Art collection gets new home at Founders Memorial Library

By Carol M. Ekstrom

After 24 years of hiding, the NIU art collection is finally coming out of the closet.

The Student Association Art Collection will have a permanent home after many years of storage and site changes.

Members of the NIU Visual Arts Committee organized “Project SAVE” (Student Art for Viewing and Education) and a new home was found for the collection at Founders Memorial Library.

“We wanted to find a permanent home for the collection where its original purpose could be realized,” said Phil Sassano, the collection’s curator.

The group decided that the library would be the perfect home for the collection because “it’s the cultural nerve center of the campus,” said Sassano, a senior art major.

“It’s where students spend much of their time, it’s where they bring their parents, and it’s where many visitors to NIU begin their campus tour,” said Charles Larry, arts librarian for NIU Libraries.

“We feel very privileged to have (the collection) and to be able to display it in the manner it deserves,” Larry said.

The paintings are being displayed by the Campus Activities Board and the display should be completed by next week.

A free guidebook containing biographical information and a location key will be available for students to use, Larry said.

The SA started the collection in 1967 for the cultural enrichment of the student body.

NIU cut off insurance for the $210,000 collection last spring despite an uproar from then-SA Treasurer Mike Holy.