skip navigation

The Eleanor D. Wilson Museum | Hollins University


Current Exhibitions

A Marriage of Art and Math:
Artwork Inspired by Dual Platonic Solids
January 26 - April 23, 2023

Mark A. Reynolds has worked with graphite, pen and ink, watercolor, pastel, and other drawing media for over sixty years, developing interpretations of principles found in Euclidean and philosophical geometry. This exhibition consists of drawings and watercolors recently donated to the Eleanor D. Wilson Museum by the artist. These are part of Reynolds' decades-long “Phi Series” of artworks which involve geometry of the Golden Section. They utilize a discovery made by former Hollins associate professor Dr. Stephen Wassell that involves relationships found between two of the five Platonic Solids: the dodecahedron and the icosahedron. Reynolds explains, “Part of the joy I experienced when I began to make these works was in the fact that no one, to my knowledge, had ever realized (or at least documented) that these relationships were present, waiting to be found in the ancient and revered Five Platonic Solids.”

Dr. Wassell dives deeper into the interests and process related to the project in videos for viewing here.

This exhibition and its related programs are sponsored in part by the city of Roanoke through the Roanoke Arts Commission.

phi series

Mark A. Reynolds, The Phi Series: Study Defining Areas in the 1.1708. Pastels, colored pencils, and colored inks on cotton paper. Eleanor D. Wilson Museum at Hollins University, 2022.002.009.


Andrea Sulzer: here with you
2023 Frances Niederer Artist-in-Residence
February 9 - April 23, 2023

The pandemic allowed many of us, including the artist Andrea Sulzer, to focus inward as our world grew smaller. It provided the opportunity to pursue an idea she had been thinking about for a while – that of personalizing her work with thoughts of home, place, and partner. In January 2022 the artist began working on a pastel that would subsequently turn into a series of drawings, twelve of which are on view in this exhibition. In each drawing there is the presence of a figure, enigmatic and indistinct at first glance. The figure is a semblance of the artist’s husband but not necessarily a likeness, possibly a stand-in for the artist – a way to detach, untangle a relationship, and explore how one relates to the world. Sulzer writes, “A desire to build a history with material, form, and ideas, alongside a determination to maintain an openness and freedom within this search, drives my work. It’s a constant pull between building a foundation and dismantling it, always trying to get closer to the underlying rhythm of and motivation for making things.” Sulzer began her career in biology and languages, earning BA, MA, and MS degrees. She went on to receive her MFA in Drawing from the Glasgow School of Art in 2004 and currently teaches at the University of Southern Maine.

The Frances Niederer Artist-in-Residence program allows Hollins University to bring a nationally recognized artist to campus every year. In residence during the spring semester, the Artist-in-Residence creates work in a campus studio and teaches a seminar open to all students.


Andrea Sulzer, listening to the earth hum (June 18), 2022. Pastel on paper. Courtesy of the artist.


Suzanne Schireson: Aftercare
March 9 - May 7, 2023

As an artist, what do you do when a pandemic turns the world upside down and the constraints of caregiving make time alone in your studio utterly impossible? Painter Suzanne Schireson writes, “A dream of solitary space is contradictory in this moment. As a mother in quarantine, I occupied more of my time with those I care for, making flashes of solitude particularly rare and inspiring... I find it is important to share a range of experiences and promote the multitude of ways that caretakers construct their lives.” Schireson uses high-keyed color in her paintings to depict women engaging in provisional studio structures during marginal hours of the day. Schireson is the recipient of a RISCA Fellowship and two Elizabeth Greenshields Foundation Grants, and her work has been exhibited nationally and internationally.

In conjunction with the exhibition of her paintings, Schireson has helped guide the EDWM in a completely new endeavor: transforming gallery space into ad-hoc studio space for creators who have been otherwise occupied with additional caretaking responsibilities during the pandemic. This "Makeshift Makerspace" is available during regular museum hours to provide a place outside of the home for caretakers to focus on thinking about and making art, discussing pertinent issues (childrearing, caretaking, or art-related topics), and creating community.

