Upcoming Exhibitions 


Upcoming Events

    • August 14, 2020
    • 5:00 PM - 7:00 PM (CDT)
    • Brandt Gallery


    August 7 - September 18, 2020
    Friday, August 14, 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.

    • August 14, 2020
    • 5:00 PM - 7:00 PM (CDT)
    • Armstrong Gallery


    August 7 - September 18, 2020
    Friday, August 14, 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.


    • August 14, 2020
    • 5:00 PM - 7:00 PM (CDT)
    • Ocher Gallery


    August 7 - September 18, 2020
    Friday, August 14, 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 (CDT)
    • Brandt Gallery


    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 (CDT)
    • Armstrong Gallery


    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 (CDT)
    • Ocher Gallery


    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 (CST)
    • All Galleries


    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.



    • January 29, 2021
    • 5:00 PM - 7:00 PM (CST)
    • Brandt Gallery

    January 15 - February 19, 2021
    Reception: Friday, January 29, 5-7 PM

    Jessica Bingham is an artist, curator, and educator working in Central, Illinois. She is the Curator at University Galleries of Illinois State University, where she recently organized solo exhibitions of Katie Bell and Eric Anthony Berdis. She is also the Director and Co-founder of Project 1612, an independent artist-run space and short-term residency program.

    Hua Nian is a signature artist of the International Society of Acrylic Painters (ISAP) and the National Oil and Acrylic Painters’ Society (NOAPS). Her paintings appear in international and national art exhibitions, winning awards at local, state, and national shows. She is now an active exhibiting artist and art instructor of Hua Nian Art Studio in Champaign-Urbana, Illinois.

    • January 29, 2021
    • 5:00 PM - 7:00 PM (CST)
    • Armstrong Gallery



    January 15 - February 19, 2021
    Reception: Friday, January 29, 5-7 PM

    Since 2000, David Dow and Jim Neeley have led Wisecracker Design, an interior and product design boutique studio with a broad range of creative capabilities and solutions for a loyal portfolio of high-profile clients. They launched Wisecracker Studio in 2018.

    In 2017, David also returned part-time to studio art and his love of clay and hand-building. His current work explores masks: do they hide who we are or allow us to become something we’re not? The masks are influenced by David’s world travels, both during childhood and during the past 30 years with Jim. David’s love and respect for diverse cultures emerge through his clay “souls” including African, Mayan, Amazonian and Southeast Asian features—sometimes combined. Key inspiration comes from his long fascination with tribal masks and their role as part of ceremonial costume.

    • January 29, 2021
    • 5:00 PM - 7:00 PM (CST)
    • Ocher Gallery

    January 15 - February 19, 2021
    Reception: Friday, January 29, 5-7 PM

    Abigayle Bickers will exhibit her emotive photographs depicting landscapes and architecture.

    • March 05, 2021
    • 5:00 PM - 7:00 PM (CST)
    • Armstrong Gallery

    February 26 - April 9, 2021
    Reception: Friday, March 5, 5-7 PM

    Larry Kanfer is a Midwest-based photographic artist. After receiving his degree in architecture from the University of Illinois in 1979, he opened his first photography gallery and has turned his passion into a career. Larry’s training in architecture taught him to view his surroundings analytically and artistically. He has used those skills to create photographs that speak to viewers on an emotional level through their composition and content. Associated Press described his ability to “endow the ordinary landscape with an almost magical sense of beauty.”

    Most well-known for his Prairiescapes™, he has brought acclaim to Midwest with his original artwork and calendars celebrating the subtle beauty of the American heartland.

    • March 05, 2021
    • 5:00 PM - 7:00 PM (CST)
    • Ocher Gallery

    February 26 - April 9, 2021
    Reception: Friday, March 5, 5-7 PM

    Natalie Jackson O'Neal studied photography at the Atlanta Art Institute and completed a full curriculum at Gwinnett Technical College. She specialized in portraits, which she later combined with a love for jazz, shooting CD covers, concerts, and posters for musicians.

    I produced this body of work because I didn’t see anyone who looked like me on the covers of vintage magazines. I believe representation and inclusivity are paramount to success. You must see to believe. The purpose of this work is to empower Black women and educate everyone else as to the important roles they’ve played in history.

    • March 06, 2021
    • 2:00 PM - 3:00 PM (CST)
    • Brandt Gallery


    March 5 - April 9, 2021
    Awards Ceremony: Saturday, March 6, 2-3 PM
    Sponsored in part by the Bloomington Center for the Performing Arts

    The 94th 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.

