Mary Porterfield
Instructor, Painting
Art + Design
College of Arts and Sciences
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.

Master of Fine Art, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ

Master of Science in Occupational Therapy, Washington University, St. Louis, MO

Selected Exhibitions
Hofheimer Gallery, Chicago, IL (solo)

Packer-Schopf Gallery, Chicago, IL (solo)

University of Illinois, Illini Union Art Gallery, Urbana, IL (solo)

Art on Paper, Weatherspoon Art Museum, Greensboro, NC

Dubuque Biennial, Dubuque Museum of Art, Dubuque, IA

Sub(urban), Hyde Park Art Center, Chicago, IL

Evanston Biennial, Evanston, IL

Rockford Midwestern Biennial, Rockford Art Museum, Rockford, IL

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.

Additional Information
Museum Collections:
Museum Purchase Award, Art on Paper Exhibition, Weatherspoon Art Museum,  Greensboro, NC

Dean Alan Olson Purchase Award, Rockford Art Museum, Rockford, IL

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

Office Hours
Tuesday and Thursday: 3:30-4 p.m.
Main Campus