Current Exhibitions

Current Exhibitions


Hyun Jung Kim

Blind in Art: One

November 8, 2017 – February 6, 2018
(Ballroom Gallery)

Opening Reception on Thursday, November 16, 2017

6:30 pm-8:00 pm

Visitor Hours: Monday to Friday: 10:00 am to 4:00 pm.
(Please call in advance to ensure the Ballroom is not booked for an event.)

Click HERE for a complete list of artworks.

Artist Statement 

I ask the ontological question of who I am to establish a unique language, drawing on reviews of previous generations’ revealed studies in philosophy, history, and art history over the past years. I express the concept of the constantly changing self of being by using liquid, the most variable medium to me. I specifically use the dots and codes of Braille to deliver meanings in language form but also to create a visually decorative and abstract look in the context of creating a connection to the concept of a changing world.

I am currently making jewelry and gold crowns as mediators to remind audiences of the overlooked precious value and reason of each creation. Each crown has words in Braille on it and people are encouraged to wear it. I recently made the crown of Martin Luther King Jr. and wrote “I have a dream” in Braille on it. Although I titled it as Martin Luther King Jr.’s crown, it is actually not the crown for him but the crown for us. By wearing this crown, I intend for participants to remember that this crown of human equality, rights, and freedom was not gained for free, and that there was a lot of work and sacrifice throughout history to make this crown possible. With this crown, I also made a panel featuring Martin Luther King Jr.’s famous speech, which is intended to remind viewers of his demonstration for human rights and equality. I found these statements to be very precious, so I used precious materials such as gold leaf and pearls. I wanted to reveal his sacrificial effort and process of the work, so I dyed silk string with wine to symbolize “sacrifice” and exposed the sewing process in the front. In this context, I have memorialized Bob Dylan’s song “Blowing in the Wind” in panels as well. Another large group of panels is my “Love” project. We are currently in a multi-cultural, “Nomad” society and often use multiple languages. I tried to visualize our life with those languages and layered multiple languages to make one image. By combining languages, I intend to make my own visual language to reflect our life. Some language combinations are made intentionally with languages from two rival countries with the hope for unity, at least visually, in my work.

While visitors are having a playful time with the crowns and reading golden precious words on the wall in this exhibition, “One;원;ㅇ”, I challenge viewers to ask themselves who they are and to find their own answers, recognizing that these answers could act as a positive factor in the lives of others. I hope that each guest realizes, “Whether I look tedious or have been treated poorly, I am fearfully and wonderfully created and each of us is ONE precious being.”


Hyun Jung Kim 김 현 정     

Kim is an internationally known artist who studied sculpture for her BFA (1998) and MFA (2000) at Seoul National University. After graduation, she had her first solo exhibition at the KumSan Gallery in 2001. Kim has exhibited in numerous group exhibitions in Korea, including the YoungEun Contemporary Art Museum and WooDuck Gallery.

In 2002, Kim moved to the United States and studied studio art at Montclair State University, where she received her second MFA. Upon graduation from Montclair State, Kim won the prestigious “Dean’s Artist/Scholar Graduate Award” of the College of Arts. She has taught students at MSU for 9 years as an Adjunct Professor.

Kim was invited to the 19th International Jewelry Art Symposium in 2007, where she collaborated with world-renowned contemporary jewelry artists. Her work is part of the permanent collection of the Museum Turnov, Czech Republic. Kim shows her works in the New York metropolitan Area. She recently curated group exhibitions, including “Metal as a Medium” (2014) and “Hanguel, about its Beauty” (2016), and has shown her featured work, crowns, at her solo exhibitions “Decorated” (2015) and “Kings” (2016). In 2016, Kim was selected as an Associate Artist at the Torpedo Factory Art Center in Alexandria. She had a Woman’s History Month Featured Artist show “She” (2017) to introduce her works to the greater Washington, DC, metropolitan area.

Hyun Jung Kim has participated in the Art Hampton (2016), Singapore Contemporary (2017), Art Busan (2017), and Asia Contemporary Hong Kong (2017) art fairs to share her works with international art lovers and professionals.




brikenaBrikena Boci and Jane Doe #1


October 5, 2017 – November 30, 2017
(Upstairs Gallery 2nd Floor)

Upstairs Gallery “Anonime” (Anonymous), an exhibition of embroidered portraits by Albanian- American artist Brikena Boci, will be on view in the Upstairs Gallery from October 5 – November 30. This startling fibre art consists of moving embroidered portraits of Kosovar-Albanian women who were raped, killed, or trafficked during the war. Jane Doe #1, who wishes to remain anonymous and is featured in the documentary I AM JANE DOE, created her untitled painting while hospitalized for overwhelming depression and PTSD.




            The war in Albania and Kosovo that I experienced at a young age has become a major theme of my work. The attention is brought to the violence, chaos, oppression, abuse of power, and victimization of people. The work bears witness to innocent victims in these territories.

            My work becomes a large mass of massacred bodies of victims, as well as symbols representing the powerful abusers. I represent the human body in its most grotesque form caused by genocide, violence and political conflicts.

            In this body of work called “Anonime” or “Anonymous”, I have embroidered portraits of Kosovar-Albanian women, who were raped and killed during the war, or who fell victims of human trafficking.  Their identities and real names were never revealed to the general public, due to their fear of being judged by society or captured again by human traffic predators. Their portraits serve as memorials of these innocent women, and their families.

