Dustin Springer Artwork
Painting by Dustin Springer '13 from his Celestial Bodies exhibit.

BLOOMINGTON, Ill. — Artwork featuring astronomical human figures from a local painter and decades of printmaking from a Chicago workshop is on display in Illinois Wesleyan University’s Merwin and Wakeley Galleries in the Joyce Eichhorn Ames School of Art and Design through March 5.

Director of Merwin and Wakeley Galleries Carmen Lozar said each exhibit is selected for display by faculty from the School of Art and Design. She said faculty generally choose artists who work within the same mediums that are taught in classes at IWU, allowing the galleries to become a teaching tool.

“Our exhibits are often ceramic, glass, painting, design or print oriented. This semester we have both a painting class that will benefit from Dustin Springer's exhibit and a printmaking class that will be inspired by the Chicago Printmakers Collaborative's work,” said Lozar.

Michelle McCoy artwork
Artwork by Michelle McCoy from the Chicago Printmakers Collaborative.

Deborah Maris Lader, director of the Chicago Printmakers Collaborative (CPC), is the curator of an exhibit in Merwin Gallery titled “Power of Place: 35 Years of Chicago Printmakers Collaborative.”  Lader has been director of the workshop since its founding in 1989, where it serves as Chicago’s longest running independent printmaking workshop. Lader plans to step back from her role as director at the workshop later this year. 

“She essentially created a place for printmakers to come together and form a community,” said Lozar. “Studios and classes at CPC welcomed the public and enriched lives. Although Lader is stepping down, I have no doubt the Collaborative will continue because of the created community ‘power’ of her vision.”  

The printmaking work on display at the Merwin exhibit highlights the range of art designed in the shop’s 35 year history, and its service as a space for education, creation and collaboration. Lazer said several large-scale prints created outdoors with the use of an industrial steamroller are an especially eye-catching piece of the exhibit.

In Wakeley Gallery, artist Dustin Springer ‘13 will display his paintings of the male form against a bold, art deco backdrop. The monochromatic paintings include pops of gold and silver leaf, with themes that connect the human experience to astronomy.

“Springer is working, in my opinion, in an art deco style that boldly and elegantly elevates the beauty of the human body while telling the viewer how infinite and microscopic the human experience is all at once,” said Lozar.

Springer earned a degree in studio art from IWU in 2013 and has since remained in the Bloomington-Normal area where he continues to paint and explore the art of glassblowing.  

A reception and artist talk will take place at 11 a.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 24, at Merwin and Wakeley Galleries. Springer will speak about his new paintings in the Celestial Bodies exhibit and Jack Spector-Bishop, gallery and studio manager of Chicago Printmakers Collaborative, will speak about CPC and the work included in the show.