Two new exhibitions will open soon at the NIU Art Museum.

Having emerged from a global pandemic and re-exploring race and social issues, the NIU Art Museum felt the need for exhibitions that ground these topics visually. Two exhibitions featuring themes of what seems needed are set to open on Tuesday, Aug. 29, with a public opening reception from 5 to 7 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 7. Informal gallery talks with curators of “The Remaining, Mourn…” Michael Chambers and Millicent Kennedy, along with artists featured in the exhibition to begin at 5:45 p.m.

“Dialogue” allows for issue awareness and resolution through listening. Its goal is understanding. The artists whose work is displayed in this exhibition have worked on lens-based projects that have grown and developed organically over the years.

This exhibition will feature selections from “Lines of Authority” by Alan Cohen, “Black Box” by Michael Coppage and “The Folded Map Project” by Tonika Lewis Johnson.

These artists have taken on big, complex tasks and concepts and attempted to deal with them simply. It is the hope that their art projects can reach beyond a single look or conversation into an ongoing dialogue from which empathy, understanding and enlightenment can grow. The concerns of these artists are the concerns of a people, a city, a nation, the world.

“The Remaining, Mourn…” is a group exhibition addressing the experience of grieving as seen through the lens of nine artists’ practices. Through tactile artworks, they address both individual and collective loss. Holding materials as one would onto someone lost, these artists use various techniques to freeze a moment, allowing themselves time to process what remains as well as what is gone. Their materials, and the memories and emotions they evoke, become the “language” the artists use to create their own rituals to navigate grief/mourning and work toward healing.

The artists featured in this exhibition include Selva Aparicio, Michael Chambers, April Dauscha, Salvador Jiménez-Flores, Millicent Kennedy, Allen Moore, Monika Plioplyte, Nirmal Raja and Anne Wilson.

Cumulatively, their works and the stories they tell remind us that we – from family to community to civilization – are united by our vulnerability.

This exhibition suite runs Aug. 29 to Oct. 14, 2023.

Please check for hours, program schedule and instructions on how to join virtual talks. Have event announcements and program information delivered directly to your inbox. Sign up at

Calendar of Events

Thursday, Sept. 7
Public Opening Reception, 5 to 7 p.m.
Informal gallery talks with the curators and artists of “The Remaining, Mourn…” at 5:45 p.m.
NIU Art Museum Galleries

Sunday, Sept. 10
SoulCollage® Workshop for Survivors and Mourners
SoulCollage® is an expressive arts practice where participants will create collaged cards for their personal use by gluing together found images.
Limited to 16 participants, ages 17 and up.
Free, but registration is required; call 815-753-1936.
1 to 4 p.m., Altgeld Hall 125

Thursday, Sept. 28
The Landscape of Loss – Navigating Gently and with Resilience
Program with Jen Conley, Bereavement Coordinator with Northern Illinois Hospice with time for Q&A at the end.
6 to 7 p.m., Altgeld Hall, 125

Sunday, Oct. 15
Closing Reception, 1 to 2:30 p.m.
Join us for the closing reception of “Dialogue” and “The Remaining, Mourn…” in the NIU Art Museum Galleries. Refreshments provided.
“Dialogue” Artists Presentation Program to follow in Altgeld Hall, 125

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 Drive on the main campus of Northern Illinois University in DeKalb, Illinois.

Parking on campus is now administered through AIMS Mobile Pay or Parking Pay Stations available in the Visitor Pay Lot located at 200 Carroll Ave and at accessible parking spaces in front of Lowden Hall with accessible aisles and route to Altgeld Hall. Campus parking is free on weekends and after 5 p.m. weeknights in nearby Lots 3 and 14.

The exhibitions and programs of the NIU Art Museum are sponsored in part by the Illinois Arts Council Agency, the Friends of the NIU Art Museum, the NIU Arts and Culture Fee, and the College of Visual and Performing Art’s Season Presenting Sponsors Shaw Media and WNIU/WNIJ.

Gallery Hours

10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Tuesday
10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Wednesday
Noon to 6 p.m. Thursday
Noon to 6 p.m. Friday
Noon to 3 p.m. Saturday; and by appointment for group tours. Exhibitions are free and open to the public.

Banner photo: Alan Cohen, “Montana/Wyoming State Line at the 4th Parallel, One-Half Distance Exactly Between Equator and the North Pole at the Continental Divide,” silver gelatin photograph, 2005