Michael Barnes, NIU Presidential Professor, Head of Printmaking and Coordinator of Graduate Programs in the NIU School of Art and Design has eight of his works featured in a new, major exhibition at the St. Louis Art Museum.

“Catching the Moment: Contemporary Art from Ted L. and Maryanne Ellison Simmons Collection” opens Thursday, June 23 and runs through September 11.


Ted Simmons played 21 seasons in Major League Baseball for the Milwaukee Brewers, St. Louis Cardinals and Atlanta Braves and was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 2020. His wife, Maryanne Ellison Simmons is a fine art printer and publisher. Their collection, which in total includes more than 70 pieces by Michael Barnes, draws on Maryanne’s professional expertise.

Catching the Moment celebrates the acquisition in 2020 of 833 works of contemporary art assembled by Ted L. and Maryanne Ellison Simmons. Comprised primarily of prints—and including a painting, drawings, collages, photographs, and editioned sculptures—the collection features a diverse group of more than 40 artists predominately active in the United States. It represents a transformative addition to the Museum’s holdings, particularly in works on paper and American art of the last 60 years. The exhibition features more than 200 works selected from this collection.


Focusing on art and artists of their own time, the Simmonses formed a collection that provides a critique of broad social, political, and art historical issues. These include H.C. Westermann’s nightmarish evocations of the Pacific chapter of World War II, Enrique Chagoya’s wide-ranging postcolonial critique, Kiki Smith’s explorations of the body and self as well as environmental concerns, and Jaune Quick-to-See Smith’s forceful foregrounding of Native American history.


Catching the Moment: Contemporary Art from the Ted L. and Maryanne Ellison Simmons Collection, June 26-September 11.