Art Exhibits Feature Works by Higgins, Conger

Print by Manneken Press of artwork by artist Mary Judge. 

Feb. 8, 2017 

BLOOMINGTON, Ill.— Illinois Wesleyan University’s Merwin and Wakeley Galleries will feature the work of artists Jonathan Higgins and Bill Conger in March.  

On March 2, master printer Jonathan Higgins will present a gallery walk on the most recent prints and projects from Manneken Press, an independent fine arts press in Bloomington. Manneken Press publishes and exhibits original limited edition prints and books from select artists around the world. Higgins invites well-respected artists to partake in a residency program at Manneken Press, where he assists them in creating a series of prints. The prints created at Manneken Press have been exhibited in fine arts fairs across major cities and in many galleries and museums.

A California native, Higgins received a bachelor of arts degree from Humboldt State University and earned a master of arts in art from New York University. He taught printmaking at the College of New Rochelle and West Virginia University, and has worked at printmaking studios throughout the U.S. and Europe. He is co-owner of Manneken Press. His gallery walk begins at 5 p.m. March 2 in the Wakeley Gallery.

Bill artwork
Work by Bill Conger

Peoria-based artist Bill Conger constructs relationships between the nature of certain found materials and the sensate corners of the mind. A contemporary painter, sculptor, and poet, Conger explores mania, self-grandiosity, paranoia and other desperate mental states, which record and resist the act of slipping away. His most recent focus has been on memories and moments. By using physical objects that represent elements of his past, Conger reveals a desire to preserver subconscious memories in his works.

Conger received both bachelor’s and master of fine arts degrees from Illinois State University. In 2012, he served as panelist in the first Jackelope Art Conference at Northern Illinois University and published, Your Mine, his second artist book focusing on text sculptures.His work has been exhibited in the U.S. as well as Austria, Germany, Poland, Ireland and New Zealand. Conger will present a lecture of his exhibit, “to open windows,” at 4 p.m. on March 2 in room 218 of the Ames School of Art Building.

Both exhibits will be on display from Feb. 27-March 30 in the Joyce G. Eichhorn Ames School of Art  Building (6 Ames Plaza West, Bloomington). Gallery hours are Monday through Friday 12 to 4 p.m., Tuesday evenings 7 to 9 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday 1 to 4 p.m.

By Vi Kakares ’20