Art major Stephanie Burns is leading a group of students who, with the help of a grant from Friends of the Arts, have curated the exhibition American Faces–Portraits, featuring portraits of rural Americana by photographer Mike Disfarmer. The exhibition will be held from November 2 through January in Milner Library.

The exhibit will look at the historic family portraits from rural Heber Springs, Arkansas, taken from the 1930s–1950s and compare and contrast how these photos have become objects in modern time.

In addition to the exhibition, a documentary film about the life of Mike Disfarmer and the art object photos he took will be screened at University Galleries in Uptown Normal on November 5 with a panel discussion to follow.

“The grant from Friends of the Arts allows us to properly print and exhibit these historic photographs, and advertise the event to the community,” Burns said. “It is also a great practical learning experience in curation and exhibition, and provides us with a greater understanding of American art history and art in a contemporary context.”

Friends of the Arts is a community group that supports students in all of the arts at Illinois State University through scholarship and grants like this one. To support Friends of the Arts, visit the Advancement website.