Art gallery brings the world together

Although it may be a hidden gem to students on campus, Bradley’s 36th Annual International Print and Drawing Exhibition is anything but secret to the artists and galleries involved.

Held every other year, the exhibition is the second-longest running print and drawing show in the U.S. It includes over 130 pieces from artists living across America and the world.

“It features work by both established names in graphics and new and emerging talent,” Erin Buczynski, exhibition and gallery coordinator at Bradley, said.

This year, the art and artists were chosen by event juror Kathryn Polk, a printmaker based in Tucson, Arizona. Polk also gave a presentation at the kick-off event for the exhibition in early March.

“This year we had [approximately] 800 entries, and [Polk] narrowed it down to 131 accepted works of art,” Buczynski said.

Graduate student Michael Brown’s pencil drawing “Hydra” will be displayed at the Prairie Center for the Arts. As Bradley’s full-time gallery assistant, he also helped hang the pieces in each gallery.

“It is really exciting to have such a prestigious show hosted here at Bradley … [and] unpacking works of art from all over the world,” Brown said. “It was fun seeing all the different countries represented at the show.”

For Buczynski, the show means hours upon hours of work – “making the show happen beginning to end.”

“As artworks arrive to campus, we inventory them according to the gallery location they will be displayed at,” she said. “We then spend approximately two weeks installing the exhibition at all the venues. This means unpacking all artworks, reviewing works for condition issues, creating and posting exhibition show titles and labels and hanging all 131 of the artworks.”

Brown said he’s excited to show his art in a professional setting with the exhibition.

“This was definitely the most fun show I have set up since being here at Bradley and I feel honored to have had a piece in the show,” he said. “The Bradley International Print and Drawing Exhibition is an amazing show filled with amazing talent and I think it is an amazing opportunity for Bradley students and the community of Peoria to check out … Whether you’re an art enthusiast or just the occasional observer, it gives people from all the Peoria area the chance to see some world class art in their hometown.”

The artwork is being displayed throughout Peoria this year: the Contemporary Art Center, the Prairie Center for the Arts, the Sunbeam Building and Bradley’s Heuser Art Gallery and Hartmann Center Art Gallery will all play host to 20 to 30 prints and drawings through the end of the exhibition on April17.

“We are so fortunate to be able to collaborate with each of these fantastic gallery spaces, as there is no conceivable way we could possibly make this show happen otherwise,” Buczynski said.