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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


Diane Edison
2019 Frances Niederer Artist-in-Residence
January 17 – April 28, 2019

In 1986, Diane Edison began to focus on self-portraits and images of family members, co-workers, and friends. She has become well known for these intense, honest, larger-than-life, close-range portraits. Edison creates her work using color pencil on black paper. The intricately detailed works draw the viewer in for scrutiny, and offer an extreme psychological and physical depiction of the people within the artist’s circle.

Edison earned her BFA from the School of Visual Arts, New York, in 1976 and her MFA from the University of Pennsylvania in 1986. Edison has been a member of the faculty at the Lamar Dodd School of Art since 1992. Her college textbook, Dynamic Color Painting for the Beginner, was published in 2008 by Harry Abrams in New York City and simultaneously with Laurence King Ltd. in the United Kingdom.

Established by an anonymous donor in 1997, the endowed Frances Niederer Artist-in-Residence program allows the University to bring a nationally recognized artist to campus each academic year. In residence during the spring semester, the visiting artist creates work in a campus studio and teaches an art seminar open to all students.

diane edison

Diane Edison, Large Self-Portrait, 1993. Pastel on black paper. Courtesy of the artist and George Adams Gallery.


Power and Beauty: Women Artists from the Collection
January 22 – February 10, 2019

In 2005, the inaugural exhibition for the Eleanor D. Wilson Museum featured the powerful work of Carrie Mae Weems and culminated in the acquisition of a photograph from the artist’s Kitchen Table Series. To celebrate the past 15 years of hosting exhibits on the first floor of the Richard Wetherill Visual Arts Center and to honor museum benefactor Siddy Wilson, the museum presents an exhibition highlighting artwork from the museum’s collection by contemporary women artists.

matika wilbur

Matika Wilbur, Dr. Mary for Project 562, 2014-15. Copper photogravure. Museum purchase, 2018.018.


Momoyo Torimitsu: Somehow I Don't Feel Comfortable
February 14 - April 14, 2019

Installation artist Momoyo Torimitsu pushes the boundaries of viewer comfort and investigates the phenomenon of “cuteness syndrome” with oversized inflatable pink bunny rabbits. The artist writes, “A bunny is one of the stereotyped images of cuteness: an innocent, pure, small something that should be protected… This oversized bunny I created that looks down on you doesn’t seem cute anymore – it’s kind of disturbing.”

Torimitsu works in a variety of forms, including sculpture, installation, video, photographs, performance, and site-specific projects. Her work is inspired by the hypocritical imagery of corporate culture and media stereotypes of cuteness and happiness, reexamined through the lenses of irony and humor. Born in Japan, Torimitsu earned her BA from Tama Art University in Tokyo. She has lived and worked in New York since 1996, when she joined the P.S. 1 International Studio Program. Torimitsu received grants from Rema Hort Foundation and Asian Cultural Council, and she completed residencies with Art Omi International in Ghent, NY, and ISEA in collaboration with National University of Singapore’s computer science laboratory. Torimitsu has had numerous solo and group exhibitions and installations nationally and abroad. This exhibition is sponsored in part by the City of Roanoke through the Roanoke Arts Commission.


momoyo torimitsu

Momoyo Torimitsu, Somehow I Don't Feel Comfortable, 2000. Inflatable nylon balloons. Courtesy of the artist and Misa Shin Gallery, Tokyo, Japan. Photo by Kioko Keizo.


20th Century Photographs from the Rugaber Collection
February 21 - April 28, 2019

This exhibition presents 53 black-and-white works by prominent 20th century photographers and loaned to the museum by Walter and Sally Rugaber. The collection includes landscape, architectural, and portrait photography that showcases life in the late 19th and 20th centuries. It features historic photographs from the Farm Security Administration (FSA) including work by Dorothea Lange, Walker Evans, Arthur Rothstein, Marion Post Wolcott, Ben Shahn, and others. The collection also includes photographs by Eugene Atget, Lewis Hine, Alfred Stieglitz, Ansel Adams, Danny Lyon, Sally Mann, and many more.

