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The Merwin and Wakeley Galleries

Spring Semester 2024: 

January 22 - March 5, 2024


Merwin Gallery

Power of Place: 35 years of Chicago Printmakers Collaborative 
Curated by Deborah Maris Lader, Director of CPC
Celestial Bodies
Dustin Springer

Reception and artist talk: Wednesday, January 24th @ 11AM 
Painter Dustin Springer will speak about his new paintings in the exhibit Celestial Bodies and Jack Spector-Bishop, Gallery and Studio Manager of CPC, will give a gallery walk about the Chicago Printmakers Collaborative and the work included in the show. 

Power of Place: 35 years of Chicago Printmakers Collaborative 
Curated by Deborah Lader, Director of CPC

Illinois Wesleyan is pleased to welcome Deborah Lader as a guest curator for the exhibition, "Power of Place: 35 Years of the Chicago Printmakers Collaborative". 
Founded in 1989, Chicago Printmakers Collaborative (CPC) is the city's longest running independent printmaking workshop. Currently in its 3rd and final location, CPC’s fully customized workspace features natural light pouring through its skylight, ample space around the presses, artist studios, equipment upgrades and a rooftop deck.

Deborah Lader's curation of the exhibit focuses on the Chicago Printmakers Collaborative as a meeting, making, and educational space which ties into Illinois Wesleyan's 2023/2024 theme of "Power of Place". The CPC promotes the art of handmade printing through affordable shop access, classes, workshops, lectures and exhibitions. CPC provides facilities for traditional print media, including etching, stone lithography, relief, book arts and screen printing. The CPC gallery features fine art prints from around the world. 
A variety of work will be on display in the Merwin gallery from The CPC's 30 Year Portfolio box set, as well as a range of portfolios from past CPC suites. Also to be included are a series of large scale "Steam Roller Prints". This method of printing is a community based event where artists ink up ginormous woodblocks that are then printed onto fabric by a 10-ton paving truck in the back driveway at CPC. 

In 2024, Deborah Maris Lader (Artist, Musician, Performer, Administrator), the founder of the collaborative will step back from her 34-year directorship. Lader's love of print, education and community was a driving force in the success of the collaborative. Lader is also a member of the touring Altfolk band, Sons of the Never Wrong.

Deborah exhibits her prints, drawings, photography, and mixed media artwork internationally, and her work appears in manyDeborah Maris Lader permanent collections, including the Chicago History Museum, the New York Public Library, and the City of Palo Alto. Deborah was awarded Outstanding Printmaker 2016 by the Mid America Print Council for her work and her contribution to the printmaking community. Other awards include “The 2007 Arts Advocate Award” (ArtWalk Ravenswood), “The 1999 Paul Berger Arts Entrepreneurship Award” (Columbia College, Chicago), and “Cultural Contributor of the Year” (Lincoln Square Chamber of Commerce, 2003). She is a former Board member of the Mid America Print Council, the Chicago Artists Coalition and the American Print Alliance. Her artwork has been featured in numerous books and publications.  Recent solo exhibitions include Addington Gallery (Chicago), Bert Green Fine Art (Chicago), Galerie La Hune-Brenner (Paris, France), Firecat Projects (Chicago), Anderson Arts Center (Kenosha, WI), Jennifer Norback Gallery (Chicago), Barr Gallery @ Indiana U SE (IN), and others. She's a regular guest on art podcasts and radio features, and a frequent contributor at conferences, panel presentations, and visiting artist residencies. Deborah also plays guitar, mandolin, piano and banjo and writes songs and sings with her band, which recently released their 10th studio album.


Michelle McCoy

Michelle McCoy

Liz Born

Liz Born

Deborah Maris Lader

Deborah Maris Lader

Sarah Smelser

Sarah Smelser


Matt Bodett

Matt Bodett

Wakeley Gallery

Celestial Bodies
Dustin Springer

Dustin Springer

Dustin Springer

Ut enim ad minim veniam...

Springer's body of work typically centers the human figure in its transformational capacity, often employing the fusion of disparate organic structures in order to highlight commonly overlooked similarities. Most recently, however, the introduction of metal leaf and a shift towards monochromatic palettes has allowed the artist's painting to deviate towards a more stark and sterilized representation of the figure through its relationship to formalist expressions of astronomical phenomena. This admittedly hubristic attempt to constrain cosmic forces onto the canvas ultimately represents an effort to bridge the gulf that exists between humanity and our infinitely expanding cradle of space, while also reconciling the idea that our own familiar forms are an equal expression and product of such a force. It has been said that to be human is to be a part of the universe experiencing itself, and it is through this lens that Springer invites viewers to consider the works on display in Celestial Bodies. 

Dustin Springer is a visual artist who received his BFA in studio art from Illinois Wesleyan University in 2013. Since graduating, he has remained in the Bloomington-Normal area where he continues to narrow the focus of his figurative painting, as well as pursues an anomalous interest in glassblowing at Furnace Urbini Glassworks. In addition to being shown publicly and collected privately, one of his pieces was included in director D.J. Caruso's 2016 horror film The Disappointments Room.


2024 Visiting Artist Lecture Series

Jenny Kendler

Jenny Kendler art

Jenny Kendler & Andrew Bearnot

Whale Bells, 2023

Hand-blown ombré glass, Miocene-era fossilized whale ear bones, acoustically-tuned cast rubber ear bones, hand-dyed organic cotton rope, patinated brass. Photo credit: Jenny Kendler


Jenny Kendler is an interdisciplinary artist, wild forager and environmental activist based in Chicago and various forests. Over the last two decades, her her multi-faceted projects centered on climate change and biodiversity loss, has been shown at London’s Hayward Gallery, Storm King Art Center, the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, the MSU Broad Museum, the Pulitzer Arts Foundation, the AKG Museum, the Eden Project, and the MCA Chicago. Her work is collections including the Dom Museum Vienna, Yale University and the The Nevada Museum of Art’s Center for Art + Environment. She is a founding member of Artists Commit, an artist-led effort to raise climate-consciousness in the art world, and sits on the Board Fundraising Committee for international climate movement organization Since 2014, she has been the first Artist-in-Residence with environmental non-profit NRDC. Upcoming projects in 2024 include a large-scale public exhibition for Governors Island, NYC, work for PST Los Angeles and a collaborative project on the threatened Bell Bowl Prairie at the Chicago Botanic Gardens.

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Gallery Hours 

Monday - Friday 12-4PM
Tuesday Evening 7-9PM
Saturday & Sunday 1-4PM


Ames School of Art and Design
Illinois Wesleyan University
6 Ames Plaza West
Bloomington, Illinois 61701-2900

Artists interested in showing at our galleries click the link below for more information

All events are free and open to the public


About the Galleries

The Merwin and Wakeley Galleries provide exhibition schedules that support our curriculum, the University community and the general public. These exhibitions mostly consist of contemporary artworks in all media. Each exhibition is meant to suggest the variety of visual approaches one may choose to present an idea. Student exhibitions include the Annual Juried School of Art Student Exhibition, the B.F.A. Candidate Exhibition and the B.F.A. and B.A. Degree Exhibition.

About the Galleries / Artist Submissions

This program is partially supported by a grant from the Illinois Arts Council Agency.

Carmen Lozar - Instructional Professor and Gallery Director

Department - School Of Art