    • April 30, 2021
    • 5:00 PM - 7:00 PM (CDT)
    • Armstrong Gallery


    April 23 - June 4, 2021
    Reception: Friday, April 30, 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 30, 2021
    • 5:00 PM - 7:00 PM (CDT)
    • Ocher Gallery


    April 23 - June 4, 2021
    Reception: Friday, April 30, 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.


    • April 30, 2021
    • 5:00 PM - 7:00 PM (CDT)
    • Brandt Gallery



    April 23 - June 4, 2021
    Reception: Friday, April 30, 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 11, 2021
    • 5:00 PM - 7:00 PM (CDT)
    • Armstrong & Ocher Galleries


    June 11 - July 16, 2021
    Reception: Friday, June 11, 5-7 PM

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

    • June 11, 2021
    • 5:00 PM - 7:00 PM (CDT)
    • Brandt Gallery


    June 11 - July 16, 2021
    Reception: Friday, June 11, 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.



    • July 23, 2021
    • 5:00 PM - 7:00 PM (CDT)
    • Brandt Gallery

    July 23 - August 27, 2021
    Reception: Friday, July 23, 5-7 PM

    The Central Illinois Artists Organization serves its community by providing a cohesive, congenial group who promote the advancement of the arts through arts education in the Central Illinois area. Bringing together those who share an interest in the fine arts, and fostering an atmosphere of camaraderie among our artists and their patrons is the sole purpose of Central Illinois Artists Organization.

    This juried group exhibition will feature the work of CIAO members.


    • July 23, 2021
    • 5:00 PM - 7:00 PM (CDT)
    • Armstrong Gallery

    July 23 - August 27, 2021
    Reception: Friday, July 23, 5-7 PM

    Kellie Klein is a photographic artist living in the Chicago area. She received her BA in Photography from Southern Illinois University and her MA in Photography from Columbia College. For the past 30 years, Klein has been creating photographs that blur reality and question perception. She works in traditional and digital photography, as well as the 19th Century processes of cyanotype, Vandyke, and gum bichromate printing.

    Meditations on Water is a study of the universal temperament of water, as well as the environmental effects of light, color, and perception. My belief in the restorative power of water, informs and inspires my work. The images are also influenced by my interest in the sublime aspects of nature. The elements of nature that consistently remind me there is always something else, much greater than oneself.

    • July 23, 2021
    • 5:00 PM - 7:00 PM (CDT)
    • Ocher Gallery

    July 23 - August 27, 2021
    Reception: Friday, July 23, 5-7 PM

    Jenni Bateman's lyrical watercolors provide a visual narrative of the industrial revolution along the Illinois River – specifically, “Smokestacks”, and their impact on the central Illinois landscape.

    • September 17, 2021
    • 5:00 PM - 7:00 PM (CDT)
    • Brandt Gallery

    September 3 - October 15, 2021
    Reception: Friday, September 17, 5-7 PM

    Herb Eaton received an MFA in sculpture and drawing from Illinois State University in 1984. He has worked as a carpenter, instructor, museum designer, preparator, toy designer and manufacturer, a co-founder of the Children’s Discovery Museum, and a musician.

    Buddy Plumlee received a BFA from Illinois State University in 1989 and an MS in painting and drawing from ISU in 1991. He is the owner of BPS Artisans, a member of the West Chicago Cultural Arts Commission since 2011, and a decorative finishing/mural painter.

    • September 17, 2021
    • 5:00 PM - 7:00 PM (CDT)
    • Armstrong Gallery

    September 3 - October 15, 2021
    Reception: Friday, September 17, 5-7 PM

    Kevin Strandberg is a professor emeritus of art, having taught sculpture and photography at Illinois Wesleyan University from 1979 to 2018. He received his MFA from UW-Milwaukee in 1979.


    • September 17, 2021
    • 5:00 PM - 7:00 PM (CDT)
    • Ocher Gallery

    September 3 - October 15, 2021
    Reception: Friday, September 17, 5-7 PM

    An exhibition featuring the work of McLean County Arts Center students in the Ocher Gallery.

    • November 04, 2021
    • 5:00 PM - 8:00 PM (CDT)
    • All Galleries

    November 2 - December 31, 2021
    Reception: Thursday, November 4, 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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