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Perkinson Art Gallery in Kirkland Fine Arts Center will showcase the Millikin University Alumni Art Invitational featuring various 2-D and 3-D works highlighting selected Millikin Art Department alumni and faculty. The Millikin University Alumni Art Invitational will be on display in Perkinson Gallery from Oct. 1 – Nov. 2. Featured alumni and faculty include Annette Russo ’80, Jamie Niess Kotewa ’01, Katie Hinton ’03, Tabitha Pennekamp ’09, Richard Keen III ’95, and Nathan Cox ’97.

Gallery hours are Monday through Friday from 12 noon - 5 p.m. or by appointment. A reception will be held on Saturday, Oct. 6 from 3 p.m. – 5 p.m. in Perkinson Gallery. The exhibition and reception are free and open to the public.

Annette Russo has begun a new exploration of form and material by repurposing and composing structures that work with compositional and philosophic ideas of balance. This new exploration contains contrasts of many elements, including fragility and strength, temporary and longevity, as well as humor and concern. Russo received her master’s degree from George Washington University in Washington, D.C. and her bachelor’s degree from Millikin University in 1980. For 25 years Russo taught design, art therapy, and art education at Millikin University.

Richard Keen’s work examines the elements and iconography related to seascapes as well as working waterfronts to create the content for his final compositions. Keen received his master’s degree from the State University of New York at Albany and his bachelor’s degree from Millikin in 1995. Keen’s artwork has been selected for numerous regional, national and international juried exhibitions and has been reviewed in local and regional publications including Art New England.

Tabitha Pennekamp’s work requires attention and deeper investigation that promotes an instance of living in the present moment. The playful quality of her pieces helps lift the viewer out of their everyday realities and obligations, guiding the audience to gaze and discover. The purpose of her collection is for each viewer to develop a deeper relationship with the various pieces. Whether the viewer is a casual onlooker or an experienced art critic, the result will ultimately be the same. The pieces to be showcased are double walled vessels. The vessels allow for a deeper relationship as visual discovery is promoted throughout the exhibition.

Katie Hinton received her bachelor’s degree from Millikin University in 2003, and pursued a post-baccalaureate degree in art from the Maryland Institute College of Art in 2005. She studied painting at the Cranbrook Academy of Art, where both painting and installation art became her main focus. Hinton has refined her own visual and conceptual vocabulary by focusing on the points of intersection between painting and sculpture. In 2007, Hinton received her master’s degree from the Cranbrook Academy of Art. Upon graduation, Hinton received the Daimler Financial AG Emerging Artist Award. Her work was exhibited in the Renzo Piano building in Berlin, Germany, and is now a part of the Daimler Financial AG permanent collection.

Hinton’s most recent exhibitions include “Feel Good” at the Anne Lloyd Gallery in Decatur, “In Between the Sheets” at Workspace in Harlem, N.Y., and “Vanishing Point” at Unsmoke Gallery in Braddock, Pa. Hinton's work can also be seen on the set of the CBS television sitcom “Big Bang Theory.” For the past five years Hinton has taught art classes at Holy Family Catholic School in Decatur. She has taught numerous art courses at Richland Community College, and is currently an adjunct professor of art at Millikin University.

Jamie Niess Kotewa received her master’s degree from Purdue University in 2003 after receiving her bachelor’s degree from Millikin University in 1997. She began teaching at Millikin University in 2003, primarily in the studio areas of drawing and photography. From 2004-2008, she concurrently was the instructor and manager of Blue Connection, Millikin University’s retail art gallery, teaching entrepreneurship in the arts. Kotewa is also the coordinator for the Millikin University High School Art Show.

Nathan Cox has exhibited his mixed media drawings and sculptural ceramic vessels in over 75 solo, group, and juried exhibitions, and has won numerous awards. As a professor of art, he has taught a wide range of courses including drawing, painting, graphic design, sculpture, and ceramics at several Illinois colleges and universities such as Carl Sandburg College in Galesburg, Western Illinois University in Moline, Monmouth College in Monmouth, and Bradley University in Peoria, where he received his master’s degree in 2000. In the summer of 2002, Cox moved to South Carolina to develop a ceramics program at Anderson University, where he currently teaches sculpture and freshman foundations art. In 2007, Cox received the South Carolina Independent Colleges and Universities Excellence in Teaching Award, and was named a lifetime Fellow of the Hambidge Center for the Arts and Sciences.

For more information about the invitational, please contact the Millikin University Art Department at 217.424.6227 or visit www.millikin.edu/art.
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Millikin University - Decatur, IL
Millikin University - Decatur, IL