Past Exhibitions

Presence-Absence Installation Shot


Named for its generous donors, Bob and Marty Christopher. The Christopher Art Gallery is located on the main campus of Prairie State College. The gallery hosts six to eight shows per year, featuring local, regional and national artists, as well as student works.  Gallery Director, Beth Shadur, recommends programming and often acts as curator for shows.

Beth Shadur
Christopher Art Gallery Director
Prairie State College

Academic Year 2013-14


Photographer of the Year
Alice Jacobs and Annual Student Exhibition

Photographer of the Year 2013 Postcard

This is our annual Photographer of the Year and Student Exhibition, featuring Alice Jacobs, whose black and white photographs transform her mundane subjects into images that are at once, surreal, beautiful and evocative.

Lion Photograph by Alice Jacobs
Photograph by Alice jacobs


Phantasmagoria Postcard

The title of the fall 2013 exhibition, Phantasmagoria, featuring artists John A. Kurtz, Sharon Bladholm, and Kathy Weaver is defined as “a bizarre or fantastic combination, collection, or assemblage”. The works presented here fascinated and delighted the viewers with their imaginative images based on the fantastic and bizarre, and use a sense of assemblage in their combinations of image. All three artists’ images are rooted in real "things" but each take their images to extremes, moving beyond the parameters of normal reality to create works that astonish us in their detail, their bizarre use of shape and form, and their wildly imaginative character. While each artist’s work deals with different subject matters and concerns, the work shares the qualities of attention to craftsmanship, humor and distortion to create the artists’ creative expressions.

Phantasmagoria Exhibition
Ceramic by Sharon Bladholm

Phantasmagoria Exhibition
Paintings by John A. Kurtz

Abstract Impact

Abstract Impact Postcard

The word ‘abstract’ in the visual arts connotes two meanings. The first is art work that is non-objective; that is, work that makes no reference to recognizable objects from reality, but instead uses only color, shapes, line and form to create its meaning. The second use of abstract really defines “abstracted,” that is, art work that takes its reference from a subject, but depicts it in such a way that it is removed from the real look of the object.

The purpose of Abstract Impact is to show the wide range of meaningful work that can be characterized as abstraction. Here, eight Midwestern artists (Steve Leavitt, Zach Mory, Shelley Gilchrist, Barbara Cooper, Crystal Tucker, Mary Burke, Sharon Swidler, Michael Hopkins) work in a wide variety of media as well as styles ranging from the more esoteric and minimal, to the obsessive, to the joyful and exuberant. Their impact derives from the wonderful invention in their use of the formal elements of art (line, shape, space, form, color, and pattern) and in the ideas used for their suggested content.

Abstract Impact Exhibition
Sculpture by Barbara Cooper

Grid of drawings by Zach Mory
Grid of Drawings by Zach Mory

Convergence: Faculty Show

Convergence Postcard

Convergence is an exhibition of works by faculty at Prairie State College drawn together to highlight the diversity of expressions by our faculty in drawing, painting, photography and art appreciation. All of our teaching faculty members are professional artists who exhibit their work in the Chicago area and beyond. This exhibition particularly featured, in the center gallery, the works of PSC’s Fine Arts Coordinator Professor Paul Rinaldi, whose sumptuous encaustic works were generated during a sabbatical in 2012.. Also shown were narrative paintings by Prof. Lou Shields, colorful abstractions by Adjunct Faculty member Tim Viatek, vibrant sky paintings by Adjunct Faculty member Vicky Taglieri, powerful symbolic paintings by Adjunct Faculty member Jeff Stevenson, mysterious photographs by Prof. Rebecca Slagle, and photographs of colorful light by Adjunct Faculty member George Kassal.

2nd Street Stomp
2nd Street Stomp by Lou Shield

16 pages
16 Pages by Jeff Stevenson

Commanding by Rebecca Slagle


Metaphorical Postcard

Metaphorical. Featuring artists Joanna Pinsky, Robert Magrisso, Renee McGinnis, Sophia Nahli Allison, and Ana Fernandez: The word “metaphorical” refers to something that is used to imply something else. The creative act often suggests the use of metaphor, as artists frequently make use of symbols to create meaning and impart ideas. In contemporary art, many artists are interested in conveying ideas beyond the actual representation of what they see; instead, they address themes that move well beyond the mere visual replication of their subjects. The artists who are exhibiting here use metaphor in their works to convey emotions, meaning and idea. While their subject matter is recognizable in terms of representing something “realistic,” these artists move beyond the obvious into the realm of the symbolic.

