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‘Exploring Aspects of War In and Through the Visual Arts’ opens at NIU Art Museum

August 26, 2019

‘Exploring Aspects of War In and Through the Visual Arts’ opens August 27 at NIU Art Museum

The Northern Illinois University Art Museum’s exhibition Exploring Aspects of War In and Through the Visual Arts tackles the complex relationship of art in the depiction of war. The exhibition opens today, Aug. 27 and continues on view through Oct. 18, 2019. Visitors are invited to a public reception on Thursday, September 12 from 5-8 p.m. with Informal Artists’ Gallery Talks beginning at 6:30 p.m. launching a programming series expanding on the exhibition’s themes. Please check the NIU Art Museum’s website for the latest calendar of events at

The visual arts have served in all cultures and periods to document, motivate, memorialize, facilitate healing, critique and protest military action. Exploring Aspects of War in and Through the Visual Artsconsiders views on war and military conflict from the perspective of the homefront, the battlefield and back home again. Works on view in the exhibition range from contemporary installation sculptures, documentary photographs, to historic seventeenth century prints and cover a wide scope of perspectives including veteran self-expression, art therapy, patriotism, protest, and shifting social and political views.

Exploring Aspects of War

Exploring Aspects of War In and Through the Visual Arts

Guided by input from the Exhibition Advisory Committee, Art Museum staff curated this exhibition from artwork entered in a public call for entry, invited artists, works borrowed from other institutions and private collections, as well as the NIU Art Museum collection. The exhibition represents artists: Kamal A. M. Al Mansour, Hannah Smith Allen, Michael Amato, Jerry Bleem, Zachary Burgart, Jose deVera, Sally Edelstein, Eric J. Garcia, Nathan Heilman, Lynn Johnson, George Klauba, Steve Kost, Darryl Lauster, Jacob Lee, John S. Lindquist, Robert Patrick, C. Harold Perkins, Dennis Santella, Lalage Snow and David Joel Thomas. It includes loaned work by artists Pehr Anderson, George Bellows, Iggy Bennett, Jacques Callot, Warrington Colescott, Otto Dix, Winslow Homer, and Käthe Kollwitz, and selected posters from the War is Trauma portfolio, as well as artists Edwin Brewer, John Doyle, David Driesbach, Sandro Miller, Georges Rouault, and various prints documenting the Sino and Russo Japanese Wars from the NIU Art Museum Collection.

Exhibition Support

Artwork and objects for the Aspects of War exhibition are on loan from the exhibiting artists; the DeKalb County History Center, Sycamore; Elgin Historical Society; Rockford Art Museum; St. Charles History Museum; Midway Village Museum, Rockford; the National Veterans Art Museum, Chicago; Northwestern University’s Mary and Leigh Block Museum of Art, Evanston; private collectors and the NIU Art Museum Collection.

Calendar of Events

Exploring Aspects of War In and Through the Visual Arts, Aug. 27, 2019 – Oct. 18, 2019

Thursday, Sept. 12, Public Reception, 5-8 p.m., Art Museum

Thursday, Sept. 12, Informal Artists’ Gallery Talks, 6:30 p.m., Art Museum

Please check the NIU Art Museum’s website for the latest calendar of events at

Top photo: Installation view of Eric J. Garcia’s War Nest in Operation Mom’s Couch at the National Veterans Art Museum, 2016. Acrylic murals, wooden sculpture, and audio recording by Mike Garcia, (20 x 24 x 20 ft.). Courtesy of the artist.

About the NIU Art Museum

Serving Campus and Community by Balancing Traditional and Contemporary Art to Explore the Connections Made through Visual Culture.

Part of the College of Visual and Performing Arts‘ vibrant and active arts community on campus, the Northern Illinois University Art Museum is a resource for the NIU campus, local community and beyond. The NIU Art Museum is located on the first floor, west end of Altgeld Hall, at the corner of College Avenue and Castle Drives on the main campus of Northern Illinois University in DeKalb, IL.

Parking is available in the Visitor Pay Lot located at 200 Carroll Ave. Limited metered and accessible parking spaces are available in front of Lowden Hall with accessible aisles and route to Altgeld. Campus parking is free on weekends and after 5 p.m. weeknights.

To request disability-related accommodations for museum programs, please contact the museum at least one week in advance. Northern Illinois University is an equal opportunity/affirmative action institution.

The exhibitions and programs of the NIU Art Museum are sponsored in part by the Illinois Arts Council Agency through federal funds provided by the National Endowment for the Arts; the Friends of the NIU Art Museum; and the College of Visual and Performing Arts’ Season Presenting Sponsor Shaw Media.

Altgeld Hall 116, First Floor, West End
1425 W. Lincoln Hwy., Northern Illinois University
DeKalb, IL 60115

Gallery Hours

10 a.m. – 5 p.m. Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday
Noon – 7 p.m. Thursday
Noon – 4 p.m. Sunday
By appointment for group tours.
Exhibitions are free and open to the public.