The Merwin & Wakeley Galleries
Illinois Wesleyan University

September Exhibitions
Aug. 31-Oct. 1

Merwin Gallery: Zachary Cahill
USSA: State Farm

Wakeley Gallery: Emily Stokes
Orange Playground

Thursday, Sept. 3

Zachary Cahill Artist Talk, 4-5 p.m.
Reception, 5-6 p.m.



Zachary Cahill
USSA: State Farm

Painting for Life, Zachary Cahill


Zachary Cahill is an interdisciplinary artist whose art work and performances have been exhibited at the Center for Art and Media Technology in Karlsruhe, Germany; Aarhus Kunstbygning in Aarhus, Denmark; TONYS, New York; MCA Chicago, the Smart Museum of Art, and Threewalls, Chicago, among others. His work has been included in the 8th Berlin Biennale for Contemporary Art. In 2012 he was a participant in The Retreat- A Position of dOCUMENTA at the Banff Centre in Canada. His writings have appeared in many exhibition catalogs and Artforum, Afterall, Mousse Magazine, Frieze Magazine, the Journal of Visual Culture, the journal RETHINKING MARXISM, and Shifter Magazine. Cahill is a regular contributor to and a co-editor of Afterall. Zachary lives and works in Chicago and teaches at the University of Chicago's Department of Visual Arts. 


USSA: State Farm brings together for the first time a selection of works from Zachary Cahill's USSA project. Works from The Orphanage Project at threewalls, Chicago (2011); The People Palace's Gift Shop at the Chicago Cultural Center (2012); and the Wellness Center at the MCA Chicago and the 8th Berlin Biennale (2014). Conceived as an ongoing narrative of nation building, the USSA draws on various media and forms to create meta-infrastructures that do not mimic past or present ideological systems, but sets forth to propose something else; with all the hopeful and problematic resonances that implies. 



Emily Stokes
Orange Playground 


Box Agoraphobia, Emily Stokes

Emily Stokes’ recent visual work concerns her acclimation process to life in rural North West Iowa, where she has lived since 2011. Her suburban understanding of “rural” involved a Queen Anne house, rolling countryside framed by trees, and a good helping of Charlotteʼs Web -style humanity regarding all things food chain.

Romanticized. Quaint. But limited and inaccurate. Northwest Iowa, with the nationʼs most moneyed soil and a strong Dutch Calvinist work ethic, offers a definition of rural that is far more nuanced; “flyover country” this is not.

She has become interested in the capacity of wide expanses of land to trigger anxiety, the militant preservation of cultural heritage, the sense of resourcefulness that comes when “normal” amenities – shopping malls, cultural sites – are 60+ ice-packed miles away. The ubiquity of churches and Buicks. The mega farms that stretch tree-less for what seems like miles. Everything seems amplified, almost amusingly cinematic, in a sparsely populated place – especially as seen through the lens of an artist for whom hay and straw remain confusing and interchangeable terms.

She uses printmaking, drawing, painting, and digital imaging, to investigate this region through related bodies of work. Her Boxes series uses prefabricated wooden boxes to unveil stories of northwest Iowa. Tangent to the Boxes series is an ongoing collection of organically shaped blurbs of visual dialogue, some of which are physically linked in an accordion-style narrative.




Monday-Friday: 12-4 p.m. 
Tuesday evening: 7-9 p.m. 
Saturday & Sunday: 1-4 p.m.


Merwin & Wakeley Galleries

Ames School of Art
Illinois Wesleyan University
6 Ames Plaza West
Bloomington, Illinois 61701
Gallery Information: 309.556.3822