Art and Design presents Fall BFA Show, Nov. 30 – Dec. 3

Art and Design presents Fall BFA Show, Nov. 30 – Dec. 3

The NIU School of Art and Design presents the Fall 2021 Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) Show, an undergraduate exhibition, Tuesday, November 30 through Friday, December 3 in the Annette and Jerry Johns Gallery (Room 214) in Jack Arends Hall, the Visual Arts Building on the main campus.

There will be a reception, Thursday, December 3 from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. in the Johns Gallery where the students will present their portfolios.

The students featured in the exhibition, titled “Bright Young Things” are:

  • Mallory Albright
  • Heather Arndt
  • Lilia Casillas
  • Angella Kilabo
  • Ashley Martinez
  • Amanda Thompson
  • Michael Vitha-Nolan
Art and Design’s Kelly Gross to present on artistic process and scientific principles at STEM Cafe

Art and Design’s Kelly Gross to present on artistic process and scientific principles at STEM Cafe

We often think of art and science as very different processes. But for Kelly Gross and Jolien Genus, art and science share the same processes of investigation, research and relationship building. At the next STEM Café, hear from these two artists and educators about how they engage in hypothesizing, documentation and interpreting scientific principles in the art-making process.

“Artistic Process and Scientific Principles: Art as a Process of Investigation” is an online lecture held, Wednesday, November 17 at 6 p.m. online. You can register at

Learn about Gross’s artist residency at the DuPage Children’s Museum, where she investigated projects with children exploring light, shadow and storytelling. Hear about Genus’s artistic evolution from graduate school to the Peace Corps and Hawaii. His artworks investigate the relationship between painting and STEM and the relationship between art and the social work theory of Person in Environment.

Kelly Gross, Ph.D. is an Assistant Professor in Art and Design Education at NIU. Joelouie (Jolien Genus), MFA, MSW is an artist and STEAM teacher based in Oahu, Hawaii.

Registration is required for this free online event. Register and learn more at

2021 NIU Holiday Card Design Contest

2021 NIU Holiday Card Design Contest

NIU President Lisa C. Freeman invites all students to participate in the 2021 holiday card contest.

Take advantage of the opportunity to be one of three artists who have their work featured on the official NIU president’s electronic holiday card. President Freeman will select artwork to showcase the incredible talent that NIU students possess. Submit your original artwork for a chance to be chosen for this honor. View previous year winners.


This year’s holiday card competition theme is “Celebrating a Community of Belonging”. NIU and the City of DeKalb have partnered to create a community of belonging. This is a community where everyone is valued, recognized, and empowered. The NIU holiday card should make us feel welcome, connected, and embraced – regardless of our differences. We look forward to seeing your creativity!

In past years the competition has been impressive. A few things to keep in mind when creating your design:

  • Card submissions will be judged based on the theme of “celebrating a community of belonging”.
  • This is a holiday card. It should be joyful, seasonal and resemble cards you would find at your local retail establishment.
  • This is from NIU. Recipients should be able to make a connection with the university immediately upon viewing the card.
  • To support our mission to foster an inclusive community we encourage entries that reflect the diverse holiday traditions celebrated by our students, faculty and staff.
  • Manipulation of the university logo is discouraged.

All 2D media is accepted (digital, photography, illustration, print, painting, drawing).


  • First Place – $500
  • Second Place – $300
  • Third Place – $100

Submission Specifications

  • All art must be submitted as a pdf or jpeg file and include a .25” bleed.
  • Art must fit with a ratio that works with a 5″ x 7″ format.
  • When scanning art, keep in mind that you can send a low-resolution file. However, if your design is chosen, you will need to have a scanned file at 300dpi.
  • Required: Submissions must be accompanied by a signed license agreement (PDF).

A tip for your design—remember to consider the print process and print size…close tones and thin lines do not always reproduce well for the final product.


The entry deadline is Dec. 5, 2021, and winners will be notified mid December.


  • First Place – $500
  • Second Place – $300
  • Third Place – $100

Entry Submission Form

Art and Design presents visiting artist/scholar presentation on Learning in the Making

Art and Design presents visiting artist/scholar presentation on Learning in the Making

The NIU School of Art and Design presents “Learning in the Making” a visiting artist/scholar presentation by Dr. Kimberly Sheridan, co-director of the Mason Arts Research Center at George Mason University. The presentation will be held Monday, Oct. 18 in Room 110 of Jack Arends Hall at 5 p.m. You can also join via Zoom.

In the ARC, Sheridan studies how studio art classes support learners’ agency. She focuses on creative production with technology and how technology can create innovative contexts of possibility for youth from traditionally underserved groups. Her research takes a sociocultural perspective on learning, with a particular focus on how this learning is situated in diverse and changing contexts with the advent of new digital technologies.

The presentation is supported by the NIU Arts and Culture fee.

Science photographer Michael Peres to speak at School of Art and Design

Science photographer Michael Peres to speak at School of Art and Design

Michael Peres lectureMichael Peres, an award-winning photo educator, author and science photographer in the School of Photographic Art and Sciences at Rochester Institute of Technology will be presenting at the NIU School of Art and Design, Thursday, October 7 on “Images Within Images.”

The presentation is in conjunction with the exhibition, “IMAGES from SCIENCE 3” open now through November 17 in the Jack Olson Gallery in NIU’s Jack Arends Hall, the Visual Arts Building on the main campus.

Peres has dedicated himself to exploring the field of biomedical photography and imaging and inspiring generations of curious students, many of who have become scientists, teachers, physicians and leaders in their chosen fields.

Science images are created to display verisimilitude and reveal empirical information from often not visible subjects. when science images are viewed outside the discipline from which they were created, they often take another dimension and can be fascinating for different reasons. This talk will explore the duality of images that feature science and how these images can become beautiful or even inspiring images when looking at unseen and invisible worlds using a different point of view.

The lecture will be held at 5 p.m. in room AB 102 of Jack Arends Hall. It will also be live streamed on Zoom. Meeting ID: 842 7745 9237, passcode: 88000,

Follow Michael Peres on Instagram.


Art and Design returns to face-to-face exhibitions with “re-Emerge”

Art and Design returns to face-to-face exhibitions with “re-Emerge”

Re-emergeAfter nearly a year and a half without face to face exhibits the School of Art and Design is excited to host re-Emerge, an exhibition of work by recent alumni in the School of Art and Design at the historic Egyptian Theatre in downtown DeKalb, during Corn Fest, August 27 – 29.

“This exhibit features selected works from our 2020 and 2021 BA and BS in Art alumni,” said John Siblik, associate professor and coordinator of the bachelor’s degree programs in art. “While we had an outstanding experience working remotely, building a virtual exhibit together, and preparing for careers in the arts, it is wonderful to host these alumni and celebrate their accomplishments. I look forward to witnessing the continued impact our recent alumni make on our communities.

“Corn Fest serves as a homecoming of sorts for the DeKalb and NIU community,” he said. “We look forward to catching up with everyone during this exhibit and at the same time celebrate the renovations just completed at the historic Egyptian Theater in downtown DeKalb during.”

Re-Emerge: the exhibit featuring recent gradates from the Bachelor of Art and Bachelor of Science programs in Art coincides with Corn Fest in DeKalb, August 27-29.

Exhibition dates:
Friday, August 27, 5 p.m. – 11 p.m.
*Saturday, August 28, 11 a.m. – 11 p.m.
Sunday, August 29, 11 a.m. – 6 p.m.
* – A reception will held Saturday from 1 p.m. – 3 p.m. drinks will be available for purchase



Poster design by 2021 BS in Art alumni Christopher Broek