Publish Date

Welcome to the latest edition of the UIS Visual Arts Gallery newsletter. We are excited to present this comprehensive update on our upcoming exhibitions, events, and programs alongside noteworthy gallery news, recent awards, and community support. 

Exhibitions & Events

The UIS Visual Arts Gallery is pleased to announce exhibitions and events for the winter and spring seasons. The UIS Visual Arts Gallery is an inclusive space for everyone to explore and enjoy. All events are free and open to the public.

Heather Brammeier: Turn on Every Light

Tuesday, January 16 - Thursday, February 8

Reception: Thursday, January 25, 5:30-8:00 p.m.

Heather Brammeier's Tree of Light with Umbrella artwork
'Tree of Light with Umbrella,'
photo composite by Heather Brammeier

Heather Brammeier is a sculptor, painter, and installation artist who creates visual puzzles that invite movement in and around the artwork. The artwork tests physical and perceptual boundaries, mirroring emotional and psychological limits. Vertiginous stacking, attention to surfaces, and the use of light and shadow elicit contemplation of safety and threat, love and loss, and the complexity of emotional experience.

Brammeier has exhibited internationally, at the Museo Alejando Berro in Uruguay, the Swansea College of Art in Wales, UK, and CICA Museum in Gimpo, Korea. Her most recent exhibition, Maybe Never, was at the Hyde Park Art Center in Chicago.

Ruby Que: Consider a Disappearance

Monday, February 12 - Thursday, March 7

Reception: Thursday, February 15, 5:30 - 8:00 p.m. 

Ruby Que's artwork 'A Movie is a Thing Alive'
'A Movie Is A Thing Alive,' movie still by Ruby Que.

Ruby Que is a Chicago-based installation artist. In their work, they open portals and create hauntings. Many of their projects grapple with absences: the missing person, the deserted homeland, the obsolete medium, the traumatic memory. They try, and often fail, to fill, embrace, or expand these gaps with videos, projections, stories, and sculptures. Human connection lies at the center of their practice, and they enjoy engaging the audience as co-authors and documentarians.

Consider a Disappearance is presented in partnership with ACRE, an artist-run non-profit based in Chicago devoted to providing resources for emerging artists and nurturing a diverse community of cultural producers. ACRE’s programs support this generative community with materials, equipment, expertise, and opportunities to exhibit and share work.

This project is partially supported by a grant from the Illinois Arts Council Agency with funding from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Springfield Area Arts Council.

Guen MontgomeryJunk Drawer

Monday, March 18 - Thursday, April 11

ECCE Lecture & Reception: Wednesday, March 27, 6:00 - 7:00 p.m. with a reception to immediately follow until 8:30 p.m.

Guen Montgomery's 'Late Bloomer' artwork
'Late Bloomer,' installation by Guen Montgomery.

Guen Montgomery is an artist and performer whose work investigates identity through studies of gender, regional narrative, and family mythology. Her recent work looks at the queer life of things, the longing to acquire, and how objects perform identity. Materially, Montgomery’s work is located in the intersections between printmaking, performance, and sculpture. Montgomery has exhibited nationally and internationally and has work in multiple public collections including the Centre for Art and Design in Churchill, Australia, and Mushashino Art University in Tokyo, Japan, with recent exhibitions in Nashville and St. Louis. Guen is an Assistant Professor of Studio Arts program at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

UIS Visual Arts Senior Student Exhibition

Monday, April 22 - Thursday, May 2

Reception: Thursday, April 25, 5:30 - 8:00 p.m.

The UIS Visual Arts Gallery is pleased to present the annual Student Exhibition that will feature graduating seniors from the Visual Arts Department. Exhibiting artists include Sophia Britt, Cicely Flynn, Ashley Martinez, Savanah Saltsgaver, and Maxine Touchette

Gallery Updates

Illinois Arts Council AgencyGeneral Operating Support Grant

The UIS Visual Arts Gallery has been awarded a General Operating Support Grant from the Illinois Arts Council in the amount of $3,900. This award supports general operating costs for the current academic year, artist honoraria, exhibition costs, receptions, and events. 

