Tag Archives: gallery

Summer Exhibitions Now Open!

June 8 – August 3, 2017

The Wax Collective: Contemporary Artists Creating with Wax
 A group of artists who use wax as a key element to create unique, layered effects in engaging encaustic paintings

Julie Snidle’s “The Golden Hour” of the Wax Collective

Deborah Douglas: Alternative Facts (1965 – 2017)
Mixed media works of various imagery that address issues of gender, feminism, and empowerment

Deborah Doulgas’ “1980”



Peg Fetter: Minimal Frivolities
A juxtaposition of materials in fine art jewelry distilled to the bare necessities

Peg Fetter’s “Ridge Ring”


The Schmidt is Taking Flight!

Function & Ceremony: The Art of Melanesia

The Schmidt Art Center has partnered with St. Louis Lambert International Airport’s Art & Culture Program to exhibit works from our Melanesian Collection.

Function & Ceremony: The Art of Melanesia features many of our objects from Papua New Guinea, including our wave splitter, spirit board, sago and feast bowls, and a canoe prow. This exhibition was first displayed at the Schmidt in its entirety in January 2016, and reflects on the sacred and functional purposes of these objects.

Function & Ceremony: The Art of Melanesia is on exhibition at the airport’s Lambert Gallery now through September 17th.

2017 High School Show Now Open

March 23 – April 6, 2017

Our annual exhibition of area high school art, along with Congressman Bost’s Congressional Art Competition.

Seth Martin’s “Squints!”

Participating High Schools:

Althoff Catholic High School
Belleville Township High School East
Belleville Township High School West
Carbondale Community High School
Collinsville High School
Dongola High School
DuQuoin High School
Elverado High School
Frankfort Community High School
Freeburg Community High School
Gibault Catholic High School
Highland High School
Johnston City High School
Lebanon High School
Marion High School
Marissa High School
Mascoutah High School
O’Fallon Township High School
Okawville High School
Steeleville High School
Triad High School
Valmeyer High School

New Exhibitions Open This Thursday

New exhibitions featuring the works of Timothy Norton, Heather Haymart, and Carol Zeman open this Thursday, with an opening reception from 6-8 p.m. Casual artist talks will also be held from 6-8 p.m. that evening.


Timothy Norton’s from “NOWHEN”

Cerebral concepts interpreted through paintings and illustrated books


Carol Zeman’s “Riding the Tiger”

Carol Zeman: Spirit Wings
Ethereal sculptures of natural materials that communicate contemporary issues, mysteries, and spiritual topics


Heather Haymart’s “Releasing Control”

Heather Haymart: Far from Colorless:  A look beneath the surface
Tranquil paintings of thickly applied texture revealing a meditative and connective process

Exhibitions open October 27 – December 15. For more information on programs and exhibitions, please visit our website at swic.edu/TheSchmidt .


Coming Soon! Art Scavenger Hunt

"Linger Longer Loo" by Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec (detail)

“Linger Longer Loo” by Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec (detail)

The Case of the Missing “Linger Longer Loo”

Artist: Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec
Title: Linger Longer Loo
Date: 1898
Medium: Lithograph

The year is 1898 and artist Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec is distraught. Henri’s lithograph, Linger Longer Loo, is no longer lingering in its beautiful golden frame. Where has it gone? To the loo? Doubtful.

The artist needs you to solve the mystery. The police have five suspects. Read about each suspect, use hints in your field notes guide, and scour the city of Belleville for clues. Make it to the last location and submit your verdict to win.

As you begin your quest, we leave you these final words from the great Sherlock Homes: “When you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth.”

How to Play

To help you in your quest for the stolen artwork, you will need to read carefully the characters’ information, hints in the field notes when applicable, and clues at each Belleville site. Based on the information provided, one character should be eliminated as a suspect at each site unless otherwise noted in your journal. Use your field notes journal to help keep track. By the final location you will have two suspects left that could have done it, but which one? At that location you will find a box in which to submit your final answer.

Good luck!


The object of the game is to discover the answer to these three questions:
1. Who did it?
2. Where is the artwork?
3. Why did the person take it?


The mystery begins Tuesday, October 4, and will continue through Monday, October 31. All answers must be submitted at the final destination by October 31 at 3 p.m.
Please note: some clues may require additional research and some clue sites may have specific hours of operation. To find that information, you will need to go to that location’s website. Family members of staff from participating organizations are unable to play. Open to all ages. One entry per person.

New Exhibitions Opening This Evening

Please join us this evening for the opening reception of exhibitions by Karen Rips & Paula Chung, Heather Woodson, and Prints from the Permanent Collection.

