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University Galleries

Interdisciplinary artist and poet Jen Bervin performing Silk Line, a durational drawing that mimics the filament pattern of a silkworm creating its cocoon. This work was one of 23 included in Shift Rotate Reflect, Bervin's 2020 solo exhibition at University Galleries. Charlotte Lagarde, Bervin's wife and collaborator, is pictured recording the performance.

Founded in 1973, University Galleries of Illinois State University is one of the premier exhibition spaces for contemporary art in the Midwest. In October 2014, University Galleries moved to its current location at Uptown Station at the corner of Beaufort and Broadway streets in Normal. All exhibitions and events are free and open to the public.

The University Galleries Fund supports student scholarships and awards given at the Illinois State University Student Annual exhibition, workshop supplies, and transportation stipends for K-12 student field trips, artists' honoraria, and exhibition catalogues.


During the 2020-2021 academic year and summer 2021, University Galleries is presenting eight exhibitions.


Highlights include: Shift Rotate Reflect, the first survey of poet and interdisciplinary artist Jen Bervin's work; the MFA Biennial, featuring new works by 15 MFA students, as well as student-created online performances, workshops, and artist lectures; and the Student Annual, which recognizes the creative achievements of dozens of students each year. Supplementary materials are created for each exhibition, including artist talks, lesson plans, artmaking videos, and guided tours.

To Hypnotize Them with Forgetfulness, a 96-page catalogue addressing films and photographs by Egyptian artist Basim Magdy was recently published. Exhibition catalogues are forthcoming for artists Aram Han Sifuentes, Bethany Collins, Jen Bervin, Alice Hargrave, and for the group exhibition An Infinite and Omnivorous Sky.


Students gain hands-on experience with art handling, installation, and creating educational materials for each of these exhibitions—including complex coding for Jen Bervin's 5-channel video installation—and contributed to research for the publications.


In addition to being open to the public, University Galleries offers free virtual exhibition tours, which has expanded outreach with staff now regularly meeting with classes and individuals both nationwide and internationally.


University Galleries' Teen Art Group has continued thanks to a grant from the Illinois Prairie Community Foundation. Students from Bloomington High School meet monthly with University Galleries' staff to learn about academic and professional development opportunities in the visual arts. This year, students have already met with Erin Hayden, a Chicago-based artist and alum; Sercan Sengun, a game designer and faculty member in Creative Technologies; Kantara Souffrant, a writer, performer, educator, and faculty member in Art History and Visual Culture; Aram Han Sifuentes, a Chicago-based artist and educator; and Roy Magnuson, a composer and faculty member in the School of Music. 


Gifts received on Birds Give Back will support University Galleries' commitment to providing rich opportunities for engagement with contemporary art that has grown to include: stroller tours, family art-making workshops, artist-led workshops, scavenger hunts, panel discussions, extended performances, reading areas, and collaborative programming with the Children's Discovery Museum, in addition to curator-led tours, workshops, and artist lectures. 


A full look at University Galleries programming, including upcoming events, can be found by visiting the website

A young visitor examines her reflection in Jen Bervin's River, a 233-curvilinear-ft scale model of the Mississippi River. Comprised of mirrored panels and hand-stitched silver sequins, the work took the artist twelve years to complete. Installation view at University Galleries.

Record-Breaker Challenge
This just in, Craig Reeser '75 wants to issue one final challenge. We will unlock a $250,000 planned commitment when we surpass 2,500 gifts before midnight tonight! Let’s do this 'Birds!
479 / 479 Gifts
Launch Challenge
Thank you to the first 500 donors who unlocked $25,000 to kick off Birds Give Back! Don’t forget to check with your employer to see if they match your gift!
500 / 500 Gifts
Wonsook Kim College of Fine Arts Challenge
200 gifts unlocked an additional $25,000 for the Wonsook Kim College of Fine Arts from Professor Russell and Dr. Janet ’85 Bedford!
200 / 200 Gifts
Redbird Romance Challenge
Rod Sargeant '65, '67 wants to celebrate his Redbird romance and challenge us to reach our goal of 2,021 gifts to show Redbirds we’ve got their backs in 2021. He will unlock $25,000 to establish a scholarship in memory of his wife, Darlene Ann Sargeant '66 when we reach our goal today. Rod encourages you to make your gift in honor of, or in memory of, a Redbird you love.
521 / 521 Gifts
Participation by area
Which participating group will receive the most gifts during Birds Give Back? Support your passion and help your area climb the leaderboard!
Rank Area of Support Gifts
1 Multicultural Center 390
2 Athletics 355
3 LGBTQ+ Student Support 284
4 Communication 215
5 Redbird Esports 117
6 Accounting 79
7 Student Engagement 77
8 WGLT 73
9 Student Affairs Scholarships 72
10 Center for Civic Engagement 66
11 Support MCN priorities 60
12 Family and Consumer Sciences 59
13 Illinois Shakespeare Festival 59
14 School of Teaching and Learning 59
15 U-High 52
16 Student Scholarships 51
17 Alumni Association Scholarship 50
18 ISUPD Community Engagement Unit 50
19 College of Business Excellence Fund 47
20 Special Education 47
21 Ewing Cultural Center 44
22 School of Music 42
23 Black Colleagues Association Scholarship 39
24 Gamma Phi Circus 38
25 School of Theatre and Dance 38
26 Kinesiology and Recreation 35
27 CAST Student Persistence Fund 34
28 Vidette Digitization Project 34
29 Chemistry 32
30 Criminal Justice Sciences 30
31 Politics and Government 28
32 Finance, Insurance, and Law 28
33 Horticulture Center 27
34 Agriculture 25
35 Wonsook Kim CFA General Fund 25
36 Metcalf 24
37 Friends of the Arts 24
38 Educational Administration & Foundations 23
39 Technology 22
40 Information Technology 22
41 Marketing 21
42 Health Sciences 21
43 College of Arts and Sciences Funds 20
44 Biological Sciences 19
45 Wonsook Kim School of Art 18
46 Military Science - ROTC 18
47 International House 18
48 Pay it Forward Business Scholarship 17
49 History 17
50 More ways to support Milner Library 17
51 College of Education Persistence Awards 16
52 Creative Technologies Program 16
53 Mathematics 14
54 Sociology and Anthropology 13
55 CAST additional priorities 12
56 Communication Sciences and Disorders 12
57 Geography, Geology and the Environment 11
58 Latinx Alumni Network Scholarship 11
59 Physics 9
60 Social Work 9
61 Psychology 9
62 Management and Quantitative Methods 9
63 Languages, Literatures, and Cultures 8
64 English 8
65 The Graduate School 8
66 University Galleries 6
67 Economics 4
68 International Business 3
69 Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies 2
70 Latin American and Latino/a Studies 1
71 Marian H. Dean Legacy Scholarship 0
72 Philosophy 0
Campus Community Challenge
Thanks to 250 faculty, staff, retiree donors for unlocking $10,000 during Birds Give Back!
250 / 250 Donors
Momentum Challenge
Thank you to the 1000 donors who unlocked $25,000 to keep momentum strong during Birds Give Back!
1,000 / 1,000 Gifts
Football Alumni Challenge
Redbird football alumni Hank (’70, ’71) and Joan Guenther '69 will add $5,000 to support our strength and conditioning project when 5 other football alumni give $1,000 each to the effort today during Birds Give Back.
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