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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


Susan King: Chronicles of a Southern Feminist
January 4 - April 8, 2018

Susan King first encountered artist books in Los Angeles at the Feminist Studio Workshop (later to become the Women’s Building), one of the first independent art schools for women. In the mid-1970s, she became the studio director of the Women’s Graphic Center at the Woman’s Building, working closely with Judy Chicago and other pioneer feminist artists, writers, and activists. In 1975, King established Paradise Press, and for the past 43 years she has been producing her own work and that of other writers/artists.

King chose a quiet, intimate medium to create clever, feminist statements in the form of books, broadsides, and ephemera. Her work draws inspiration from her personal life including childhood memories, family lore, travel, growing up in the South, learning French, fashion in the 1960s, and battling breast cancer. Witty juxtapositions of stories and type portray her thoughtful and wry style, dovetailed with intelligent, innovative design and feminist sensibilities. King has returned to her roots in Kentucky, moving her presses to her home studio where she continues to write, photograph, and create books and ephemera.

susan king, queen

Susan King, The Queen of Wands, 1993. Offset, gold stamping, die-cut tetra tetra flexagon structure. Funded by Women’s Studio Workshop Grant. Courtesy of the artist, Paradise Press, and Women’s Studio Workshop.


January 18 - March 25, 2018

In this exhibition of ten lighted sculptures and the original prints that inspired them, Roanoke art collector James W. Hyams pays homage to artists whom he considers “bright lights” in the art world. Hyams writes, "What you will find in this exhibition are a series of sculptures that were designed to honor and have a bit of fun with a few of my favorite artists." These include Christo, Keith Haring, Damien Hirst, Jeff Koons, Sol LeWitt, Roy Lichtenstein, Louise Nevelson, Claes Oldenburg, Robert Rauschenberg, and Ettore Sottsass. This exhibit reveals the power and impact of living with art.

james w. hyams, oldenburg

James W. Hyams, Bright Lights: Claes Oldenburg, 2017. Mixed media. Courtesy of the artist.


Zanele Muholi
2018 Frances Niederer Artist-in-Residence
February 8 - April 22, 2018

Artist/Visual Activist Zanele Muholi’s development as a photographer is deeply intertwined with her advocacy on behalf of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex (LGBTI) community in South Africa and worldwide. After Muholi co-founded the Forum for the Empowerment of Women in 2002, she enrolled in the Advanced Programme in Photography at the Market Photo Workshop in Newtown, South Africa. In 2009, Muholi earned her MFA in documentary media from Ryerson University in Toronto. Muholi has earned numerous awards, most recently and most notably France’s Chevalier in the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres (Knight in the Order of Arts and Letters) for 2017, which recognizes those who have “distinguished themselves in the domain of artistic or literary creation or for the contribution they have made to art and literature in France and the world.” Her work has been exhibited internationally. She is represented in the United States by Yancey Richardson Gallery, New York.

The Frances Niederer Artist-in-Residence program allows Hollins University to bring a nationally recognized artist to campus every year.  During their time at Hollins, the Artist-in-Residence is a vital part of the campus and greater Roanoke community.
zanele muholi

Zanele Muholi, Lumka Stemela Nyanga, East Cape Town, 2011. Gelatin silver print. © Zanele Muholi, courtesy of the artist, Yancey Richardson, New York, and Stevenson Cape Town/ Johannesburg


Behind the Scenes at the Museum
Student-Curated Exhibitions

April 26 – May 20, 2018

Using selected works from the Eleanor D. Wilson Museum’s permanent collection, student curators put theory into practice in this exhibition 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, interpreting, and installing a cohesive exhibition. Participants bring a variety of backgrounds and experience to the class, pursuing various disciplines. Co-instructors are Dr. Genevieve Hendricks, Professor of Art History, and Jenine Culligan, Director of the Eleanor D. Wilson Museum. The 2018 exhibitions are Familiar Forms: Exploring the Male Gaze in Modern and Contemporary Art and Entering Art: Exploring Works through Shape and Color.

behind the scenes

a peek beind the scenes


2018 Senior Majors Exhibition
May 8–20, 2018
This exhibition features the work of members of the Hollins University class of 2018 majoring in studio art: Robin Brewster, Amber Carter, Summer Eary, Brittany Lewis, Amanda Malone, and Ashley-Kate Meador. 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 Exhibtion
April 5 - June 13, 2018

This exhibition is organized in conjunction with the Hollins University Women Working with Clay Symposium (which takes place June 11-14, 2018). Works are on display by program director and organizer Donna Polseno; keynote speaker Winnie Owens-Hart; endnote speaker Dara Hartman; and presenters Sunshine Cobb, Rebecca Hutchinson, Eva Kwong, and Deborah Schwartzkopf.

These artists, internationally known in the world of ceramics, bring a wealth of research, knowledge, and a masterly, unique style to the field of ceramics. They create functional pottery, art vessels, and sculpture, inspired by disparate sources including traditional African pottery, Eastern and Western aesthetics, industrial forms, and engineering in nature. By breaking apart and reassembling structures, a number of the artists explore the intersection of art and science, the relationship between light and shadow, and the liminal space between the imagined and the real.

