Past Exhibitions

Exhibitions from the 2021-2022 calendar year

The University of Central Missouri Gallery of Art & Design is pleased to announce the opening of two exhibitions beginning May 30th and continuing through July 3rd 2019. In the Main Gallery, the Mid-Missouri Artists, a non-profit organization serving artists and those interested in art in Johnson, Lafayette, Henry, and Pettis counties, present their annual summer exhibition hosted by the Gallery of Art & Design. Members’ works in a variety of mediums including photography, watercolor, oil paint, glass, pastels and pencil are on display. The Outer Gallery features a selection of sculptures by the late J. C. Carter on loan from the Warrensburg Arts Commission. The 18 assembled metal sculptures were recently donated by the family of J. C. Carter to the Warrensburg Arts Commission. Carter, a life-long Warrensburg resident, created “found object” sculptures in his retirement years, transforming bike parts, garden tools, and pistons into birds, robots, and jazz musicians.  After this exhibition in the UCM Gallery of Art & Design, Carter’s sculptures will begin to be placed on display in city buildings and parks for the public to enjoy.

Graphic Designers, Illustrators, and Interior Designers

Illustration and Graphic Design students in the Department of Art and Design scheduled to receive degrees in December 2017 will present their work in the Main Gallery. Exhibits will feature the best work from their college careers, along with projects developed in collaboration with faculty advisors.

This semester’s graduates are:

Tristan Andrews, Heather Barnhill, Erin Bodenstab, Daija Brown, Kayla Bryant, Jada Criswell, Carissa Davis, Jackie Findley, SabrinaFountain, Abigael Green, Johanna Greenwood, Sierra Hegarty, Cole Heimsoth, Jessica Herndon, Ian Herriman, Torri Hicks, Kristina Holzschuh, Megan Keim, Kayla Kenyon, Molly Kolodziej, Justin Kramer, Breanda Kuhler, Brenda Kuhler, Taylor Lee, Matthew Locke, Hannah Luechtefeld, Brittany Meyer, Angela Meyers, Heather Moe, Sophia Perahoritis, Alexandra Pitts, Kaitlynn Roberts, Allyson Scharrer, Rachel Schick, Jake Siddens, Olinda Smith, Elesia Stubblefield, Gavyn Tinker, Jonathan Tinoco, Loan Tran, Christian VanLue, Katherine Watson, Grant Wheeler, and Hannah Ziglinski.


Jay Anderson
Phoebe Barnum
William Burgess
Alison Krenzer
Carter Mackender
Kay Reynolds
Stephany Smith
Autumn Stelmaszak
Jovi Strand

Studio Art and Art Education students in the Department of Art and Design scheduled to receive degrees in May will present their work in the Main Gallery, Outer Gallery, and Gallery 115. Exhibits will feature the best work from their college careers, along with projects developed in collaboration with faculty advisors.

Opening reception for the artists: April 20, 12 – 2 p.m.

Melissa Wilkinson


This series of paintings relates to my interest in dichotomies: obscuring and revealing, attraction and repulsion, good and evil, the past and the present. Through a tediously crafted watercolor painting practice I seek to make something strange out of the ordinary. I am deeply interested in the interaction of parts and am attracted to the tactile in an increasingly technological and dehumanized time. I appropriate imagery from 19th century naturalist illustrators such as John James Audubon, Jacques Barraband and Elizabeth Gould and pair with superficially sensual subject matter to develop a pastiche that fractures both into the surreal and suggestive. I draw from sensual imagery sourced from internet searches, bodies, fabrics, shells, gems, flowers, etc. in order to open a curio chest that examines the 21st century obsession with all things slick and hollow. The images break from their original sources into fragments, creating a complex visual experience that both irritates and seduces. I paint these images to investigate the slippery definition of both desire and corporeality.

The romantic process of painting allows me to meditate on issues of gender, identity construction and beauty. Though the paintings are initially conceived of using digital processes, they are made employing a very purist approach to watercolor. In doing so, I endeavor to uphold these painting processes while dismantling the elitism with which they are often associated.

Sarah and Phong Nguyen

Sarah Nguyen is a multimedia artist living and working in rural Missouri. Her exhibition, Break into Blossom, is based on a thought experiment: how would the world have turned out differently if the atomic bombs dropped on Japan in 1945 had never exploded? In Nguyen’s reimagining, Little Boy turns out to be a dud, and instead of detonating, passes through a cherry tree, lands with a thud, and over the years gathers moss and lichen, where we encounter it today in an artificial pastoral setting in the UCM Gallery of Art & Design, surrounded by cherry blossoms.


Break Into Blossom is an artistic visual interpretation of the story “Einstein Saves Hiroshima” from the book Pages from the Textbook of Alternate History by Mizzou Professor Phong Nguyen. In the story, Einstein refuses to sign the letter written by his friend and fellow scientist Leo Szilard which, would galvanize support for the Manhattan Project. The project proceeds underfunded, and what would have been a nuclear weapon (the bomb Little Boy) is a dud that, instead of detonating over the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, passes through a cherry tree and lands with a thud, rolling and settling, then over the years gathering moss and lichen. The finished piece is a painted, life-size sculpture of Little Boy, surrounded by cherry blossoms from cherry blossom trees (represented in Tyvek hand cut-paper scrolls that hang from the ceiling).

Break into Blossom took a year to create. Every mark on the sculpture and cut on the three 20-foot scrolls, was done by hand. Artist/ sculptor Justin Shaw created the structure of “Little Boy,” which is built to scale of the actual bomb (10 feet). The sculpture is made from contrition foam, and is hand painted and aged with moss and pigments. Sarah Nguyen hand cut the 3-20 foot scrolls and painted the sculpture. The piece has an audience interaction component where there are blossoms available for viewers to write their wishes for the future and place them on the piece itself. These blossoms will be collected for a future piece.

Break Into Blossom causes us to reexamine the past and ask “what if?” The aged, moss-covered and undetonated “Little Boy” is a testament to what might-have-been. We are all aware of living in a time when brash actors or irresponsible leadership could draw us into actions and policies that we will one day have cause to regret. To think and rethink the actions of our past is an important step towards acting righteously and intentionally in the future. The hope is that visitors come away feeling thoughtful about the past, present, and future, and experience a bit of whiplash at the realization that we live in the reality we do, and, just maybe, work towards creating a better reality.

UCM Art & Design Faculty

The UCM Art Faculty will present their latest works in this annual exhibit which includes sculpture, painting, drawing, graphic design and mixed media.  A special tribute exhibit to Joyce Jablonski will be in the Outer Gallery.

Opening Reception: August 16, 2018, 3–5 p.m.  This event is free and open to the public.