Walter and Sally Rugaber are longtime supporters of the arts in the Roanoke valley. They each began their respective careers in journalism and met while working at the Atlanta Journal. They have lived in southwest Virginia since 1982, during which time Mr. Rugaber worked as publisher and president of the Roanoke Times and Landmark Publishing Group. Additionally, Mr. Rugaber was a Trustee on the Hollins University Board from 1993-2007, and served as the university’s interim president in 2001-02. While on a visit to Santa Fe, NM, the Rugabers purchased their first photograph from the FSA era. The Rugabers note, “We certainly didn’t intend to become ‘collectors’… somewhere in there decided we loved those scenes from the 30s and wanted more of them.”

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


Marion Post Wolcott, Negro Man Entering Movie Theater to “Colored” Section, Belzoni, Mississippi, 1939. Photograph. Courtesy of Walter and Sally Rugaber. Photo by Kyra Schmidt.



2019 Senior Majors Exhibition
May 14-25, 2019

This exhibition features the work of members of the Hollins University class of 2019 majoring in studio art: Meera Chauhan, Kristenna France, Rachel Lee Foster Jackson, Anais Quick, Naomi Saltzman, Maya Paige Schattgen, Ashley Soechting, and Anshu Thapa. 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.

2018 senior majors

2018 Senior Majors Exhibition attendees.


Women Working with Clay Symposium Exhibition
May 9 - June 12, 2019

In conjunction with the ninth annual Women Working with Clay Symposium held each summer at Hollins University, the Eleanor D. Wilson Museum presents an exhibition of work by these well-known artists in the world of contemporary ceramics: program director Donna Polseno; assistant director Dara Hartman; presenters Jen Allen, Beth Lo, Liz Lurie, and Tip Toland; keynote speaker Lydia Thompson; and endnote speaker Cynthia Bringle. This symposium emphasizes the creative process from every level while looking at the particular aspects and points of view that may be unique to women working in clay.

For more information on the symposium, visit

wwwc symposium

Presenters and attendees at WWWC 2018. Courtesy of Hollins University.



Reunion: Rosalind Waiwaiole '14
May 16 - June 16, 2019

Rosalind (Roz) Waiwaiole is a graduate of Hollins University in Roanoke, Virginia, where she received her Bachelor of Arts degree. Growing up as a native of Hawaii, she has always been drawn to the natural elements. As part of her culture and beliefs, one is connected with the earth. Waiwaiole has lived in many parts of the country, all of which have inspired her to look at the landscape and the environment, which she captures through an architectural or nature-based realm. She is interested in structures that have been abandoned and that are in the process of deteriorating as they provide a sense of atmosphere, longing, and passage of time. The shapes of the natural terrain, the line of structure, and the color palette of the earth are embodied in her work.

Waiwaiole now resides in Henry County, in Southwest Virginia, and works and teaches out of her studio located in The Grainery Studio, in historic downtown Rocky Mount.

roz waiwaiole

Rosalind Waiwaiole, Untitled, 2019. Charcoal, oil, and cold wax. Courtesy of the artist.


Dance Lab: MFA Dance Thesis Exhibitions
Erynn Schon-Brunner, Puzzling Essence: June 13-23, 2019
Erica Gionfriddo, In the Ether: June 27 - July 7, 2019

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. Eryn Schon-Brunner is an American choreographer, dancer, and dance educator. Her work employs classical, electronic, jazz, and contemporary pop music with a wide-ranging movement vocabulary. Her exhibition, Puzzling Essence, examines the nature of being by juxtaposing portraits of a single subject in various media: painted portraits, choreography, and kinetic sculpture. Erica Gionfriddo is a dancer, choreographer and somatic researcher experimenting with how and where bodies - and humans - connect. Her exhibition, In the Ether, is a staged rehearsal of possible cyborg realities. Using the performance of identity as a lens to interrogate the ways emergent technologies de-center the body, this interactive exhibit offers participants the opportunity to question the distinction between their actual and virtual selves.

2018 dance lab

Courtesy of Hollins University.