             My work talks about the physical, emotional and psychological injuries that are caused by human trafficking. By addressing these experiences in my homeland of Albania, I want to reach a broad audience concerning the devastating impact of human trafficking. Additionally, my work bears witness to the victims in the hope that their experiences and their pain will be revealed to the larger global community—and that such traumatic events will never happen again.


Brikena Boci is a working artist living in Georgia.  She was born in Vlore, Albania but moved to the USA in 2003 to pursue a BA of art from “Western Michigan University” in Michigan where she graduated with honors in 2006. She than relocated to Illinois to further her education in art at “Northern Illinois University”, where she graduated with a Masters of Fine Arts in 2010.

She began to make art at a very young age, at age 15 she was accepted into one of the best art academies “Naim Frasheri Art Academy” in Albania, where she received her professional training in drawing and painting, and started exhibiting her work in various art galleries.

Brikena primarily works with repurposed fibers, she refers back to her childhood growing up in a communist country and not being exposed to many toys, as a child she had to make her own dolls using repurposed materials.  Her work expands from handmade embroidery to soft sculpture, drawing, painting and installation.  Brikenas’ work is inspired by her growing up in a territory that was under communist dictatorship, that underwent the fall of communism, political chaos, civil war, and that became the bridge for human trafficking.  Moving to another country, as an adult, and experiencing the life of an immigrant, issues of self-identity and adjustment, have added another layer to the thematic of her work.  She hopes to address her personal experiences of war, human trafficking, social and political abuse, issues of self- identity and life as an immigrant to a larger global community.

Her work has been exhibited in many galleries:

Human trafficking, Gallery 72, 2015.  Emory University, 2015.  Studio 905 on Juniper, Atlanta Ga.  Juried Group Shows New Age, Art Gallery, Tirane, Albania (Fall 2012) Small Worlds. Splash Art Gallery, Vlore, Albania (2012). CFAAN Annual Chicago Fringe, Red Tape Theater, Chicago, (summer 2012). Reinvented, ARC Women’s Gallery, featured in Art Slant, Chicago,( Spring 2012). Chicago War Series Exhibit, Chicago Cultural Center, Chicago,( Fall 2011).  Beast Art Show, Dispatch Gallery, Chicago, (Fall 2011).  Hypa, Hyde Park Alliance for Arts And Culture, Chicago, (Spring 2011).  Revamped Eco Art Show, Bridgeport Art Center, Chicago, (Spring 2011).  A Whole New Mind-Brainstorm, Juried Show Governor State University, Illinois, (Spring 2011). The Women Artist Show, The Urban Art Retreat, Chicago, (Spring 2011).  Art Here Art Now, Juried show, University Of Chicago, Chicago, (Fall 2010).  Art Prize, Juried Art Festival; Grand Rapids, Michigan, (Fall 2010).  Juried Union League Civic and Arts Foundation Show; Union League Club, Spring 2010, Chicago, IL.  Juried Graduate Student Show; Northern Illinois University, (Fall 2009) Juried 5th Annual National Exhibition; 33 Collective Gallery, (2009), Chicago, IL. Juried Graduate Student Show.  Northern Illinois University, (Fall 2008) Illinois Student Show.  33 Collective Gallery, (2008), Chicago, IL.  Statewide Student Competition; Lansing, Michigan, (February 2005).  World Peace Initiative Project; Kalamazoo, Michigan, (April 2005).  Solo Shows The Return, Solo Show, Vlore Art Gallery, Vlore, Albania (2011) Myself and Me, Solo Show, Vlore Art Gallery, Vlore, Albania(2012) MFA Show; Northern Illinois University, (Spring 2010) Awards & Grants Northern Illinois University, Full Tuition Scholarship, (2007-2010) Northern Illinois University, Graduate Assistantship, (2008-2010) Mention, Juried Union League Civic and Arts Foundation Show; Union League Club, (2010) Chicago.   Western Michigan University, Student Honors Tittle: Summa Cum Laude, Kalamazoo, Michigan (2006).  School of Art Enrichment Grant; Western Michigan University,( February 2005).  Kerr Award, BFA Student Show Western Michigan University, (March 2005).  Featured Artist in Art Hash, online art journal, (2009-Present).  North Central Art Festival, Art Projects, Chicago, Illinois ( 2012).   Collaborative “Home” Installation with Guerra De La Paz; Northern Illinois University, Spring 2010. Graduate Student Show; Northern Illinois University, Spring 2010.  Graduate Student and Alumni, Northern Illinois University, Fall 2009.  Collaborative Student Show, Northern Illinois University Fall 2009.  Bad Dog Galleries, Fringe, Fall 2008, DeKalb, IL. Watercolor Exhibit, Saniwax Gallery; Kalamazoo, Michigan, February 2005.  Student Exhibit; Western Michigan University, November 2004.  Watercolor Exhibit; Rotunda Gallery, Western Michigan University, November 2003.   Exhibit; Tirane, Albania 2003 Youth Exhibit, Vlore, Albania.  2000 Painting Exhibit Vlore, Albania 1999.  Watercolor Exhibit, Tirane, Albania 1998



“While in the hospital, I created this painting.

I was being treated for overwhelming depression and PTSD.

I consider my art to be therapeutic as well as inspiration for myself and hopefully others.

Painting gives me a sense of peace and calmness. I often use trees in my art. To me trees symbolize life, growth, strength, movement, diversity, chaos, and serenity.”



All artworks are for sale.

For inquiries, please contact Visual Arts Assistant Ina Descartes via