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Opening Reception: Eric Anthony Berdis and Alison Ruttan

Friday, October 25th 2019
5:00 pm - 7:00 pm

Event Description

Opening reception for two exhibitions!


-Eric Anthony Berdis: Don’t let them clip your tiny little insect wings
-Alison Ruttan: Unmaking of Places and Histories

The reception is free and open to the public.
Please contact University Galleries at (309) 438-5487 or gallery@ilstu.edu for additional information.

“Don’t let them clip your tiny little insect wings,” Eric Anthony Berdis’ solo exhibition, celebrates LGBTQ+ folks, reflects on the historical struggles of the community’s past, and encourages allyship. Comprised of elaborate sculptures, quilted fabric collages, a large-scale wallpaper installation, and two public performances, this exhibition memorializes LGBTQ+ people who persevered in the past, while acknowledging those who persist today. Derived from his own childhood fantasies, Berdis’ work explores themes of becoming; his personal, yet familiar, struggle with body acceptance; and the importance of inclusive conversations and spaces.


“Unmaking of Places and Histories” features new and recent architectural ceramic sculptures by Chicago-based artist Alison Ruttan. She draws on the histories of art, architecture, and warfare to address the aftermath of conflicts in Syria, Lebanon, and Iraq, as a way of, in her words, “bearing witness from here.” One gallery is dedicated to the artist’s “Dark City,” a tabletop row of nine white ceramic buildings referencing the widespread destruction in Syria. The row of forms begins with a solid building, seemingly intact, but the other eight progressively crumble and flatten. Ruttan cites the influence of artists Donald Judd and Sol LeWitt in terms of remaking similar geometric forms, but in her work, various states of collapse and devastation are evident within the Modern grid. The artist sees the small scale of her works as a “purposely intimate anti-war monument.”


Image details: left to right
Eric Anthony Berdis, Sylvester, 2019. Dyed and quilting fabric, afghan, found textiles, embellishments and trims. Courtesy of the artist. Photo credit: Terry Brown.

Alison Ruttan, All Down the Line from the series Dark City, 2016-2017. Courtesy of the artist.

Programs at University Galleries are funded in part by a grant from the Illinois Arts Council Agency.

If you will need special accommodations, please contact the event organizer.


University Galleries
(309) 438-5487


University Galleries
11 Uptown Circle #103
Normal, IL
(309) 438-5487