On the Record

Celebrating creativity

On the Record with Bille Giese

Northern Illinois University illustration major Elizabeth Russo is the winner of the ARTigras Poster Design contest for the second year in a row.
Northern Illinois University illustration major Elizabeth Russo is the winner of the ARTigras Poster Design contest for the second year in a row.

DeKALB – This year’s ARTigras, Northern Illinois University’s spring end-of-the-semester celebration of art, will focus on exhibitions featuring continuing and graduating NIU students.

ARTigras will be from 3 to 9 p.m. Saturday, May 4, at locations throughout DeKalb, including NIU School of Art and Design galleries and 215 Gallery at 215 N. Fourth St. in DeKalb. All exhibitions are free and open to the public.

The National Art Education Association Student Chapter will have an art sale from 4 to 7 p.m. at the School of Art and Design Building and the Ceramics Art Organization will have a pottery sale from 5 to 8 p.m. at 215 Gallery.

The Kishwaukee Symphony Orchestra will present its annual spring concert, “Aaron Copland: An American Icon,” at 7:30 p.m. in the Boutell Memorial Concert Hall.

MidWeek Reporter Katrina Milton spoke to Billie Giese, associate professor in NIU’s School of Art and Design and chairwoman of the ARTigras committee, about this year’s event.

Milton: What is ARTigras?

Giese: ARTigras was started to celebrate the creative work of graduating BA/BS, BFA and MFA students. Students exhibit their art as part of their capstone experience for their degrees. There will be many exhibitions in the NIU School of Art and Design Building and at the 215 Gallery in downtown DeKalb.

Milton: Will there be items for sale?

Giese: In addition to the galleries, the event includes student group art sales. The ceramics students will have a pottery sale and art education students will sell tie-dyed T-shirts with this year’s ARTigras logo. … NIU School of Art and Design sponsors a student design contest, and the winning designer is senior illustration major Elizabeth Russo.

Milton: What is the goal of ARTigras?

Giese: This is the sixth year for ARTigras, and it was conceived as a way to unify the community and the university through art. This year’s event will be a one-day event focusing on the School of Art and Design students and their work. Also, the NIU Art Museum will be open for visitors to view its current show, “DATA Exhibition Suite.” … Due to unforeseen circumstances, the Friday night downtown DeKalb events have been suspended this year, but the ARTigras Committee will work to bring downtown DeKalb activities back next year.

Milton: Are there ideas for future ARTigras celebrations?

Giese: The committee will be meeting after this year’s ARTigras event to start planning for spring 2020. We hope to continue to build a fun community event for next year and beyond that unites DeKalb and NIU through the celebration of creativity and art.

For more information about ARTigras, visit the NIU School of Art and Design’s website.

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