Deone Danzy's "Shield" in the Figge Art Museum's "College Invitational" -- January 30 through June 6.

Thursday, February 4, 6:30 p.m.

Presented by the Figge Art Museum

Held in conjunction with the 11th installment of the venue's latest group exhibition, the artistic talents of 42 students from area colleges and universities will be showcased in the Figge Art Museum's opening celebration for College Invitational, a virtual event highlighting techniques and mediums including drawing, painting, collage, printmaking, clay, digital illustration, silkscreen, mixed media installation, and found materials taking place on February 4.

Housed in the Figge's second-floor Katz Gallery, the exhibit recruited art professors from Augustana College, Black Hawk College, Clinton Community College, Knox College, Monmouth College, St. Ambrose University, Scott Community College, and Western Illinois University to select top works from their schools for inclusion.

Grace Cornelius' "Molded"

This year's featured College Invitational artists are:

From Augustana College: Jordan Delinski (acrylic), Keely Gallagher (Sharpie, pen, and marker on canvas), Rachel Gibson (willow branches), Lindsey Johnson (graphite on paper), Hailey Mendell (acrylic on canvas), Charles Nawara (glazed ceramic), and Rachel Oliver (clothing, unprimed canvas, wire, acrylic paint, cardboard, and found object).

From Black Hawk College: Annabelle Bishop (hand-built high-fire stoneware and mixed media), Karissa Collis (hand-built high-fire stoneware), Jae Corales (marker on paper), Kaylee Hanger (archival photographic print), Eric January (acrylic on canvas), Abigail Kongkousonh (acrylic on canvas), and Lisbet Salazar (India ink on paper).

From Clinton Community College: Cora Leonard (graphite, charcoal, watercolor, and acrylic) and Anne Swan-Johnson (woodblock print).

From Knox College: Ellen Miller Garrett (matboard, acrylic paint), Lua Powers (mixed media), Akshya Prasai (oil on canvas), Jocelyn Rodriguez (acrylic on canvas), Louise Rossiter (mixed media), Odessa Sagli and Patrick Steppan (video and sound), and Madelyn Turner (oil on canvas).

From Monmouth College: Amy Vellenga-Buban (wood, ceramic, spray paint), Grace Cornelius (photograph), Ryan Dawson (salt and wood-fired mugs), Z Kendall (acrylic, relief ink, and embroidery on canvas), Miranda Pasky (oil paint), Rebecca Quick (paper, fishing line, dowel rod, mixed media), and Mark Thigpen (digital drawing on canvas).

From St. Ambrose University: Deone Danzy (digital print), Murphy Garcia (installation with handmade paper and found objects), and Megan Peterson (oil on canvas).

From Scott Community College: Maggie Borota (acrylic on canvas) and Bobby McNamar (mixed media on canvas).

From Western Illinois University: Teresa Chaidez (charcoal, chalk, and pastel), Jimena Espinoza (serigraphy), Andrea Kliffmiller (intaglio), Charley Pleshko (oil on canvas), Marshall Schweitzer (digital), Kaitlyn Tipton (digital), and Sarah Warner (cast sterling silver, liver of sulfur patina).

Teresa Chaidez's "Ephemeral Performance"

With the cancellation of the 2020 College Invitational, a door opened for this year's installment to be aligned with the Figge's forthcoming exhibition For America: 200 Years of Painting from the National Academy of Design (on display February 20 through May 16), which features nearly 100 works drawn from the New York venue. The Academy is a leader in advocating for the arts and arts education, and acts to advance society with critical cultural conversation – the same theme carried forth by College Invitational.

“The dual messaging present with both of these exhibitions creates a dialogue that crosses time and region, from student to professional,” said Figge Studio School and Education Galleries Coordinator Brian Allen. “It is a great moment to celebrate creativity, innovation, and artistic achievement at its fullest.” And thanks to a generous scholarship from Barbara Leidenfrost in loving memory of her husband Oscar, cash prizes will be awarded to first-, second-, and third-place recipients in this year's exhibition.

The virtual opening Celebration for College Invitational is free, but advance registration is required, and participants will receive an e-mail with a Zoom link two hours before the program begins at 6:30 p.m. on February 4. The exhibit itself will be on display through June 6, and more information is available by calling (563)326-7804 or visiting

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