NIU Art Museum to host trips to Chicago

By David Rauch

Chicago has been voted the second-best city for art enthusiasts by and American Style Magazine.

The NIU Art Museum will host “Get on the Bus” in order to take advantage of the proximity to the big city.

“This is a terrific way to bridge the gap between Chicago and DeKalb,” DeKalb resident Gretchen Moore said.

There are no parking fees, no stressful driving and no directions to be lost on the part of the participant.

Since June, NIU has taken six groups of participants to Chicago or its surrounding towns for cultural events – be it art, architecture, studio or archeological.

Saturday, a bus will depart for an Asian-inspired gallery tour, traveling to the West Loop’s Walsh Gallery followed by lunch at a noodle shop, then to River North’s Andrew Bae Gallery and to the NIU Art Museum in Chicago for a curator’s talk of the “Art of Burma” exhibit.

The head of the program, Josephine Burke, assistant director of the NIU Art Museum, began “Get on the Bus” nearly a decade ago and has steadily increased the amount of trips per year.

“Our closeness to Chicago is something to be taken advantage of, but traveling to the city can be hard for anyone, especially students,” Burke said. “We want people to want to go to Chicago. That’s why members have a lot of say as to where we go.”

On Sept. 24, NIU took a small group to the Chicago Art Museum to see the world-renowned Toulouse Lautrec exhibit. During the trip, the group was able to eat at an authentic French restaurant and benefit from the

education of the faculty members.

“It’s always good to go with someone familiar with the art [because] there are some insights you can’t get alone,” said Kim Strom, a graduate photography student.

The trips have a deadline of four days before the trip to sign up. Students can sign up at the NIU Art Museum located in Altgeld Hall or at

“Get on the Bus” is not isolated to trips in the Chicago area. Gradually, the range has expanded to encompass Iowa, Wisconsin and Indiana. The next public trip, Nov. 11, is to a gallery opening at NIU’s Art Museum in Chicago called “Ground Up” and to the monthly “2nd Friday” Artist Studio Openings in Chicago’s artistic Pilsen neighborhood.

Tickets for the “Get on the Bus” are $15 for students, $18 for community members and $12 for Art Museum members.