Wednesday, February 24, 2021

UIS Visual Arts Gallery to present group exhibition featuring faculty works of art

The University of Illinois Springfield Visual Arts Gallery is pleased to present a “Visual Arts Faculty Exhibition” in conjunction with programs that celebrate UIS’ 50th anniversary. The exhibition will open on Monday, March 8, and will run through Thursday, April 15. There will be no public reception for this exhibition.

The exhibition of works by distinguished UIS Visual Arts faculty will feature Brytton Bjorngaard, associate professor of digital media; Shane Harris, associate professor of ceramics and sculpture; Mike Miller, associate professor of painting and drawing and his collaborator, Brian Gillis; and Jeff Robinson, instructor and gallery director.

The Visual Arts Gallery will host a series of remote events that feature each faculty member as programming for this exhibition. These remote events will take at 6 p.m. on the following dates via Zoom at

March 11: Brytton Bjorngaard will present an overview her sabbatical research which includes the restoration of a letterpress, the development of a new body of work and future plans for Prairie Star Press at UIS.

March 18: Mike Miller and his collaborator, Brian Gillis, will discuss “Limen: A Border Project,” a recent collaboration spanning print media and public art that explores the perception of personal, societal and community boundaries already present in a given site.

April 1: Jeff Robinson will be in conversation with Larry Shiner, associate professor emeritus of visual art, to discuss Robinson’s work in the exhibition as well as what it means to be an artist-curator.

April 8: Shane Harris will present an overview of his sabbatical research which includes an artist residency at the renowned Archie Bray Foundation for the Ceramic Arts, the development of a new body of work and solo exhibition at UIS.  

Brytton Bjorngaard is an associate professor of digital media at the University of Illinois Springfield and has previously held positions at Whitworth University and Iowa State University. She received her master’s degree in fine art in graphic design from Iowa State University and her bachelor’s degree in graphic design from Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota. In addition to teaching, she is a freelance graphic designer and photographer. Her work explores the ways in which we communicate in our increasingly digital age. Her exhibition practice is centered on the intersection of commercial and fine art practices, as well as the contrast of traditional historical production and current digital trends.

Shane Harris was born in DeKalb, Illinois. He received a bachelor’s degree in fine arts from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) in ceramics in 2003 and sculpture in 2004. He earned his master’s degree in fine arts from Indiana University in 2007. His work has been displayed in national exhibitions that include the Tampa Contemporary Museum of Art, Manifest Gallery, Kolva-Sullivan Gallery and the Archie Bray Gallery. He has work in private collections, such as the Kinsey Institute. His work has been published in “The Best of 500 Ceramics: Celebrating a Decade in Clay” and “500 Sculptures.” Harris is the recipient of the Windgate Fellowship at the Archie Bray Foundation in Helena, Montana and the University of Illinois Springfield College of Liberal Arts and Sciences’ Scholarly Enhancement Grant. At UIS, he teaches courses in ceramics, sculpture, 3-D design and professional skills.

Mike Miller and Brian Gillis have worked together as an artistic team since 2006, creating projects ranging from editioned multiples to site-specific installations and actions. Notable joint exhibitions include “Across the Divide: Reconsidering the Other” at the Illinois State Museum, “Free Radio” at the Cue Foundation for the Arts in New York and “Mapping Harbin” at the Academy of Art and Design, Heilongjiang University, China. They met as colleagues in the Visual Arts Program at the University of Illinois Springfield in 2005. Gillis is currently a professor of art and director of the Center for Art Research at the University of Oregon. Miller is an associate professor of art at the University of Illinois Springfield.

Jeff Robinson is an artist and curator based in Chicago and Springfield, Illinois. He earned a master’s degree in fine art from Illinois State University. Robinson has exhibited independently and collaboratively at numerous venues including Hyde Park Art Center (Chicago), RomanSusan (Chicago), Ski Club (Milwaukee), University Galleries of Illinois State University (Normal), Des Lee Gallery (St. Louis) and E. Tay (New York). His work has been published in New American Paintings, and his practices have been featured on Daily Serving in Newcity Magazine (Chicago), Sixty Inches from Center (Chicago), FLOORR Magazine (London) and in the Riverfront Times (St. Louis), among others. Robinson is a recipient of the Illinois Arts Council Fellowship Award in Visual-Based Arts alongside his collaborator, Allison Lacher (2020). He was a curatorial resident for HATCH Projects at Chicago Artists Coalition (2018-2019) and has worked as artist-in-residence at Ragdale (2017) and ACRE (2017). Robinson is a member of Monaco, an artist-owned cooperative based in St. Louis. He also serves on the board of directors for Terrain Exhibitions in Oak Park. He also served as co-director (and co-founder) of DEMO Project until its demolition in early 2018. He currently teaches as an instructor of art at the University of Illinois Springfield and serves as director of the UIS Visual Arts Gallery.

This program is partially supported by a grant from the Illinois Arts Council Agency.

The Visual Arts Gallery is centrally located on the UIS campus in the Health and Science Building, Room 201. Spring 2021 gallery hours are 12-5 p.m. Monday-Wednesday. Appointments to see the exhibition are recommended.

For more information, visit the UIS Visual Arts Gallery website at or contact the gallery at 217-206-6506 or   

No comments: