Northern Illinois University

NIU Office of Public Affairs

News Release

Contact: Anna Marie Coveny, DeKalb Area Women’s Center
(815) 758-1351

January 6, 2009

NIU alumna exhibits paintings

DeKalb — The colorful and whimsical collages and acrylic paintings of Northern Illinois University alumna Nancy Legner are on display during January at a solo showing at the DeKalb Area Women’s Center.

Legner, who continues to live in northern Illinois after her decision to leave her classroom for a full-time career as an exhibiting artist, recently returned to DeKalb from an exhibit at the Ceres Gallery in the Chelsea Art District of New York City.

She earned a master of fine arts degree from the NIU School of Art in 1983, taught elementary art in the Batavia Public School District 101 and is an award-winning member of the Illinois Art Education Association.

Her hometown has provided inspiration for a mixed-media painting in the exhibit. “Greetings from Sandwich, Illinois” was created as a zany greeting card – a visual reaction to all those years of people kidding her about the town’s name.

Prominent in this collage are a colorized photo of a cattle lot, a cow wearing Barbie sunglasses with a pin-cushion hat and, of course, a sandwich. Diagonal placement of paper dolls and pointing fingers are used to create movement. In this activity-filled fantasy landscape, the artist is represented as a little girl holding her artist palette observing the town’s antics. The turbulent composition is tied together with strands of cascading vintage necklaces and bracelets.

“My acrylic paintings are carefully articulated whimsical fantasies that communicate highly personal narrative themes. The paintings become editorials of events and places in my life that need to be portrayed,” Legner said. “Influenced by a long-ago secret world of objects, creatures and places, the paintings have a vintage ambience. With an understanding of the Victorian period, the canvasses are rendered in a ritual process full of a busy abundance and revealing a fear of open spaces. The compositions explode with color and movement – outrageous, humorous, playful or absurd.”

Text narratives accompany the visuals to continue the fantastic journey.

These amazing paintings and prints are available for viewing and for sale. Individuals and groups are welcome to visit the art exhibit from 7 to 9 p.m. Fridays in January, or by appointment. The closing reception will be held Friday, Jan. 30.

The DAWC is located at 1021 State Street in DeKalb. Parking is available in the paved lot off of Eleventh Street, one-half block south of the building. The handicapped-accessible lift can be reached from the alley north of the building. For further information, or to arrange a group showing, call Anna Marie Coveny, gallery director, at (815) 758-1351 or (815) 761-1735.

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