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The Eleanor D. Wilson Museum | Hollins University


Upcoming Exhibitions (dates/availability subject to change)

Women Working with Clay:
Ten Years of Telling the Story
April 8 - June 16, 2021

In celebration of the tenth anniversary of the annual Women Working with Clay Symposium, the Eleanor D. Wilson Museum at Hollins University has organized the exhibition Women Working with Clay: Ten Years of Telling the Story. Featuring 50 works by 50 women artists who have presented at the symposia, this exhibit celebrates the stories, memories, and accomplishments of women in the field of ceramics. Topics explored through this exhibition range from the retelling of folktales, fables, and myths to the far-reaching impact of the history of colonialism and slavery; each work celebrates the beauty and poignancy of the inclusion of handmade objects in daily life. Artist Donna Polseno, the organizer of the Women Working with Clay Symposium, writes: “The works... speak about deeply personal experiences in life, emanating from each artist’s story and differing approaches to the material of clay with historical or cultural references adding another layer.”

The exhibition is accompanied by a fully-illustrated catalogue with an essay by Mary Barringer; Symposium Director’s note by Donna Polseno; and foreword by Jenine Culligan, Director of the Eleanor D. Wilson Museum at Hollins University.

This exhibit and its related programs are sponsored in part by the City of Roanoke through the Roanoke Arts Commission, the Virginia Commission for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts, and Hollins University.

women working with clay 2018

Women Working with Clay Symposium, 2018.


Grace Lin: Moon Themes
June 3 - August 1, 2021

Grace Lin is a children's book author and illustrator best known for her 2010 Newberry Honor Book, Where the Mountain Meets the Moon, and her 2019 Caldecott Honor Book, A Big Mooncake for Little Star.

grace lin

illustration from Where the Mountain Meets the Moon by Grace Lin.


DANCE LAB: MFA Dance Thesis Exhibition
June 24 - July 4, 2021

Each summer, the Eleanor D. Wilson Museum partners with the Hollins University M.F.A. Dance program to host selected student graduate dance thesis presentations, melding live dance, performance, and visual art.

hollins dance

courtesy of the Hollins University dance department


International Mezzotint Society Exchange Exhibition
July 1 - September 19, 2021

Through her participation in four international mezzotint exchanges organized by the International Mezzotint Society (IMS), Fincastle-based artist and Hollins professor emerita Nancy Dahlstrom has shared her artwork as well as obtained a collection of mezzotints from artists around the world. Annually, IMS members are invited to participate in a mezzotint print exchange. Each of the 24 contributing artists create a mezzotint to trade with the other artists; each artist receives one print from each of the participating members. This exhibition will feature a selection of these original prints from Nancy Dahlstrom’s collection.

dahlstrom mezzotint

Nancy Dahlstrom, Nocturnal Souvenir, 2012. Softground etching and mezzotint.


DIGNIFIED: Individuals with Alzheimer's and Their Caregivers
Photographs by Patterson Lawson
July 15 - September 19, 2021

In 2019, Richmond-based photographer Patterson Lawson discovered an interest in documenting individuals and families whose lives were and are affected by Alzheimer’s disease, a progressive disorder that degrades memory and vital brain functions. Lawson found that, unlike other diseases where individuals and family members actively engage the medical community and devote time, energy, and attention to getting well, many assume a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s means the end of a meaningful life. He writes, “These portraits contradict such perceptions. While the losses are real, people with Alzheimer’s are not empty shells... The subjects’ direct gazes reveal their dignity.”


Patterson Lawson, Marian. Photograph.


Dorothy Gillespie Tabletop Sculptures
August 12 - October 3, 2021

Roanoke native Dorothy Gillespie was an early feminist artist best known for her colorful, large-scale metal sculptures. 2020 marks the centennial of her birth; through the artist’s son, Gary Gillespie Israel, the Dorothy Gillespie Foundation has coordinated a multi-venue celebration of this anniversary. Working with the Foundation, the Eleanor D. Wilson Museum joins Roanoke College, Radford University, the Taubman Museum of Art, Birmingham-Southern College, the University of Central Florida, the Fort Wayne Museum of Art, and others across the nation in exhibiting Gillespie’s artwork in conjunction with this milestone.

gillespie starburst

Dorothy Gillespie, Starburst. Aluminum with enamel paint.


DESIGN(H)ER: Works by Contemporary Women Graphic Designers
September 30 - December 12, 2021

DESIGN(H)ER celebrates the leadership and achievements of women in design. Featuring the work of emerging to internationally-recognized designers, this exhibition demonstrates the range of design practice and diversity of practitioners active today. Exhibited works and their accompanying design materials range from high profile commercial product designs to small-scale community projects.

bantjes book poster

Marian Bantjes, poster for the 2019 National Book Festival


Melissa Warp: This Land is Our Land
October 7 - December 12, 2021

After earning her BFA from the University of Minnesota and her MA from Hollins University, Melissa Warp has constructed a career in design and illustration. Using layered design and interactive media, she explores contemporary land use and contrasts today’s outlook with past viewpoints. She explains, “My hope is that through interacting with the pieces in this show the user can directly alter some of the landscapes and see that these transitions being made have great impact.”

melissa warp

photograph by Melissa Warp


Hollins University
Eleanor D. Wilson Museum at Hollins University
Box 9679 : 8009 Fishburn Drive : Roanoke, VA 24020
(540) 362-6532 •
Tues-Sun: 12-5 pm
Thurs: 12-8 pm
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