Three exhibitions featuring food-related artwork are set to open Tuesday, Nov. 14, with a public opening reception from 5 to 7 p.m. Friday, Nov. 17 at the NIU Art Museum.

Barbara Ciurej and Lindsay Lochman, “Fruit Loops Landscape,” archival pigment print, 2022

“What is for Supper? What is a Meal?” explores aspects of nurturing, socialization, health and sustainability. Geographic, cultural and economic differences may determine what is available to eat and what would be satisfying as a meal. The importance of food shared is a linchpin of hospitality and is an integral component for social dialogue to take place. Issues that threaten our food intake also threaten our greater well-being. This exhibition is curated by the NIU Art Museum Exhibition Advisory Committee.

The artists participating in this exhibition were selected from private and public collections, a national call for entry and by invitation and include: Rein Brooks, Barbara Ciurej and Lindsay Lochman, Sue Coe, Honoré Daumier, Evelyn Davis-Walker, Andrew DeCaen, J. J. Grandville, Daniel Grych, Henry Hargreaves, Tom Huck, Andrew Ellis Johnson, Christina Kang, Marina Kuchinski, Caitlyn Lawler, Laura Letinsky, Maureen O’Leary, Janelle O’Malley, JWP, Lisa Riedl, Dana Sherwood, Susanne Slavick, Neal Slavin, So Young Song, Sophia Varcados and Andy Warhol. “Food for the Soul: Belief and Healing in Burma” is curated by Catherine Raymond from the Burma Art Collection at NIU. This exhibition features five sections that include explorations of food for well-being, merit-making, healing, spirituality and taboos. “Unsurpassed in Quality: Vintage Food Labels from the Collection of Peter B. Olson” was curated by the NIU Art Museum’s assistant director. This exhibit is in our hall case gallery and features a variety of lithographic food labels.

This exhibition suite runs Nov. 14 to Dec. 16, 2023 and Jan. 16 to Feb. 17, 2024.

NIU’s Pick Museum of Anthropology is currently exhibiting “Good Food” which explores food issues in northern Illinois, and highlights the organizations and individuals making food accessible, sustainable, equitable and nourishing for everyone in the community. This exhibition is open now through May 11, 2024.

The DeKalb County History Center in collaboration with the Smithsonian Institution is opening an exhibit about food in late spring 2024.

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

Calendar of Events

Friday, Nov. 17, 2023
Public Opening Reception, 5 to 7 p.m.
Refreshments provided.
NIU Art Museum Galleries

Sunday, Nov. 19
Get-on-the-Bus Trip: Illinois Holocaust Museum and Education Center, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
In conjunction with our food exhibits, we will visit the exhibit, “I’ll Have What She’s Having: The Jewish Deli.” Lunch will be at Kaufman’s Deli in Skokie and then a trip to Mitsuwa Marketplace in Arlington Heights. More info here. Cost: $50 members/seniors, $60 nonmembers, $45 students under 22
Trip registration and payment deadline is Friday, Nov. 3. Call the museum at 815-753-1936 to reserve your seat on the bus.

Thursday, Nov. 30
“Enough on My Plate” Poetry/Short Story Night, 7 to 8:30 p.m.
Participatory reading and recital on food memories, customs, issues or concerns.
Registration required. Call the museum at 815-753-1936 or email
Altgeld Hall 125

Saturday, Jan. 27, 2024
“Unsurpassed in Quality: Vintage Food Labels – Rich in Flavor,” 1 to 2 p.m.
Collector’s talk with Peter B. Olson
NIU Art Museum Hallway

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 image: Colonist Litho of Victoria, BC, JH Todd & Sons, Ltd., “Todd’s Horse Shoe Brand, Fancy Sockeye Salmon,” offset lithograph, 1937