Art exhibit showcases faculty, staff artwork

By Jamie O'Toole, Columnist

DeKALB — Composed of several events, a month-long exhibit at the NIU Art Museum will feature lectures and presentations from art and design faculty and staff. At their individual events, the featured faculty and staff will showcase their artwork and discuss achievements in their research.

Art programs and opportunities offered at NIU will also be represented through the duration of the exhibit.

The School of Art and Design Faculty Biennial Exhibition opened for viewing 10 a.m. Tuesday in the gallery of the NIU Art Museum.

This exhibit only makes an appearance every two years.

Public reception

The first event, a public reception, will be hosted from 5 to 7 p.m. Jan. 23 in the Art Museum.

Film Screening and Discussion

The first faculty presentation will be given by Nina Rizzo, associate professor of studio art in painting. A film screening and discussion will begin 5 p.m. Jan. 28 in Jack Arends Hall, Room 110, according to the NIU Events Calendar.

The Weight of Stone: Context and Narrative

Taking attendees out of the screen and around the world, printmaking media professor Michael Barnes will present The Weight of Stone: Context and Narratives, a discussion on his artwork and the activities he’s participated in around the world. It will take place from 5 to 6 p.m. Feb. 6 in Altgeld Hall, Room 125.

Besides teaching at NIU for 22 years, Barnes’ career as an artist expands beyond the classroom.

Working in studios in France, Germany, Serbia and many other places around the world have allowed Barnes’ artistic visions and practices to develop, he said.

Lucca: A New Materialisms Exploration of Space and Time

A week later from 5 to 6 p.m. Feb. 13 in Altgeld Hall, Room 125, Richard Siegesmund, professor of art and design education, will give his presentation Lucca: A New Materialisms Exploration of Space and Time.

Siegesmund will show a series of prints inspired by inscriptions, wirtten on paving stones in Lucca, Italy. The inscriptions display the American philosopher John Dewey’s theory of aesthetics.

The theory states for one to understand an aesthetic or the beauty of art they must experience the events and scenes of daily life.

Siegesmund will reveal how something “mundane — like paving stones — can be re-imagined,” he said.

As an art teacher, Siegesmund said he’s often asked what students learn by studying art. The answer, he said, is learning to pay close attention to the details in the world around us.

“What we see of the world depends on the tools we use to try to make sense of the world,” Siegesmund said in a written statement.

His work featured in the exhibit will focus on the process of learning to pay attention, he said.

This is part one of a three part series.