For more information on the symposium, visit

women working with clay

Linda Christianson presents at WWWC 2017


DANCE LAB: MFA Dance Thesis Exhibitions
June 7-17 and June 21 – July 1, 2018

Each summer, the Eleanor D. Wilson Museum partners with the Hollins University M.F.A. Dance program to host selected student graduate dance thesis presentations in the Main Gallery, melding live dance, performance, and visual art. This summer the Museum will present L Taylor Ashton’s Ataba, (June 7-17), and Erica De La O’s ellesig (June 21-July 1).

dance lab

photo courtesy of Hollins University


Four Fur Feet:
A Hollins Collaborative Early Literacy Project
May 31 – September 2, 2018
This exhibition features ten original gouache paintings by Ruth Sanderson along with sketches and a storyboard for the book Four Fur Feet. Sanderson has illustrated over eighty books for children, and her fairytales have received much critical acclaim. She co-directs the MFA in writing and illustrating for children at Hollins University.
cover four fur feet

Ruth Sanderson, Four Fur Feet, 2017


Shadra Strickland: Illustrations
June 28 – September 2, 2018

Shadra Strickland studied design, writing, and illustration at Syracuse University and completed her MFA at the School of Visual Arts in New York City. She won the Ezra Jack Keats Award and the Coretta Scott King/John Steptoe Award for New Talent in 2009 for her first picture book, Bird, written by Zetta Elliott. Strickland co-illustrated Our Children Can Soar, winner of a 2010 NAACP Image Award. She currently teaches illustration at Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore, Maryland, and travels the country conducting workshops and sharing her work with children, teachers, and librarians. This exhibition features illustrations from a selection of Strickland’s award-winning books.

dance lab

Shadra Strickland, illustration from Bird, 2008


Eric Fitzpatrick: Southern Culture Series
July 12 – September 23, 2018

Born and raised in Roanoke, artist Eric Fitzpatrick is beloved in Southwest Virginia, known for his paintings of landmark buildings, local hangouts, area musicians, street scenes and area personalities. Fitzpatrick has worked as a full-time professional artist for over 35 years. He earned his BA at Virginia Tech, studied painting at the University of Georgia, and completed two fellowships at the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts. His work is in private, corporate, and museum collections throughout the U.S. and worldwide.

Fascinated by the way Southerners are taught to view their past, Fitzpatrick turns his characteristic style to exploring those defining stereotypes in his Southern Culture Series. Bordering on caricature, this work exaggerates these stereotypes, forcing the viewer to confront their own (often unconscious) cultural assumptions.

eric fitzpatrick flat footin

Eric Fitzpatrick, Flat Footin', 2006, oil on canvas. Courtesy of the artist. Photo by Mike Wilson, Bohemian Robot Photography.


Images of Social Justice from the Segura Arts Studio
September 13 – December 9, 2018

Master printer and publisher Joe Segura has dedicated his life’s work to collaborative printmaking, working with and promoting artists from underrepresented cultural groups. Segura founded the Segura Publishing Company in 1981 in Tempe, Arizona, and was drawn to marginalized artists: women, African Americans, Latinos, and Native Americans. In 2013, upon invitation from the University of Notre Dame, Segura moved the workshop to South Bend, Indiana, and changed the name to Segura Arts Studio. Following the move, Segura immediately began to dovetail the studio’s activities with those of the academic departments at the University of Notre Dame.

This exhibition features thirty-six prints created at Segura Arts Studio by seventeen visiting artists. Social justice issues bind these artists together, each tackling either human, animal, or land rights issues in their own style. The prints include a linocut by Elizabeth Catlett, lithographs by Sue Coe and Luis Jiminez, mixed media works by Luis Gonzales Palma, and photogravures by Graciela Iterbide. More recent artists to visit the workshop include: Claudia Bernardi, Enrique Chagoya, Claudio Dicochea, Terry Evans, Hung Liu, Jacob Meders, Faith Ringgold, Maria Tomasula, Vincent Valdez, Carrie Mae Weems, Emmi Whitehorse, and Matika Wilbur. All of these artists express concerns regarding the abuse of power, culture wars, race, gender, and citizenship. This exhibition is sponsored in part by the City of Roanoke through the Roanoke Arts Commission.

segura arts

Claudia Bernardi, Palabras de Arena (Words of Sand), 2013. Color intaglio, ed. of 60.


Christian Benefiel:
sculpture in an otherwise empty space
October 4 – December 16, 2018

Made of interwoven pieces of wood, Christian Benefiel’s large-scale sculptures are both aesthetically pleasing and philosophical in nature. These three works all feature holes and allude to targets, tunnels, or vessels. The holes are also representative of depression and loss. No nails, bolts, or glue are used to construct the works. Instead, they are held together with tension, relying on stress and force, balance, and other basic elements of physics. Inspired by the systematic structures in which culture, interpersonal relationships, and civilization are based, the works explore the notion of order in chaos, and become metaphors for the interconnectedness and fragility of society. Benefiel notes, “The way in which materials, people and elements interact, react and depend on one another is the string that ties my work together.” Students at Hollins University assisted the artist with the installation of these works. View a time lapse video of installation here.

Benefiel is Associate Professor of Sculpture at Shepherd University in Shepherdstown, West Virginia. He has shown his work nationally and internationally and is represented in collections and public installations throughout the United States. He has received numerous awards including the Roth Endowment Award, William J. Fulbright Post Graduate Research Grant, and the Hamiltonian Fellowship. Benefiel has held artist residencies in the United States and abroad. The artist lives and works in western Maryland. This exhibition is sponsored in part by the City of Roanoke through the Roanoke Arts Commission.


Christian Benefiel, Opportunity, Obstacle and Ordeal, 2016. Natural materials.



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
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