University of Illinois Springfield Green Fee CommitteeGreen Project

The UIS Visual Arts Gallery has been awarded internal Green Project funding for up to $5,692. This funding will support renovations for an upgraded and expanded track lighting system in the gallery. The Green Project supports initiatives that help UIS become more sustainable, and this project demonstrates the tangible benefits of implementing eco-conscious technologies on campus.

Springfield Area Arts Council: Community Arts Access Grant

The UIS Visual Arts Gallery has been awarded a Community Arts Access Grant from The Springfield Area Arts Council in the amount of $500 to support Consider a Disappearance, a solo exhibition by Chicago-based artist Ruby Que. The UIS Visual Arts Gallery's project was among 18 funded projects, totaling $16,875, that were selected during this round of funding.

Community Foundation for the Land of Lincoln: Community Grants Program

The UIS Visual Arts Gallery has been awarded Community Grants Program funding in the amount of $1,000 from the Community Foundation for the Land of Lincoln to invest in a professional photography light kit to use for photographing exhibitions, artworks, and events.

UIS Visual Arts Gallery Fundraiser: 2023 Annual Silent Auction and Benefit

The 2023 Annual Silent Auction & Benefit raised nearly $4,555, reaching 91% of our $5,000 goal! This essential fundraiser supports our gallery program throughout the year. Thank you to our continuous supporters who donate and participate in our auction! Any additional donations to help us reach our final goal would be deeply appreciated. 

NPR Illinois: Media Sponsorship

Special thanks to NPR Illinois for serving as a media sponsor to promote our annual Silent Auction & Benefit fundraising event.


The UIS Visual Arts Gallery is supported through grants from Illinois Arts Council Agency, Springfield Area Arts Council, and Community Foundation for the Land of Lincoln. Additional support comes from individual donors, UIS Green Fee Committee, and gift-in-kind support through NPR Illinois.

Donors directly impact all aspects of the gallery and our program– funding artist honorariums, gallery purchases for hardware and tools, and even facility improvements. Additional funding through these donations will give us the opportunity to undergo new and innovative renovations to our gallery space which we hope to pursue with your support!

Art Focus
Art & Artifact Collection

In addition to overseeing the critical day-to-day operations at the UIS Visual Arts Gallery, Gallery Manager Isabella Szabo serves on the UIS Art and Artifacts Committee and helps manage the permanent collection at UIS. To share the breadth and scope of what our collection entails, Bella has selected a piece to feature:

Stanley Bly's artwork 'With a Half Turned Thumb'
Stanley Bly, “With a Half Turned Thumb,”
UIS Art & Artifacts Collection, accessed December 14, 2023

Stanley Bly is an American, Midwestern artist work generally depicts subjects who reference mythology, art history, and blue-collared sweat. He tends to place them in a surreal limbo, next to flat spaces, and chalkboard images or paintings of the work he's referencing in a print like or drawn fashion. The chaotic nature of the "chalkboard," or "drawing" next to the traditionally painted imagery, creates a scene that is both academic, and asymmetrically destructive. The romantic compositions present the work as a theatrical narrative and challenge the viewer to find more than what is immediate.

Stanley has shown his work in various galleries in Chicago and the University of Illinois Springfield Visual Arts Gallery. His work is in permanent collections including the Illinois State Museum's Legacy Collection. He is an alumni of UIS and is a continuous supporter of Springfield's art community.

See displays of art like this throughout the UIS campus! The Art & Artifacts Collections boasts permanent displays of artwork including outdoor sculpture, indoor sculpture, paintings, drawings, photographs, and so much more.Artworks in the Art & Artifacts Collection at UIS are also offered to UIS faculty and staff through an intra-campus loan program for display in your office! Learn more about how the loan program works. To see what artworks and decorative objects are available for loan, visit the Art & Artifacts Collection's website.

With a Half Turned Thumb by Stanley Bly is available for loan.