • 5:00 PM - 7:00 PM


    May 29 - July 10, 2020
    Reception: Friday, June 5, 2020

    This exhibition will feature the work of three photographers, Ted Diamond, James Kozak, and Tyler Mardis. Their images capture the beauty of the vast Illinoislandscape, as well as explore the weathered architecture of the rural Midwest.

    • July 24, 2020
    • 5:00 PM - 7:00 PM


    July 17 - August 28, 2020
    Reception: Friday, July 24, 5-7 PM

    The work of three artists, Jan Brandt, Krystal Lyon, and Natalie Wetzel, will envelope the gallery in a sea of color, texture, and delight. Disparate textiles such as donated clothing, pompoms, and muslin are hand stitched by artist Jan Brandt into three-dimensional hybrid assemblages and installations. Her paintings are created with the same organic, obsessive process, evoking growth and accumulation. Krystal Lyon’s fiber sculptures are made with recycled or discarded items—things that are not wanted become part of something beautiful. Through tying, crocheting, weaving, and wrapping with old clothes, yarn, and fabrics, playful and anthropomorphic shapes take form. Natalie Wetzel’s vivid abstractions are an exercise in controlled chaos. Poured, dripped, sprayed, and splattered paint intersect with deliberate lines and shapes to form playful and lively compositions.

    • July 24, 2020
    • 5:00 PM - 7:00 PM


    July 17 - August 28, 2020
    Reception: Friday, July 24, 5-7 PM

    Cathy Engberg paints figures and animals at rest or play. She often scrapes away paint layers to create textured, atmospheric surfaces for her figures to inhabit.

    Mandy Roeing uses soft pastels, often mixed directly on the surface, to create vibrant landscapes and seascapes.


    • July 24, 2020
    • 5:00 PM - 7:00 PM


    July 17 - August 28, 2020
    Reception: Friday, July 24, 5-7 PM

    Erica Gilliam’s depicts animals and plants in states of magical transformation. Her whimsical scenes are inspired by her passions for nature, fantasy, and mythology.

    • September 04, 2020
    • 5:00 PM - 7:00 PM


    September 4 - October 16, 2020
    Reception: Friday, September 4, 5-7 PM

    "Mentor and Student" is an exhibition of work by Dennis French as well as a number of his former graduate students, including Chris Wille, Donovan Widmer, Elaine Unzicker, Jon Rutledge, Steve Hirt, Moriki Tomihara, Christy Campbell, Lilith Nielander, and Randy Reid. Pieces created during their days as students as well as recent work will highlight the lasting influence of a thriving mentor relationship.

    Dennis French is a retired university art professor, artist, designer/craftsman. He has a BFA from Arizona State University and an MFA from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He was program director of the jewelry-metalsmthing discipline at Illinois State University for 27 years and retired in 2008. His work is found in many private and public collections and since retirement he has focused mainly in the design and crafting of functional work with a materials emphasis in wood. He lives and works in Bloomington-Normal, Illinois.


    • September 04, 2020
    • 5:00 PM - 7:00 PM


    September 4 - October 16, 2020
    Reception: Friday, September 4, 5-7 PM

    Alfonso Gosálbez Berenguer will display a series of portraits depicting people that have influenced his life in Bloomington-Normal. With his painterly mark making and central compositions, his focus is on capturing the subject’s personality honestly.



    • September 04, 2020
    • 5:00 PM - 7:00 PM


    September 4 - October 16, 2020
    Reception: Friday, September 4, 5-7 PM

    Paula McCarty’s “Women Who Painted” is a series of oil and digital portraits of historical female painters that will bring awareness to women who have been overlooked in favor of their male contemporaries. The exhibition will also create a dialogue between traditional and technological approaches to portraiture.

    • November 05, 2020
    • 5:00 PM - 8:00 PM


    November 3 - December 31, 2020
    Reception: Thursday, November 5, 5-8 PM

    Holiday Treasures is the McLean County Arts Center’s annual exhibition for the gift-giving season. More than sixty locally and nationally known artists participate, featuring painting, glass, ceramics, photography, fibers, jewelry, and seasonal gifts.




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