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Current Exhibitions


Women Working with Clay

Women Working with Clay

May 30 – July 21, 2024

In conjunction with the 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 Dara Hartman; presenters Hona Leigh Knudsen, Joanne Seongweon Lee, Aysha Peltz, Lydia Thompson, and Christina A. West; guest speaker Christa Assad; and founding director Donna Polseno. Founded in 2011, this symposium was created to honor the great accomplishments of women ceramic artists today. It explores the connections of the long history of women in cultures all over the world as vessel makers, artists, and artisans.


Julie Benbassat: Illustrations

June 13 – July 28, 2024

Julie Benbassat’s inspiring illustrations combine observational drawings of nature and everyday objects with imagination and fantasy. This exhibition of Benbassat’s work emphasizes process, and includes concept work, original drawings and paintings and digital prints. On view are story boards and ideation scripts; imagined character, object, and place concept drawings; and original works paired with final digitized images.

Benbassat is an illustrator and painter based in Philadelphia, PA. A 2019 graduate of the Rhode Island School of Design, she specializes in editorial illustrations and children’s publishing. Benbassat employs a range of mediums, from traditional to digital, often blending them to create eccentric works that are both fantastical and natural. Her artwork has been included in exhibitions across the United States and abroad. Her latest project, illustrating There’s That Sun Again by MK Smith Despres, will be released in fall 2024.


Children’s Book Illustration Faculty Exhibition

July 11 – September 15, 2024

The M.F.A. program in Children’s Book Writing and Illustration at Hollins is the first of its kind in the country. Students who want to both write and illustrate books for children and young adults, or who wish to work in publishing, or who wish to attain a terminal degree to teach in higher education, can immerse themselves in a concentrated creative environment. Each summer, a core group of talented and renowned children’s book authors and illustrators arrive on campus from all around the U.S. and, along with invited guest artists, teach and host workshops. The campus is populated each year with familiar storybook characters.

This process-oriented exhibition features recent work by five illustration faculty and one guest artist for the 2024 summer program: Elizabeth O. Dulemba, Director of Graduate Programs in Children’s Literature and Illustration; Mary Jane Begin, visiting associate professor and Illustration Chair; Matthew Faulkner, visiting associate professor; Ruth Sanderson, visiting associate professor; Ashley Wolff, visiting associate professor; and James Ransome, guest artist. The works on view focus on recent book projects, and a few of the artists have included preliminary sketches and other materials to emphasize process.

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


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.


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.


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.


Upcoming Exhibitions


Dance Lab

June 13-30, 2024