Princess by McGinnis
Princess by McGinnis

Hand by Fernandez
Hand by Fernandez

I'll be Free by Allison
I'll be Free by Allison

High School Art Show

High School Artshow Postcard

High school Art exhibition: our annual high school art exhibition, curated by Professor Rebecca Slagle and juried by our art faculty, features chosen works from area high schools. Awards are given and winners receive a free class at PSC.

High School Art Show

Graduate Student Exhibition

Graduate Student Exhibition

This is our annual exhibition put together by Professor Paul Rinaldi from his majors class. Students are asked to create a body of work in preparation for their graduation, as well as design the postcard and catalogue for the exhibition.

Graduate Student Exhibition

Material Associations

Material Associations Postcard

Creativity can be spurred by an idea, an impression, a word, vision, or sound. Artists often speak of the “aha!” moment, in which an idea for a work crystallizes from an initial spark. Beyond that, visual artists pursue their creative practice with many varied processes. Some artists create works by first responding to an idea or theme, and then begin works to address their own reflection and research on that theme. Some artists set up a disciplined structure within which to explore variations on an initial idea that intrigues them. Yet, other artists are most interested in process, and make works that mostly closely respond to the process of painting, sculpting, printmaking or any other media. This exhibition of five artists falls in with the last group; these artists are interested in the process suggested to them by the particular materials they use in the creative act.


Donna Hapac
Yellow Orange Pod 99 by Donna Hapac

Iris Golden
"Iris'Flight-2" by Iris Goldstein

Gina Lee Robbins
Sculpture by Gina Lee Robbins

Academic Year 2012-13


Photographer of the Year
Beth Schimanski and Annual Student Exhibition

POY Postcard

This exhibition features Beth Schimanski's series, "at the essence" works that explored the visual nature of an intimate concert venue. Her works emphasized the luminosity of light against soft dark grounds.


Narrative Postcard

This exhibition features works by renowned Chicago artists Eleanor Speiss-Ferris, Gladys Nilsson, and John Pitman Weber. These three painters use oblique narrative in their work to engage our exploration of their visual images, using humor, fantasy, wonder, toughness, and tenderness. They each use shifting meanings, metaphor and time compression to present their covert narratives.

Shallow Waters by Speiss-Ferris



Daniel by Weber

Bye Blue Trees by Nilsson

Natural Connections


Artists Donna June Katz, Connie Wolfe, Vivian Visser, and Jane Fulton Alt create works responding to nature with its qualities of beauty, the sublime, its destructiveness and its fragility. Nature is their muse, whether in the loving details of natural forms, (Katz) abstract patterns found (Wolfe), mystery of nature's destruction (Alt), or the beauty of natural materials (Visser) to make forms based on nature.


Natural Connection
Installation by Connie Wolfe

Natural Connection
Burn by Alt

Natural Connection
End Moraines by Katz

Natural Connection
Fiber Installation by Vivian Visser


Evocative Postcard

A juried show of works that evoke memory, emotions or is expressive or suggestive. Juried by Paul Klein of Paul Klein Artist Works. The show consisted of 21 works by 15 artists, including works in photography, painting, ceramic sculpture, and mixed media.

Works by Gina Lee Robbins, (ceramic);
Jordan Scott (mixed media Flag work)
and Elizabeth Gadelha (photograph)

Sculpture by Roberta Malkin

Collaborative Vision

CollaborativeVision Postcard

The Poetic Dialogue Project, works created collaboratively by teams of contemporary visual artists and poets from throughout the United States. Curated by Beth Shadur.

Installation by LaShawnda Crowe Storm
and Maria Eliza Hamilton Abegunde;
Painting by Mirjana Ugrinov

Hands by Lynn Takata and LR. Berger

Graduate Exhibition

Graduate Exhibition Postcard

A graduate student exhibition featuring student artists Kara Adair, Taylor Augustson, Reginald Gale, Alice Jacobs, Dylan Moulesong, Amber Peoples, Natalie Pesick, Lindsay Walker, and Drew Young.

Sapphire and Crystals

Sapphire and Crystals Postcard

This exhibition featured works by a collective of African American women artists from Chicago. Curated by Joyce Owens. Works ranged from photographs, paintings and drawings to prints and mixed media.

Sapphire and Crystals
Felicia Preston's paintings on rear wall

Sapphire and Crystals
Perceptuary by Juarez Hawkins