The University of Illinois Springfield is pleased to announce Making Our History: Artists Render Lincoln’s Legacies, an innovative physical and digital art exhibition funded by the University of Illinois Presidential Initiative: Expanding the Impact of the Arts and Humanities. Presented in collaboration with the UIS Center for Lincoln Studies, UIS Visual Arts Gallery, Springfield Art Association and the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library, Making Our History is the culmination of a year-long virtual residency project.
Over the past year, twenty Illinois artists were in a virtual residency with the UIS Center for Lincoln Studies to create twenty original works of art related to Lincoln’s legacy, under the direction of Professors Graham A. Peck and Brytton Bjorngaard. The art will be on display Thursday, August 11 through Sunday, September 18, 2022 at the UIS Visual Arts Gallery, the Springfield Art Association and the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library. Accompanying the art, twenty professionally produced short videos will document the artistic process and artistic interpretations of Lincoln’s legacies.
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Opening receptions will be held at all three locations on Thursday, August 11th. A reception will be held at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library from 4:30 p.m. to 7 p.m., at the Springfield Art Association from 5 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. and at the UIS Visual Arts Gallery from 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m
The artists have been selected from across the country and their work varies in form, method, concept and perspective. The exhibition features original paintings, sculptures, prints, photography, virtual reality, conceptual and video art. The artists will address the many Lincolns that inhabit our culture and still speak to us: the frontier Lincoln, the family man, the politician, the military chief, the emancipator, the icon, the saint, the pop culture figure, and the cultural artifact of the country of Lincoln and Lincoln’s still resounding political legacy. Visitors to the exhibition will leave Lincoln with a new appreciation and a newfound visual and conceptual vocabulary with which to reflect on his legacy.
Artists participating in the exhibition are William Blake, Julie Cowan, Keenan Dailey, David Hinds, Danny Houk, Larsen Husby, Jordan Fein, Lori Fuller, Industry of the Ordinary (Adam Brooks & Mathew Wilson), Lindsay Johnson, Kelly Kristin Jones, Judith Joseph, Judith Mayer, Alexander Martin, Mark Nelson, Nathan Peck, Don Pollack, Krista Shelton, Corey Smith, and Billie Theide.
Closing the exhibition, Adam IP Smith, Edward Orsborn Professor of US Politics and Political History at the University of Oxford, will address Lincoln’s legacy in a free public lecture on September 13 at UIS.
The three venues particularly welcome visits from K-12 teachers and their students. Upon completion of the physical exhibit, age-appropriate curriculum projects addressing state standards will be incorporated into a digital Making Our History exhibit to provide teachers across the state with an engaging and accessible curriculum about Lincoln’s legacy.
The UIS Visual Arts Gallery is centrally located on the UIS campus in the Health and Science Building, Room 201 (HSB 201). The opening hours of the gallery are Monday to Thursday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
The Springfield Art Association’s MG Nelson Family Gallery is located at 700 North 4th Street in Springfield. The opening hours of the gallery are Monday to Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library is located at 112 N. Sixth St. in Springfield. It is open Monday to Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
For more information, see the UIS Center for Lincoln Studies website at uis.edu/cfls/our-projects or the Visual Arts Gallery website at uis.edu/visual-arts/visual-arts-galleries. Questions can be directed to Graham A. Peck at 217-206-8683 or firstname.lastname@example.org or to the UIS Visual Arts Gallery at 217-206-6506 or email@example.com.
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