The Eleanor D. Wilson Museum | Hollins University


Past Exhibitions

2022 | 2021 | 2020 | 2019 | 2018 | 2017 | 2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 |2009 | 2008 | 2007 | 2006 | 2005 | 2004


Views of Tinker Mountain by Ron Boehmer
January 12 – April 30, 2017

In conjunction with the 175th anniversary celebration of the founding of Hollins University, this exhibition presents eleven studies for the oil painting by Ron Boehmer, Tinker Creek. Commissioned in 1990, the painting has been on view in Main Building on Hollins' campus since 1991. The studies donated by the artist to the University, and now part of the permanent collection of the Eleanor D. Wilson Museum, are being displayed for the first time. Each a beautiful work of art, these studies show the artist's working method and include graphite and ink sketches, ink wash, and oil pastel studies. They will be exhibited alongside the finished painting. Lynchburg-based artist Ron Boehmer is co-founder of Beverly Street Studio School in Staunton, Virginia, where he teaches drawing and painting classes and workshops, specializing in plein air painting.

Ron Boehmer, tinker

Ron Boehmer, Tinker Creek, 1990. Oil on canvas. Courtesy of Hollins University.


Hélion Highlights: Selections from the Blair Family Gift
February 2 – March 26, 2017

In May 2016, the Eleanor D. Wilson Museum at Hollins University was the recipient of a a gift from the Blair family: a collection of over 385 preliminary paintings, drawings, and prints by Jean Hélion (French, 1904-1987). This gift (the largest in the history of the Eleanor D. Wilson Museum) is an important collection of studies by one of France's noted modernists. French by birth, Hélion married an American from Virginia and spent time living and working in the United States. He lived with his wife in Virginia from 1936-1940 and returned during WW II to work in New York City. This exhibition will present selections from this generous gift, most of which has never been exhibited to the public. This collection makes Hollins University a major repository for Hélion studies.

Inspired by the organization, rhythm, and patterns that would come to characterize his abstract paintings, Hélion's early interests included poetry, chemistry, and architecture. In the mid-1920s, he abandoned his studies in favor of drawing classes at the Académie Adler in Paris. Over the next several years, he met and drew inspiration from abstract and cubist artists including Otto Freundlich, Joaquin Torres-Garcia, and Piet Mondrian. In 1936, Hélion moved from France to the United States. Living in New York and Virginia for four years before returning to France, Hélion deliberately changed his style to be more representative.

After World War II, Hélion's career grew to include radio and lecture appearances as well as a best-selling book about his months as a prisoner of war. Even as his later painterly interests became figurative and naturalistic, his work relied on shape and repetition in the same manner as his abstractions.
Jean Helion, mirror

Jean Hélion,Study of a Standing Nude Female before Cheval Mirror, 1973. Pastel on grey paper. Courtesy of the Eleanor D. Wilson Museum at Hollins University.


2017 Frances Niederer Artist-in-Residence:
Susan Lichtman
March 9 – May 9, 2017
Susan Lichtman works from direct observation to create large-scale paintings. Her renderings of interior spaces suggest a domestic narrative; she is influenced not only by Johannes Vermeer and Pierre Bonnard, but by cinematography and fiction. Lichtman lives and works in southeastern Massachusetts and is an Associate Professor of Painting at Brandeis University. The Frances Niederer Artist-in-Residence program allows Hollins University to bring a nationally recognized artist to campus every year. While in residence, the artist creates work in a campus studio and teaches an art seminar open to all students. During their time at Hollins University, the Artist-in-Residence is a vital part of the campus and greater Roanoke community.
Susan Lichtman, under

Susan Lichtman, Under Grapes, 2016. Oil on linen. Courtesy of the artist.


Screen Swap
175th Celebration: Roanoke College and Hollins University
April 1–16, 2017
In partnership with Roanoke College's Olin Hall Galleries, the Eleanor D. Wilson Museum will present an exhibition of "film shorts" created by students of Hollins University under the direction of the Chair of the Film Department, Amy Gerber-Stroh along with selected works from Roanoke College's "Basically Tarantino" film contest under the direction of Joe Boucher, Director of Student Activities at the Colket Center. This exhibit will premier at Roanoke College, March 13-March 31, 2017, followed by a public screening of the selected films for the joint exhibitions at the Grandin Theater on March 30, 2017. The show will then travel to the Eleanor D. Wilson Museum at Hollins University, April 1 – April 16, 2017.
hollins university

Screen Swap.


