Mary Porterfield
Instructor, Painting
College of Arts and Sciences
(773) 442-4911
I have experience teaching 2-Dimensional Design, Color Theory, Drawing, and Introductory/Advanced Painting.
Courses Taught
Studio Experiences: Drawing
Studio Experiences: Painting
Color Theory
Painting II
Painting III
Painting IV
Research Interests
My painting questions what makes an act heroic in the midst of daunting circumstances. These circumstances are symbolized through acts of nature, representing situations beyond my control, both literally and figuratively. Hundreds of multi-figured narratives and metaphors comprise these scenes in an effort to ask: Is it better to deny futility or accept what cannot be changed? If need is warranted, but not wanted, should it be abandoned? Does it take more courage to be selfless or self-seeking? Through the dichotomous nature of the work, my hope is to create a philosophical discussion regarding the struggle to lead a compassionate life.

M.F.A., Arizona State University

M.S. in Occupational Therapy, Washington University

Selected Publications

Stacia Yeapanis.  “OtherPeoplesPixels Interviews Mary Porterfield, Otherpeoplespixels Blog, October, 20, 2016.

Syed, Mahjabeen.  "Artist of the Week: Mary Porterfield," Chicago-Woman Magazine, January 23, 2017.

Selected Exhibitions
Solo Exhibitions:

2019    Solo Exhibition, Hofheimer Gallery, Chicago, Il.

2015/2011    Solo Exhibition, Packer-Schopf Gallery, Chicago, Ill.

2011    Solo Exhibition, University of Illinois, Illini Union Art Gallery, Urbana, Ill. 
Group Exhibitions:

2019   Art on Paper, Weatherspoon Art Museum, Greensboro, NC (Curator: Elaine Gustafson)

2019   Dubuque Biennial, Dubuque Museum of Art, Dubuque, Ia. 
            (Juror: Sarah Humphreville, Senior Curatorial Assistant at the Whitney Museum of American Art)

2019   Sub(urban), Hyde Park Art Center, Chicago, Ill. (Curator: Audrey Moyer)

2018   Evanston Biennial, Evanston, Il. (Jurors: Sergio Gomez, Aron Packer, Therese Quinn)

2018   Rockford Midwestern Biennial, Rockford Art Museum, Rockford, Ill. (Juror: Aron Packer)
Museum Collections:
2019    Museum Purchase Award, Art on Paper Exhibition, Weatherspoon Art Museum,  Greensboro, N.C.

2018    Dean Alan Olson Purchase Award, Rockford Art Museum, Rockford, Ill.


Porterfield teaches Advanced Painting at Northeastern Illinois University and received an MFA
from Arizona State University. She previously taught Design & Color Theory at the Harrington School of Design in Chicago (2005-2008) and Drawing & Color Theory at Arizona State University(2000-2002).

Porterfield has exhibited both nationally and internationally at venues including the Lim Lip
Museum in South Korea, the Phoenix Art Museum, the San Diego Art Institute, the Hyde Park Art Center, the Kohler Arts Center, the Rockford Art Museum and the Weatherspoon Art Museum. Solo shows have included the Hofheimer Gallery (Chicago), the Packer-Schopf Gallery (Chicago), Indiana University-NW (Gary, IN), the University of Illinois (Urbana, Il) and the West Valley Art Museum (Surprise, Il). Honors include three Illinois Artist Council Grants, a City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs Grant (DCASE), a Puffin Foundation Grant, and three Chicago Community Arts Assistance Program Grants.

FA 252
Northeastern Illinois University
5500 North St. Louis Avenue
Chicago, IL 60625
United States

(773) 442-4911
Office Hours
Tuesday and Thursday: 3:30-4 p.m. in FA 212
Main Campus