NIU Art Museum offers ‘Local Visions: Selections From Area Collections’

Staff Report

DEKALB, Illinois — The Northern Illinois University (NIU) Art Museum will present “Local Visions: Selections From Area Collections,” a diverse exhibition including art from the 18th through the 21st centuries, Indonesian textiles, circus posters, antiques, Roseville pottery, record sleeves, vintage toys, folk art and much more. The exhibition opens Tuesday, Jan. 6, and runs through Saturday, Feb. 21. The public reception Thursday, Jan. 15, 4:30-6 p.m., will feature a gallery talk by artists, collectors and curators Peter Olson and Michael Bennett at 5 p.m.

Here is your chance to enjoy the generosity of local residents for allowing us a glimpse of the art and objects that enrich their personal lives every day. Featured collectors include Mary-Glynn and John H. Boies, Rodney Borstad, Gerald and Cheryl Brauer, Richard M. Cooler, Robert and Christa Even, Sven Oskar Hansen, Barbara Hulseberg, Ronald G. Klein, David McMahon, Molly Carter and David Menard, Jerry D. and Miriam Meyer, Charlie and Dedrie Rudolph, Dan and Virginia Seymour and Jerry and Ging Smith.

What motivates individuals to select and arrange art and objects in their private living spaces?” asks exhibition co-curator Michael Bennett. “I am fascinated by the way the impulse to collect objects is both universal and highly individual. Each of us, in our own way, asserts our identity by surrounding ourselves with things we love. In a way, the objects become a self-portrait of our aesthetics.”

For example, at the home of retired art historian Jerry D. Meyer and his wife Miriam, one finds paintings, drawings and prints by colleagues from the NIU School of Art, but also objects with aesthetic and nostalgic appeal, such as vintage toys, a beautifully designed wooden pitchfork and an antique rocking horse.

Ronald G. Klein has been active in the community, both as an attorney and board member of several local organizations for many years, and one feels a strong sense of place among his collection of artwork depicting rural scenes, and books documenting DeKalb County history.

According to exhibition co-curator Peter Olson: “We are thrilled to highlight the visual richness of our community and to tell the personal stories behind the objects. We hope to embark on a future series of exhibitions, each highlighting a different group of collectors from our community.”

Related events include the following:

• The NIU Art Museum will feature two informal gallery talks with a number of the collectors on Saturday, Feb. 7, and Saturday, Feb. 21, at 1 p.m.

• Record sleeve designer Timothy O’Donnell will deliver a public lecture on Wednesday, Feb. 18, at 5 p.m. in the NIU Art Building, Room 110.

• Thursday, Feb. 19, the Chicago sensation “That Belongs in a Museum” will visit The House Café in DeKalb for a show-and-tell storytelling event. Anyone may bring an object of personal, historic or humorous significance and share its unique story. Examples of past events are archived on www.thatbelongsinamuseum.org. The event is at The House, 263 E. Lincoln Hwy., DeKalb, IL, 7-9 p.m.

• Tuesday, Feb. 10, NIU Art Museum will screen the documentary film, Herb and Dorothy, the story of a librarian and postal worker who amassed one of the greatest collections of contemporary minimalist and conceptual artwork. The film will be shown at 7:15 p.m. in Montgomery Hall Auditorium.

The NIU Art Museum is located on the first floor, west end of Altgeld Hall, on the corner of College and Castle drives on the campus of NIU, DeKalb, Illinois. Hours are 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Tuesday-Friday, and noon-4 p.m., Saturday. Exhibitions are free and open to the public. Group tours may be arranged by appointment. More information about exhibitions and programming may be found at www.niu.edu/artmuseum.

Posted Jan. 2, 2015

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