Exhibitions run August 11 – October 6, 2016


Karen Rips & Paula Chung’s “Lynn’s Spine I” from their exhibition “A View Within”


Christo’s “Wrapped Statues (Project for Der Glyptotek in Munich Aegean Temple)” from the Schmidt’s Permanent Collection

Heather Woodson's "Shame" from her exhibition "Boredom: Problem or Prvilege"

Heather Woodson’s “Shame” from her exhibition “Boredom: Problem or Prvilege”

Function & Ceremony: The Art of Melanesia

Function & Ceremony: The Art of Melanesia in the Marsh Gallery

Function & Ceremony: The Art of Melanesia in the Marsh Gallery

For the first time in its 15-year history, the Schmidt is exhibiting works from its Melanesian collection. Objects include, but are not limited to, Gope (spirit boards), a Mwai mask, Sepik River Region canoe prows, and Kaima costumes.

Iatmul Mwai Spirit Mask, Papua New Guinea, wood, pigments, fiber, claystone inlaid with cowry shells, boar tusks, & human hair

Iatmul Mwai Spirit Mask, Papua New Guinea, wood, pigments, fiber, claystone inlaid with cowry shells, boar tusks, & human hair

Sago Bowls, Koiwat & Kamangauwi Villages, Papua New Guinea, terracotta and pigment

Sago Bowls, Koiwat & Kamangauwi Villages, Papua New Guinea, terracotta and pigment

Curator’s Essay by Jessica Mannisi:
Defining Melanesia is a bit tricky, whether it be culturally or geographically. Anthropologists cannot agree on definitive boundaries. Generally, it is considered as a sub region of Oceania, consisting of four countries: Vanuatu, the Solomon Islands, Fiji, and Papua New Guinea, as well as the territories of West Papua and New Caledonia.  In such a small region, the area is home to more than 1,000 languages – the densest rate of languages in relation to land mass on earth (approximately 435 miles² per language). The indigenous populations are divided amongst hundreds of small-scale societies, ranging from a few dozen to 200,000 people, and these societies are often completely cut off from each other due to the extreme topography of the lands.

Nevertheless, there are some common artistic ties that most scholars can agree upon. Common traits among the people of Melanesia are:

  1. The tools they use have the technical development of the late Stone Age. (Materials for tools include stone blades, shark teeth, shell splinters, sea urchin spine drills, files made of shark or ray skin, and obsidian.)
  1. Artists’ names are unknown. (Religious significance of objects always takes precedence – not the maker.)
  1. There is a firm connection with religion that dominates all aspects of daily life. (Even the most functional objects commonly have religious or spiritual connotations and are never merely decorative.)

Unlike Polynesian and Micronesian art, Melanesian art is based on ancestor worship, totemism, and other religious concepts, but never on chieftains or those of the living.

There are some things to consider while walking through this exhibition.

First of all, it is important to remember that the people of Melanesia never make something just for aesthetic reasons. A work of art in and of itself is an absurdity to them. Every swirl, embellishment, or animal depiction has a spiritual or sacred purpose or meaning. For example, the decision to use crocodile heads on canoe prows is not because they look beautiful (or menacing). The crocodile is a sacred being. Origin stories claim a giant, ancient crocodile brought the land up out of the primordial ocean, and the land still rests on this animal. Upsetting it can mean earthquakes and destruction.

Also, several of the objects in the Schmidt’s permanent collection are believed to house ancestral spirits. From a Western perspective it is a little difficult to wrap one’s head around the idea, but these objects are not just remembrances or images of an ancestor – they ARE the ancestor.

This is the first time in the Schmidt’s 15-year history that these works have been exhibited together, and there are several reasons for this. To begin with, they are all somewhat fragile. The materials used to create these pieces are far more delicate and ephemeral than a work of art made of metal, oil paint, or even glass. Even with their sacred nature, the people of Melanesia understood this and made replacements once the object had reached the end of its lifespan, so to speak.

Furthermore, there is the sacred nature to consider. It is important as a museum to be a respectful steward of such spiritually valuable objects, whether one believes in them or not. To display an object that potentially holds an ancestral spirit should be done so with care, respect, and the proper knowledge.

I have passed these objects almost daily over the last 6 years, and have wanted to give them their moment to be appreciated by the public. For much of 2015, I’ve done careful research to determine the identity, culture, and purpose of these objects, and I have gained an even greater appreciation for them. Amazingly, this collection is in excellent condition, and several of the objects are somewhat rare examples of their kind.

With all this being said, I hope you enjoy this rare viewing of our Melanesian collection.
About the Collection

Most of the works in our Melanesian collection come from a generous donation by Charles J. Stathis in 1999. The Mwai mask was acquired through a purchase by the SWIC Student Committee for the Visual Arts in 1992.

Exhibition runs through February 25th. For more information, visit swic.edu/TheSchmidt.