Founded in 1973, University Galleries of Illinois State University is one of the premier exhibition spaces for contemporary art in the Midwest.
University Galleries is open seven days a week year-round, with free one-hour parking available directly above our facility. Admission to all exhibitions and events is free to the public. Free tours, led by the director or curators, are available during all exhibitions. Please call 309.438.5487 or send an email firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule.
Our mission is to foster a greater understanding of contemporary art in our urban and rural communities, while providing support for artists at pivotal points in their careers.
University Galleries produces exhibitions and interpretive programming that reflect the shifting dynamics of contemporary artistic practice. Consistent with our university heritage, we cultivate a laboratory of expression that embraces various approaches to creating and experiencing art. We bring socially engaged art, performance, and experimental process to our region, while furthering the careers of artists through residencies, exhibitions, publications, and funding for new projects.
University Galleries’ exhibitions feature both emerging and more established artists, particularly those whose work has not been previously showcased in a museum context. We have organized the first large-scale surveys of works by: David Wojnarowicz, Martin Wong, Bethany Collins, Dianna Frid, Walter Robinson, Carrie Schneider, Jeanne Dunning, Juan Angel Chávez, Melanie Schiff, Irena (Knezevic) Haiduk, Allan Sekula, Jason Lazarus, Nadia Hotait, Jim Lutes, Siebren Versteeg, Michelle Grabner, Tony Tasset, Jane Dickson, Stephanie Brooks, and many others. Since 1988 we have traveled 30 exhibitions to 77 other museums and galleries.
University Galleries has produced 54 books that are distributed internationally, including definitive monographs for many of the artists listed above and group exhibition catalogues such as post-hypnotic, The House of the Seven Gables, The UFO Show, and Strange Oscillations and Vibrations of Sympathy.
University Galleries’ permanent collection includes work by Robert Mapplethorpe, Andy Warhol, Jeanne Dunning, Terry Adkins, Jason Lazarus, Jennifer Bartlett, August Sander, Danny Lyon, Gladys Nilsson, Jasper Johns, Minnie Evans, Kathe Burkhart, Kiki Smith, George Grosz, Michelle Grabner, David Wojnarowicz, Dennis Oppenheim, David Driskell, Claire Prussian, Gertrude Abercrombie, Ansel Adams, Deborah Muirhead, Bob Jones, Joseph Yoakum, and hundreds of others.
In October 2014, through a partnership between Illinois State University and the Town of Normal, we moved off campus into a recently revitalized neighborhood that includes a scenic traffic roundabout/park, the Children’s Discovery Museum, and the Marriott and Hyatt hotels. Our 7,500 square-foot space in Normal’s Uptown Station, designed by Eckenhoff Saunders of Chicago, features 20-foot ceilings, state-of-the-art lighting, and expansive storefront windows offering 24-hour visibility of featured exhibitions.