Exhibitions & visiting artists

The Seerveld Gallery is an intersection between the College and the art world. The gallery welcomes a wide variety of artists to exhibit their work. The first five exhibitions typically show the work of professional artists. These artists range from internationally famous —Tim Rollins and K.O.S. is one example— to those with emerging reputations in the Chicago region and beyond.

Thirty years of showing the work of artists who function at such a high level gives our program “street cred” in the art world as nothing else can. Our intent is to exhibit work that is relevant to the current discussion. It helps our students engage current ideas.

Artists Katie Hargraves and Amber Ginsburg at the opening of Barn Razing, Fall 2011

Building students' networks: Students hear a wide variety of professional artists discuss their work. Each month when a new show opens, the artists are there to discuss their work. Consequently, Trinity students to interact with a wide range of professional artists beyond the faculty. This leverages and contextualizes the work students do with our own professionally active faculty.

Students often help artists install their work. These connections, made in the familiar context of Trinity’s campus, help students begin to understand professional life in the art world; through these interactions students begin to build the networks they need to be successful beyond college .  Connections made in the gallery help them connect to internships, graduate programs and resources beyond graduation.

The last exhibition of the school year features our graduating seniors, the culmination of every art student’s career. The summer show is typically an exhibition of local artists from Trinity’s neighborhood in Chicago’s south suburbs. 

Visiting Artists: The Art and Design Department brings in artists, designers and critics to campus in person and online. Students encounter the ideas that shape the discipline in the familiar environment of Reformed scholarship. Interaction with these artists and designers helps students to understand that their own work is part of a larger tradition that is still active.

Students' professional practice: Students make their first steps into professional practice by observing artists in the gallery and putting up their own work, hosting openings and explaining their work to their peers in the student gallery. For design students that induction into professional practice happens in the Student Design Organization. For art education students our program, including opportunities for students meet artists and show their own work, functions as a paradigm modeling the necessary elements of an educational experience.

At Trinity, student artists,educators and designers will be professionally engaged long before they leave campus for internships and the real world of art, design and art education.