The Krannert Art Museum (KAM), located on campus and a part of the College of Fine and Applied Arts, first opened in 1961 and is home to the University of Illinois art collection. As the second largest fine arts museum in Illinois, it contains more than 10,000 pieces that date from the fourth millennium B.C. to the present day.
A core mission of the museum is to engage a diverse community, and it averages about 125,000 visitors each year. Student artists are also encouraged to explore KAM and gain inspiration.
The museum frequently offers opportunities for students and community members to meet visiting artists, attend free workshops and participate in other family-friendly events. A public reception will be held on Thursday, Nov. 17 at 6 p.m. to celebrate the newly renovated galleries and official opening of the Fall 2016 exhibits (one of which is Medieval Manuscripts).
Julia Nucci Kelly, who works on communications and marketing at KAM, cites one of her favorite current exhibits as the Borderland Collective: Northern Triangle. This exhibition deals with representations of immigration and the broader conversation of identity.
“One thing that I really love about the museum is its bravery, because we engage topics that are not easy. Art that talks about race or justice or war or feminism isn’t easy, but it is important. And the conversations and learning that can happen around those topics are very important to this campus and our community,” Kelly said. “I would say that often, art is a vital tool for engaging the truths of our times or, if you’re looking at historical artwork, for the times during which it was created. It can be a shock to see that art created in the 1800’s century, like Goya’s series of etchings on war for example, was grappling with issues that could be current.”