2017 Senior Majors Exhibition
May 9–21, 2017
This exhibition features the work of members of the Hollins University class of 2017 majoring in studio art: Natalie Marie Badawy, Suprima Bhele, Laura Carden, Samantha Dozal, Madi Hurley, Maggie Perrin-Key, and Erin M. Leslie. The exhibition is the final requirement for art students earning their Bachelor of Arts at Hollins, and is the capstone experience of their yearlong senior project.
hollins university

2016 Senior Majors Exhibition


Women Working with Clay Symposium Exhibition
May 18 – June 15, 2017
In conjunction with Hollins University's Women Working With Clay Symposium, the Wilson Museum presents an exhibition of work by well-known artists in the world of contemporary ceramics: program director, Donna Polseno; presenters Julia Galloway, Gerit Grimm, Ayumi Horie, Patti Warashina; and featured speaker Lale Dilbaş. Internationally known in the world of ceramics, these artists use the medium of clay to create functional pottery, art vessels, and sculpture. Each brings a wealth of research and knowledge to the techniques they employ and a masterly, unique style.
gerit grimm wwwc

Gerit Grimm, Two Spectators Climbing a Tree, 2013. Ceramic. 50 x 18 x 18". Courtesy of the artist.


ANNETTE POLAN: Covert Autobiography
Reunion 2017
June 1 – September 17, 2017

Annette Polan is a renowned portrait painter and professor emerita at the Corcoran School of Art and Design at George Washington University, Washington, D.C. Polan graduated from Hollins in 1967 and also studied at Tyler School of Art, the Corcoran College of Art and Design, and Ecole du Louvre. Her recent work includes sculpture, painting, drawing, mixed media, and video. Covert Autobiography explores the aging process, concentrating on a series that “incorporates images of nature to explore issues of gender and age in our culture as well as in [Polan’s] own life. It investigates aspects of a single, mature woman who although powerful and confident, can feel disenfranchised, invisible or muffled.”

Polan has taught and lectured on her work and contemporary American portraiture in Europe, Asia, and Australia, and has had numerous solo and group exhibitions in the United States and abroad. In recognition of her leadership for Faces of the Fallen, an exhibition of portraits honoring American servicemen and women killed in Afghanistan and Iraq between 2001-2004, Polan was awarded the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Outstanding Public Service Award.

annette polan, bound

Annette Polan, Bound Unbound. Archival ink jet on silk, cotton fibers, aluminum, fluorescent lights. 67.5 x 32 x 32". Courtesy of the artist.


DANCE LAB: MFA Dance Thesis Exhibition
June 22 – July 2, 2017

The Eleanor D. Wilson Museum is committed to serving a wide variety of art disciplines and fostering creativity and collaboration across the Hollins campus and in the region. In response to the shifting paradigm of art making, the Wilson Museum is partnering with Hollins’ M.F.A. Dance program to host Red Wind / Ruah Aduma, a graduate dance thesis project presented by Erika Tsimbrovsky.

Red Wind / Ruah Aduma is a structured improvisation, combining dance, visual art, and music in a poetic abstract installation/performance. The project is dedicated to a spirit of revolution and inspired by the Russian avant-garde. Red Wind continues their search for what is beyond form and what is behind the mind in a place between the sky and the earth exploring the horizon. The work is directed/choreographed by Erika Tsimbrovsky in collaboration with dancers Ronja Ver, Rebecca Lillich, Kathryn Schetlick, and Cayla Puyandaev; visual artist Vadim Puyandaev; video artist Lucas Krech; and musician Grundik Kasyansky.

dance lab red wind

photo courtesy of Erika Tsimbrovsky


Ethan and Vita Murrow: Drawings from "The Whale"
July 20 – October 8, 2017

The Whale is the debut picture book by husband-and-wife artistic team Ethan and Vita Murrow. This exhibition features 28 stunningly detailed graphite drawings created for this semi-wordless book. The Murrows have collaborated on a variety of artistic projects including writing, video, film, drawing, and photography. They share and divide duties much like a film production, working as a team to write and plan together. Vita acts as producer and director; Ethan builds the drawings in conversation with Vita. Both artists bring their strengths to The Whale, published first in the EU with Big Picture Press/Templar in 2015 and in the US with Candlewick Press in 2016.

