Outside organization boosts Bradley art department

After the 2017 Illinois budget crisis created a stir, colleges across the country discontinued funding for the Illinois Humanities Council, the Bradley Art Department was left with few options. But with the intervention of an unforeseen donor, Bradley gained appropriate funding – and more.

The university’s art department received a $6,100 dollar grant from the Terra Foundation for American Art (TFAA) in support of Bradley’s hosting of a Midwest Women Artists Symposium.

The symposium, titled “Transforming Midwest Culture: Women Artists 1960s to 1980s,” will be held Nov. 2 and is co-organized by the Illinois Women Artists Project.

According to Kristan McKinsey, the director of the Illinois Women Artists Project, being selected as the recipient of the TFAA grant does not only provide additional funding, but it also qualifies the Bradley Art Department to join the Art Design Chicago project (ADC).

Comprised of hundreds of events and more than 25 exhibitions, ADC explores Chicago’s art and design legacy while partnering with various cultural organizations, such as the Richard H. Driehaus Foundation and John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.

“Although the art department would have been satisfied with simply receiving additional funding and having membership to the ADC, their excitement expands beyond the reach of these two gratuities,” McKinsey said. “Bradley’s symposium will have a unique role in the ADC project.”

Bradley art professor Sarah Glover said this opportunity has value extending beyond the monetary amount tied to the TFAA grant.

“It draws attention to the growing art community thriving on Bradley’s campus and in the Peoria area and also connects us to the Chicago art scene,” Glover said. “And the conversation does not end at the symposium itself – it occurs within the classroom as well.”

Students in the Art Department’s Women in Art class will have the opportunity to be directly involved in the symposium, according to Glover.

“[Students] will be active in the conversations launched at the symposium and incorporate their own projects and discussions,” Glover said. “The symposium is a starting point for conversation about the work of women artists that extends to the classroom, the campus and to the community – and that is what makes this a great-thing to be a part of.”

Any student interested in the event information of the symposium can find further details by visiting https://www.iwa.bradley.edu/symposium.