This exhibit and its related programs are sponsored in part by the City of Roanoke through the Roanoke Arts Commission.


Suzanne Schireson, Skylight Desk, 2022. Oil on paper. Courtesy of the artist.


Basics #50 by Matthias Neumann
May 30, 2021 - May 28, 2023
located on the creek side of West Campus Drive (near the pond)

Brooklyn-based Matthias Neumann was trained as an architect in Stuttgart, Germany. Since 2015, he has been using common 2’ x 4’ lumber in an additive configuration to explore physical notions of form, space, and utility. This sculpture is part of the Roanoke Arts Commission's sixth “Art in Roanoke” (AIR) temporary sculpture exhibit titled New Life: Reimagining Roanoke. Most of the sculptures will be on view in Elmwood Park, but the city is also placing sculptures in outlying neighborhoods – the Hollins campus being one of those. More of the artist’s Basic sculptures can be seen on his website.

This exhibit is sponsored by the City of Roanoke through the Roanoke Arts Commission.

matthias neumann at work

Matthias Neumann building Basics #50, 2021


Expanding Narratives:
Conversations with the Collection
currently available online

Faculty members from across academic divisions have collaborated with museum staff to select works from the collection that investigate key course concepts and provide extended access to the individual works of art. Participating departments include art history, biology, classics, English, gender and women studies, history, philosophy, psychology, sociology, and studio art.

and now her own

Tip Toland, And Now Her Own, 2019. Stoneware clay and mixed media. Eleanor D. Wilson Museum at Hollins University, 2020.001.


Unveiling the Past: Reckoning with Our History of Enslavement at Hollins
currently available online

In spring 2020, students in the Cultural Property, Rights and Museum course began working on an exhibit, Unveiling the Past: Reckoning with Our History of Enslavement at Hollins University, in conjunction with members of the Hollins University Working Group on Slavery and Its Contemporary Legacies. The exhibit examines objects and images held by the University Archives in the Wyndham Robertson Library at Hollins University. Material researched by students are on display in this virtual exhibit. Those working on this exhibit wanted to create a public space to reckon with our Hollins past and give a forum to those who were not given a voice, name, space, or attention in the past. It is the goal of this exhibit to show the lasting effects slavery has had, and continues to have, here; and, to recognize that Hollins continues to benefit from a history of enslavement.

clem in long coat

Clement “Clem” Read Bolden (b. ≈ 1846, d. February 19, 1929). Courtesy of the University Archives in the Wyndham Robertson Library at Hollins University.


Exploring Visual and Conceptual Space:
Student Selections from the Eleanor D. Wilson Museum
currently available online

Using selected works from the Eleanor D. Wilson Museum’s permanent collection, student curators put theory into practice in this virtual exhibit which is the culmination of the spring class, “Behind the Scenes: Principles and Practice.” As part of the class, students collaborate and share responsibility for conceptualizing, researching, designing, and interpreting a cohesive exhibition. Each student selected two works that spoke to them based on academic, personal, and aesthetic interests. The exhibit features works created by well-known artists Giovanni Battista Piranesi, John James Audubon, Käthe Kollwitz, Paul Klee, Salvador Dalí, and Andy Warhol, as well as works by Hedley Fitton, Jean Lurçat, Paule Gobillard, Eudora Welty, and others.

When placed together, these works form an image of the Eleanor D. Wilson collection as a small but artistically and historically rich collection – especially when seen through the eyes of Hollins student curators Madelyn Farrow, Faith Herrington, Sylvia Lane, Mairwen Minson, Kaiya Ortiz, Valerie Sargeant, and Maddie Zanie.


Henry Varnum Poor, Anne, c. 1940s. Oil on panel, 8.5 x 7” (framed). Art department acquisition, 1946. Courtesy of the Eleanor D. Wilson Museum at Hollins University, 2005.283.


Hollins University
Eleanor D. Wilson Museum at Hollins University
Box 9679 : 8009 Fishburn Drive : Roanoke, VA 24020
(540) 362-6532 •
Tues-Sun: 12-5 pm
Thurs: 12-8 pm
twitter facebook