Vita Murrow is currently director of the Greater Boston Jewish Coalition for Literacy at the Jewish Community Relations Council. She has worked as a teacher, an educational consultant, and in the film department at the Sesame Workshop. She is also a motion media artist and filmmaker. Ethan Murrow shows his drawings, film, and video work internationally and has exhibited in Paris, New York, Seattle, and Los Angeles. Dust, a short film the two Murrows collaborated on along with Harvest Films, was an official selection of the 2008 New York Film Festival. Ethan Murrow is currently a faculty member at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.

murrow the whale

Ethan and Vita Murrow, Boat Crash (detail of illustration for The Whale), c. 2015. Graphite on paper. 18 x 36&". Courtesy of Winston Wachter Fine Art, Inc., New York, NY.


Drawn from the Vault
September 28 – December 10, 2017
Drawn from the Vault brings together a disparate selection of drawings on paper in a variety of media. Many of these artworks date from the second half of the 20th century and have never been exhibited. Grouped by medium (graphite, ink, colored pencil, charcoal, pastel, and mixed media), they range from realistic to non-objective. Many of these drawings have Hollins connections or were created by artists who became part of the region’s artistic legacy. This exhibition presents just a small sampling of the riches in the museum’s vault.
susan cofer, untitled

Susan Cofer, Untitled, 2004. Prismacolor on paper. Gift of the artist, 2014.011.


An Almost Unnoticed Quietus: Sabbatical Work by Jennifer D. Printz
October 5 – December 20, 2017
Elegantly poetic, Jennifer D. Printz’s work explores the interplay between the material and intangible aspects of our world. Delicately rendered surfaces seamlessly combine with photographic elements as an invitation to ponder what we do and do not know. Printz is an associate professor of studio art at Hollins University. Her work has been exhibited nationally and internationally and has been included in publications as diverse as Tricycle and The Carolina Quarterly. Printz is an active artist who has also held leadership positions on the boards of the Los Angeles Printmaking Society, SGC International, and SECAC. The works presented in this exhibition were created on Printz’s recent sabbatical in Maryland, France, and Virginia.
jennifer d. printz head

Jennifer D. Printz in her studio. Photo by Ronnie Lee Bailey.


Obsessive Collage: Matthew Cusick, Tom Nakashima, Diane Samuels
October 26, 2017 – January 21, 2018

Collage, from the French verb coller, to glue, is an assemblage of different parts to form a new whole. Artworks created using the collage technique first hit the mainstream art world in the cubistic works of Braque and Picasso in the early years of the twentieth century. The collage technique became a preferred medium for numerous artists in the Dada and Surrealist movements and helped break down barriers between painting and sculpture, sometimes incorporating found materials. Even in today’s digital age, the hands-on material quality of collage remains an important medium for twenty-first century artists.

The works in this exhibition go above and beyond our concepts of collage in both scale and preoccupation with detail. As an alternative to paint, Matthew Cusick employs an inlaid collage technique, which utilizes the inherent line, motion and prescribed palettes found in maps and other printed ephemera. Tom Nakashima draws from both Eastern and Western traditions to create monumental works of art that remind us of the heroic and metaphorical power of natural forms. In her large-scale shaped collage pieces, Diane Samuels uses other peoples’ words from books that have influenced her life, transcribing entire books in micro-text. These three artists have used collage to visually portray a persistent idea, image, or desire; although their approach is unique, each uses bits and pieces of disparate paper elements to create a new whole based on visual memories.

diane samuels, moby

Diane Samuels, Moby Dick, 2015. Ink on handmade paper. 96 x 564 inches. Installation view.


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