NEIU Faculty Art Display

Nell Greaney


If the word Art brings to mind traditional mediums such as paint, black and white photography, or sculpture, get reacquainted with the masters of modern art, your faculty. The fine arts building art gallery is hosting the biennial faculty art show now through Feb 1. This gallery displays the faculty at their most creative and crafty, if you have been curious as to what kind of art technique your teachers possess, or you’re curious to see whether they practice what they preach.

Some of the art in this faculty show is really far out there in comparison to the classic image of art normally invoked. Deanna Krueger’s “Ghyll” is stapled together pieces of medical diagnostic film, the staples don’t even seem rustic or detractive, they flow with the overall image of the piece. Other faculty artists, such as Jaime Mendoza, mixed something in with their medium. Mendoza’s “Hay- SOOS” is acrylic paint with clipped-out text on the canvas, and little plastic men sitting on the tops of the canvas. There’s more to see in the gallery than what is mentioned here, the gallery show features 17 faculty members.

Words From Faculty Artists

Photos by Nell Greaney

“Beginning on Memorial Day and ending on Labor Day of 2010, a time period chosen because of the increased number of killings as the temperature rises, I tracked the homicides within the city limits of Chicago, visiting and photographing each site. 172 people were killed between those dates. It took well into the fall to photograph each location. The images here represent one week (June 16-22) of the resulting piece, a 65-foot long installation of the photographs placed in a chronological graph that mimics a city skyline. The form draws attention to the homicides and their frequency in a schematic way. Moving left to right in the piece, there is one column for each day. Stacked photographs in each column reflect the number of homicides that day as well as document each crime scene.”
Krista Wortendyke, NEIU Art Instructor, creator of Killing Season Chicago.

“Animals and theatrical motifs allow me to explore different aspects of human relationships in my work with both gravity and levity. Many of my current paintings address the difficulties of loss, and the resulting tension, conflict and reinvention that our relationships must weather. Using a theatrical setting, my cast of animals experience moments of absurdity and awkwardness, as well as tenderness and consolation. My current work draws upon imagery I have accumulated through my love of animals and my relationship with the theatre.”
Pamela Bagdzinski, NEIU Instructor of Art, creator of Midsummer and Precarious.

“In my work, I often rely on the letterpress as a tool for designing. This pair of letterpress prints was entirely composed on the press and their form took shape in relationship to the process of letterpress printing. Each color was printed one at a time and after printing each layer the composition was evaluated for the next color and form addition. The decisions regarding mixing color, setting the pressure and controlling the impression became directly related to the development of the form. The process of creation became a dance using the letterpress as a tool to slow down the designing, allowing for the form to develop organically and with ease. The results are these two untitled letterpress prints.”
Vida Sacic, Assistant Professor of Art, creator of Untitled 1 and Untitled  2

“Repetition, patterns and colour have always been important in my work. I work with a collection of materials accumulated over an extended period that at first glance may seem to be unrelated but is repetitive.
The work currently on display in the gallery is a graphic representation of the number of emails that I delete roughly every fifteen days. I have been recording deletions since July 2011. The size and colour of each circle in the two pieces corresponds to the number of emails deleted as indicated by the legend along the bottom of the work. Each piece represents a six-month period.”
Mark McKernin, Art Department Chairman, creator of Deletions Feb.19 through Nov. 27 and Deletions Jan. 13 through Sept. 14

“My creative work revolves around examining how society experiences architecture, how we respond to built environments, and how people alter those spaces to make them more inviting. My photographic images examine institutional environments of anonymous universities that are built out of concrete and other utilitarian materials. I highlight the artificial features that have been created within these environments in an attempt to mitigate the effect of the structures that, while functional, are essentially cold flat featureless boxes, drawing attention to these elements as inadequate substitutes for real places or things.”
Nathan Mathews, Assistant Professor of Art, creator of Three Flower Pots

“My work focuses on storytelling.   I create small sculptures dealing with what I call ‘ambiguous narratives.’  The current pieces on display at the University Gallery are part of a ‘Memory Landscape’ series – these pieces use the landscape as a repository for personal recollections.  The landscapes in these four works move from macro to micro: the beach is the largest landscape while the grill in the last piece is the smallest.  Each of these locations directs me to think about past experiences and events.”
Jane Weintraub, Professor of Art, creator of Memory Landscapes.

“The piece I am exhibiting in the Faculty exhibition is partly about reusing materials to create a new piece of work. For this work I used images from store catalogues sent to my daughter, newspaper images, used paper bags and manila envelopes. I used a hole puncher to create textures, break down the image and to create a sense of fragility on the piece. Through this work I wanted to explore the theme of renewal, recreation or reinvention.”
Santiago Vaca, Assistant Professor of Art, creator of Resettling