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.
A unique experience for all visitors to Benedictine University is that the University's art collection is visible throughout the entire campus, and its branch Moser Center campus. While most university collections have a designated area for showing artwork, usually within a contained exhibition space, virtually every Benedictine visitor is able to see a part of the art collection by walking through the public areas on campus.
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.
The art collection enhances the Fine Arts Department curriculum, but the scale of the collection 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. These 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. Instructors are encouraged to utilize the art collection to supplement their curriculum.
Teachers, parents, special art interest groups, campus visitors, and those wishing to visit neighboring St. Procopius Abbey, for the express purpose of a guided tour of the campus, should contact Teresa J. Parker, Curator of Exhibitions and University Art Collections.