Mary Jane Begin: Mapping the Imagination
June 28 - September 8, 2019

Each summer, the Eleanor D. Wilson Museum collaborates with the Children’s Book Writing & Illustrating M.F.A. program at Hollins University, presenting exhibitions by summer faculty and visiting artists. Illustration professor Mary Jane Begin’s exhibit, Mapping the Imagination, deconstructs the creative process and shares the development of two book projects: Revolution and Ping Meets Pang. Begin is a professor in the illustration department at the Rhode Island School of Design and an award-winning children's book illustrator and author. Her latest picture books include My Little Pony: Under the Sparkling Sea and The Dragons on Dazzle Island, published in collaboration with Hasbro. The artist’s select advertising clients include Hasbro, Celestial Seasonings, Mead Johnson, and Disney. Begin’s work has been exhibited throughout the country, with one-woman shows at Books of Wonder Gallery in New York, NY and Beverly Hills, CA, and the National Museum of American Illustration in Newport, RI.

ping meets pang

Mary Jane Begin, Ping Meets Pang, 2019. Illustration.


Ben Hatke: Nobody Likes a Goblin
July 11 - September 15, 2019

Ben Hatke is an author, illustrator, and graphic novelist nationally known for his New York Times bestseller Zita the Spacegirl. He has also written and illustrated the graphic novels Little Robot and Mighty Jack, and the picture books Julia’s House for Lost Creatures and Nobody Likes a Goblin. In the delightful and charming children’s book Nobody Likes a Goblin, Hatke tackles expectations and prejudice. This exhibit presents 40 original watercolors from the book and allows viewers of all ages to walk through the story with Goblin, from his happy life in the dungeon shared with rats and his best friend Skeleton, to his journey out into the world after adventurers kidnap Skeleton and steal everything they own. Hatke currently lives in the Shenandoah Valley with his wife and five daughters.

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

nobody likes a goblin

Ben Hatke, illustration from Nobody Likes a Goblin, 2016. Watercolor and ink.


Power, Beauty, and Justice: A Selection of Contemporary Women Artists from the Collection
July 25 - September 8, 2019

Power, Beauty, and Justice presents a selection of work by contemporary women artists from the permanent collection. Arranged by medium, this exhibit encourages guests to explore the combined visual effects of concept, process, and subject matter. The active process of art making can be intricate and beautiful in a traditional sense such as Reni Gower’s and Lauren Scanlon’s carefully cut paper designs or meditative, repetitive, and formally complex as in Jennifer Printz’s and Alison Hall’s markmaking. Or it can be bold and powerful using non-traditional methods such as shooting bullets into a large-scale painted metal surface such as in the work of Margaret Evangeline.

Many of the artists in the exhibit have focused on using their artwork to explore, witness, and raise awareness of issues of identity, gender, race, environmental concerns, animal and human rights, and social justice. Together, they give us a unique vision of their inner and outer worlds, with beautiful comments on and powerful reactions to contemporary life.

zanele muholi hollins

Zanele Muholi, Nomali I Roanoke, Virginia, 2018. Silver gelatin print. Museum purchase, 2019.008.


Gibby Waitzkin: The Truth Continuum
September 19 - December 8, 2019

Gibby Waitzkin is a fiber artist, papermaker, and photographer. For over 35 years she has used her arts and design background to support arts advocacy issues and environmental and women’s rights. This installation transforms part of the Wilson Museum into a visual representation of strength, community, and interconnection. Plant samples and a video of the artist’s process reveal her centuries-old papermaking techniques. This exhibit and its related programs are sponsored in part by the City of Roanoke through the Roanoke Arts Commission.

matika wilbur

Gibby Waitzkin, Reflection at Sunset. Mixed media.


Pulped Under Pressure
September 26 - December 19, 2019

With traditional hand papermaking at its core, Pulped Under Pressure underscores important contemporary issues steeped in history and craft. These works encourage a contemplative slowing down even as they urge acknowledgement of the issues facing civilization today. Each of the artists starts simply with a foundation of pulp made from natural fibers. Their multifaceted results incorporate a rich range of printmaking, letterpress, papercutting, and installation with a diversity of reused materials. In very unique ways, these artists consider paper beyond its most common function as a passive surface of record or craft. Instead, the material is transformed and imbedded with content that turns communication into a public practice.

pulped under pressure

Marilyn Propp, Travelers. Relief print on paper.


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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