Blake Wood
Publish Date

The University of Illinois Springfield Visual Arts Gallery is pleased to present “Gemstones,” a group exhibition that features an accomplished roster of local, regional and national artists that have also served as donors to the gallery. The exhibition will open with a free public reception from 5:30-8 p.m. on Thursday, June 29, and will run through Thursday, July 27.

“Gemstones” will feature 40 visual artists. This premiere exhibition recognizes the scope of their artistic abilities alongside their giving spirit. Like gemstones themselves, this exhibit highlights artist donors, their artwork and their generosity as distinct, beautiful and bright.

“So many of the donors that support our gallery program are themselves accomplished artists. They see the value of our program and the ways that contemporary art connects us to a range of social issues, experiences and perspectives,” said Allison Lacher, director of the UIS Visual Arts Gallery. “Their philanthropy plays a crucial role in ensuring that our gallery program remains a creative space for expression and vibrant community resource.”

Springfield artist Barbie LaFrance, who is also an alumna of the Visual Arts Program at UIS, is looking forward to the exhibit.

“This is a wonderful opportunity for the artists that donate to the gallery, to exhibit our work and gather together in the space we want to support,” LaFrance said. “So much of our work is about community and supporting one another, and I love the ways that this exhibition is a reflection of this.”  

Exhibiting artists come from the UIS campus community, Springfield, central Illinois, St. Louis, Chicago and beyond. For a full list of exhibiting artists, please visit the gallery website.

“The UIS Visual Arts Gallery is honored to recognize and feature these artists, both for their talents in the studio as well as for being champions of our gallery program,” Lacher said. “Contemporary art is a transformational catalyst for our students, Springfield and beyond.”

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

The UIS Visual Arts Gallery is centrally located on the UIS campus in the Health and Sciences Building, room 201. Limited summer gallery hours are from July 10-July 27, 2023, Monday-Thursday, 11:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Exceptionally, the gallery will be open Thursday, June 29 from 5:30-8 p.m. for the exhibition’s opening reception. Please note that the gallery will be closed during the week of July 4.

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