Illinois Association of Museums recognizes strength of NIU Museum Studies with awards

Jo Burke, director of the NIU Art Museum, accepts an award from David Becker, president of the board of directors of the Illinois Association of Museums.

Jo Burke, director of the NIU Art Museum, accepts an award from David Becker, president of the board of directors of the Illinois Association of Museums.

NIU’s Interdisciplinary Certificate of Graduate Study in Museum Studies continues to receive critical acclaim from the Illinois Association of Museums (IAM).

The NIU Art Museum is the recipient of an IAM Award of Excellence for “Music to My Eyes: Musical Instruments as Visual Art.”

It is the fourth consecutive year that the Museum Studies/NIU Art Museum exhibition earned IAM awards.

The exhibition was the fifth in an ongoing annual collaborative effort between the NIU Art Museum, the NIU Museum Studies Program and Peter Van Ael’s ART 656 Museum Exhibitions and Interpretation class.

Truly a collaborative, inter-college effort with community outreach, lenders to the exhibition included the NIU Anthropology Museum, the School of Music’s world music instrument collection, School of Music faculty and members from the broader DeKalb community.

Meanwhile, the Jack Olson Gallery earned an IAM Award of Excellence for “Tattoo: An American Evolution.”

Peter Van Ael, coordinator or the Jack Olson Gallery and the Interdisciplinary Graduate Certificate Program in Museum Studies at NIU, accepts an award from Becker.

Peter Van Ael, coordinator or the Jack Olson Gallery and the Interdisciplinary Graduate Certificate Program in Museum Studies at NIU, accepts an award from Becker.

Van Ael’s ART 655 Curatorial Practice class curated the exhibition. The exhibition was accompanied by a symposium that explored tattoo’s history, current practice, and assimilation into contemporary art. “Tattoo: An American Evolution” is now available as a traveling exhibition.

More information on the traveling exhibition is available online.

Winners of the IAM Award of Excellence present work of excellent quality that uses available resources well, is creative and meets professional standards.

Members of the awards committee indicated that they were duly impressed with the design of both exhibitions.

Committee members also were pleased with the attention given to exhibition evaluation in both instances. The exhibition design and installation afforded museum studies students valuable hands-on experience.

IAM is the independent, non-profit, statewide organization of museums and historical societies. Through its awards, the association celebrates and draws attention to the highest accomplishments within the museum profession in the state of Illinois.

The awards were announced Friday, Oct. 21, at the IAM Annual Meeting held in Bloomington.

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