Krannert Art Museum features three new exhibits after renovations


Tiffany Zhang

The Kinkead Pavilion at the Krannert Art Museum on October 14, 2015.

By Jess Peterson, Staff writer

This evening the Krannert Art Museum opens its doors to debut renovations and three new exhibits to the public. There will be free admission, food and live music to celebrate the new season of artwork. The doors will open at 6 p.m. 

The museum’s original construction was from 1961 and the previous renovation was in the African Gallery on the lower level in 2012.

Tonight will be the first time any of these exhibits will be on display. The exhibits will allow visitors to be immersed in brand new artwork in a freshly formatted gallery.

Julia Kelly, communications and marketing chair for the museum, said the style was designed by Lyn Rice, an architect from New York. The purpose of the design is to give the space a more modern feel. In addition to stripping down the walls and floors, a new LED lighting system provided by the Student Sustainability Committee enables the museum to use 10 percent less energy than it did before.

“Now when you walk into the museum it’s not like some of the spaces with an older, darker look,” Kelly said.

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The updated space is set to fit the three new exhibits, which include works by the art and design faculty, manuscripts that date back to the 10th century and a display by Zina Saro-Wiwa.

The art and design faculty exhibit will be the first exhibit visitors will see when they enter museum and will run until Dec. 22.

Professors who work with University students typically have their art displayed anywhere between New York and Chicago, but the showcase on campus brings their talent closer to home and features graphic design, painting, sculpture and performance art.

“The Making and Breaking of Medieval Manuscripts” will be on display in the east wing of the museum until Feb. 11, however.

“(The manuscripts) rarely come into view and are really beautiful to look at,” Kelly said.

Gathered from the Spurlock Museum of World Cultures, the Rare Book & Manuscript Library and the Newberry Library in Chicago, the manuscript selection was co-curated by Maureen Warren and Anna Chen.

The final exhibit is titled “Did you Know We Taught Them How to Dance,” and is in the west wing in a large space featuring video art as well as photos and sculptures by Zina Saro-Wiwa, an artist from the Niger Delta.

Kelly said the exhibit makes her happy because visitors can experience audio elements that feature singing. She said these exhibits bring good energy to Krannert.

Kelly encourages all students and community members to attend and partake in the evening’s activities. She hopes this event will allow guests to come together to appreciate the first night of the displays.

Visitors can expect to be exposed to fine art as well as an enthusiastic community ready to experience what the museum has to offer.

“(It’s) a good crowd of people who are excited about art,” Kelly said.

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