Benedictine University possesses a permanent art collection of nearly 4,000 artifacts and pieces of art. The collection represents both fine and applied arts, and is engagingly diverse in its scope of subject and media. While a majority of the collection deals with religious themes, it also has a fair representation of contemporary art and work by well-known artists. The collection consists mainly of works on paper and fine art prints. It also boasts a collection of ceramics, drawings, paintings, photography, textile, sculpture, mixed media, folk art and kitsch.
It was the vision of Curator Emeritus Fr. Michael Komechak (pictured, right) to bring the arts to Benedictine University nearly forty years ago. An art connoisseur, Fr. Komechak brought art of all media and subject into the university's classrooms and helped to found the university's art programs. His excitement about the creative process and the manner in which all things are a reflection of God's grace through the arts compelled him to begin collecting art for the university as a teaching tool. Later, as the collection evolved, it was showcased on the fourth floor of Benedictine Hall, in the art classrooms and the adjacent hallways. When Old Ben Hall was demolished, Fr. Komechak, seeking to bring art to everyone on campus, dispersed the collection through every hallway, classroom and office. That legacy continues today and is a vital and unique aspect of the university.
While the art collection enhances the curriculum of the Department of Art, its scale has transformed the University into a enormous art gallery, whereby art is appreciated by the masses and of aesthetic merit to all disciplines. Benedictine University has several "designated" exhibition areas: the first and second floors of Kindlon Hall and the Krasa Center lower level display cases. And in honor of Fr. Komechak's vision for the University, the Fr. Michael E. Komechak, O.S.B., Art Gallery opened on the fifth floor of the Kindlon Hall of Learning in 2013. Both the Komechak Art Gallery and the University's many public spaces are used for temporary rotating exhibits of the permanent collection, donations, and acquisitions, as well as artwork by students, faculty, and local, national, and international artists.
The Department of Art and the Komechak Art Gallery encourage instructors to utilize the art collection to supplement their curriculum. We also welcome teachers, parents, special art interest groups,campus visitors, and those wishing to visit neighboring St. Procopius Abbey, to discover the riches of the University's art collection.
For more information, contact Teresa J. Parker, Curator of Exhibitions and University Art Collections.
Visit the official website of the the Fr. Michael E. Komechak, O.S.B., Art Gallery.