University Galleries of Illinois State University is pleased to present the MFA Biennial from January 21 through February 21. In accordance with public health guidance, attendance will be kept under 25 at all times and visitors must book an appointment. Please see additional information below.

The 2021 MFA Biennial presents the work of 15 students enrolled in the Wonsook Kim School of Art’s Master of Fine Arts program at Illinois State University. Their artwork dynamically engages the mediums of drawing, ceramics, game design, glass, painting, performance, printmaking, sculpture, textiles, and video. These artists are at various points in a three-year program that is dedicated to helping them “develop a mature body of work by exploring the relationship between active studio practice and rigorous intellectual inquiry.” The MFA Biennial provides students with experience preparing for and mounting a professional exhibition, seeing their work in conversation with the work of their peers, developing online programs, and documenting their work within University Galleries’ space.

Exhibiting artists: Nicole Arnold, Japheth Asiedu-Kwarteng, Aca Carle, Sargylana Cherepanova, Peytin Fitzgerald, Cooper Gibson, Shahrbanoo Hamzeh, Priscilla Kar Yee Lo, Andrew Lorenzi, Spencer Molnar, Emma Oliver, Richard Oliver Reed, Erika Shiba, Mary Wilhelm, and Amy Yeager.

Events and Programming

  • January 21 through February 20
    Free virtual curator-led tours are available by appointment throughout the exhibition. Contact or (309) 438-5487.
  • January 29 at 1 p.m.
    Online performance by Cooper Gibson. Access the artist’s Instagram (notbritneyspearsofficial) for a live video.
  • January 30
    Artist talk by Priscilla Yar Kee Lo. A video with closed captioning will be available beginning January 30 on University Galleries’ Vimeo page.
  • February 5
    Artist talk by Shahrbanoo Hamzeh. A video with closed captioning will be available beginning February 5 on University Galleries’ Vimeo page.
  • February 13 at 10 a.m.
    Beginning Knits with Emma—knitting workshop with Emma Oliver via Zoom. Send an email to or call (309) 438-5487 to register.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) response

Please note the following updates as University Galleries reopens to the public.

  • In accordance with Restore Illinois Tier 1 Resurgence Mitigation guidelines, attendance will be kept under 25 at all times.
  • University Galleries remains free and open to the public, but visitors must book an appointment through the Bookings link on the University Galleries’ website.
  • Visitors to University Galleries will be required to wear a face covering and practice physical distancing.
  • University Galleries’ main entrance will function as the “in door” and the emergency exit in our east gallery will function as the “out door” to reduce congestion in the entry vestibule and lobby.
  • Hand sanitizer stations, physical distancing decals, and directional arrows will be located throughout the gallery spaces.
  • There will be additional cleaning of high-contact points and restrooms.

For information on Illinois State University’s Coronavirus (COVID-19) response, please see

University Galleries

University Galleries, a unit in the Wonsook Kim College of Fine Arts, is located at 11 Uptown Circle, Suite 103, at the corner of Beaufort and Broadway streets. Parking is available in the Uptown Station parking deck directly above University Galleries.

You can find University Galleries on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, and sign up to receive email updates through the newsletter. Please contact or call (309) 438-5487 if you need to arrange an accommodation to participate in any events related to this exhibition.