Engage 4 Freedom: An Interactive, Rotating Exhibition Exploring Freedom in the 21st Century
For this exhibit, the McKinley Foundation partnered with the For Freedoms 50 State Initiative: a platform for greater participation in the arts and in civil society. Inspired by American artist Norman Rockwell’s paintings of Franklin D. Roosevelt’s Four Freedoms (1941), the For Freedoms Federation uses art to encourage and deepen public explorations of freedom in the 21st century.
As part of this initiative, Artists’ Alley was home to a year-long rotating exhibit featuring the original Norman Rockwell works accompanied by community and student artwork and interactive expressions of freedom.
Between Line and Plain: Different Roads, Same Destination
An Exhibition of Paintings and Fiber Art by Rosalind Faiman Weinberg and Sally Bliss Nolan
This exhibit featured two Central Illinois artists who share a vision of minimalism in painting the Prairie in its broadest abstract sense. Sally Nolan and Rosalind Weinberg come from different backgrounds and different life experiences, yet somehow they have arrived at a similar place in their artistic expression in the plastic arts. Their minimalist approach to painting and fiber art clearly shows the influence of the Prairie on their emotional and artistic lives.
Beyond the Landscape: An Exhibition of Paintings and Drawings by Lori Fuller
“Beyond the Landscape” featured acrylic paintings and colored pencil drawings inspired by the natural landscape offering a detailed look at the textures, rhythms, and unique color palette found in nature and examines our interaction with our natural environment.
Corn, Water, Time and Space: An Exhibition of Paintings and Photographs by Barbara Curtis McDonnell
This exhibit featured oil-on-canvas paintings as well as several color photographs exploring various aspects of the Midwest landscape. In the past, McDonnell’s artwork has reflected the connection between oceans and prairies and vast fields of corn. “What interests me now is a voyage into the center of a corn field, bushwhacking and discovering visual connections between shapes,” reflected McDonnell on the inspiration for her newest work.
Infrared Landscapes: A Photographic Exhibition by Constance Sarantos
This exhibit featured 14 digital infrared photographs of landscapes taken at Japan House in Urbana, Illinois and the Chicago Botanic Garden in Glencoe, Illinois. Sarantos explores the spectrum of light invisible to the human eye, near infrared light. To take photos of visible light, cameras include filters to block off light sources such as infrared and UV. Without these filters, photographs would not properly depict what the human eye sees. Thus, to capture photos in near infrared, she replaced the hot mirror filter blocking infrared light in her camera and used post-processing to achieve more natural blue sky colors and higher saturation.
Flowers From Our Garden: A Photographic Exhibition by William Capel
This exhibit featured eight enlarged photographs of flower blossoms: three sunflowers, one green and one yellow zinnia, a red columbine, a blue iris, and a faded yellow daylily. This exhibition grew out of Capel’s use of emerging digital technologies that make possible extremely sharp, large-scale images. Capel enjoys seeing how viewers react to the previously indiscernible and unnoticed details contained in the heart of a flower. When asked about his personal reaction to the images, Capel’s response is simple: “Astonishment! The images, best viewed up close, tend to suck you in.”