Ann Toebbe’s Midway

Photograph courtesy of Cameryn Hodges

Photo Credit: Cameryn Hodges, Staff Photographer & Nathan Cooper, Staff Contributor

The Visual Arts Gallery at UIS is currently hosting artist Anne Toebbe’s Midway, an exhibit described as “paintings and drawings that turn home interiors into a kind of spatial dance, where memories and symbols interconnect with middle-class architecture, inviting us to contemplate what is inside and what is outside.” This is achieved in a fascinating way through collages that aim to include everything in a room in one image, forcing multiple perspectives on one canvas.

People observing the Visual Arts exhibit. | Photo Credit: Nathan Cooper

When viewers walk into the exhibit, they will immediately see the several different approaches to this project. One wall has numerous collages of different middle-class houses and rooms, with both interior and exterior views being seen in the same image. Another wall has what looks like blueprints or plans for the collages. Standing out in the middle of one wall are the only sculptures in the exhibit, brightly colored glass statues of children doing various activities.

The Right Wall of the Exhibit, showing the Preparatory Drawings | Photo Credit: Nathan Cooper

The mixture of skewed perspectives and relatable subject material in the exhibit gives an interesting sense that although nothing looks real, it is all deeply relatable. Each area in an image looks cohesive, and it is only when the image is viewed in its entirety that the skewed perspectives are easily noticed. Although the angles may be strange to some, the subject material is relatable to many. By using material that many viewers can relate to, the exhibit draws the viewer into a style of art they would probably struggle to grasp without experience in the medium in any other way. The works are also a study on class, identity, and how the homes people grew up in dictate much about their greater worldview.

One of the many images in the exhibit shows the different perspectives in an American home. | Photo Credit: Nathan Cooper

The artist, Ann Toebbe, has achieved many accomplishments over her decades-long career, and the UIS Visual Arts Gallery will be hosting a public remote artist talk on Wednesday, March 30 at 6 P.M. The zoom link for this event is

This exhibit will be on display at the UIS Visual Arts Gallery through April 14.