• The Best American Comics Selections: 2014-2017

    Curated by Bill Kartalopoulos, Series Editor, The Best American Comics
    October 21 – December 31, 2017
    Opening Reception: November 3, 2017
    Reception: Friday, November 3 | 5:00 – 9:00 p.m.

    Save the Date!

    The 2017 Artlights Gala will be held on Thursday, October 26th!


    Classes meet once a week for 4 weeks for preschool through Adult in a variety of media including, painting, drawing, ceramics, jewelry, photography, weaving and more!

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Festival of Banners
Beautiful Bugs!

Festival of Banners


Festival of Banners unveiling and press conference
August 14, 2017, at 2:00 p.m.
under The State Theater marquee in downtown South Bend

Now in its eleventh year, the Festival of Banners promotes art in the community by bringing art to the public, and providing an excellent venue for artists of all ages and skill sets.

This year’s theme, Beautiful Bugs!, takes a closer look at the smallest and hardest working members of our community; our Bugs! On the ground, in the air, in the dirt, these hard working creatures play an important role right here where we live. Head outside and have a look, put your observations to work, and design a banner that highlights our beautiful BUGS. We can’t wait to see what you create!All entries must be your own design. Works will be selected based upon creativity and how well the theme, Honest to Beautiful BUGS!, is explored and expressed.

Three age categories–youth, teen, and adult–allow fun for all. Designs are submitted small scale on paper. Jurors select designs based on creative interpretation of the theme, and use of color, pattern and line; the artists are then invited to paint their design on a 2 x 4 ft banner in the SBMA painting studios during the months of June and July.

Jurors’ Choice Awards are designated for three categories: youth, teen and adult:

1st Place: $100 cash, 1 year SBMA membership, 1 free art class
2nd Place: $50 gift card,1 year SBMA membership, 1 free art class
3rd Place: $25 gift card, 1 year SBMA membership, 1 free art class

An awards ceremony and unveiling of the banners takes place  in August of 2017 (TBA), then the banners fly high for two months in downtown South Bend for the whole community to enjoy!

If you have any questions, please contact Curator of Education, Christyn Overstake at overstakec@southbendart.org or 574.235.9102

This community focused project is brought to you by the South Bend Museum of Art with support from patrons Jerry Thoma and Meg Auth and Jack and Yumiko Champaigne.  

Special thanks to the City of South Bend, Downtown South Bend, Inc., and The Art League for partnering and helping to facilitate this public art project.


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SBMA Mobile Art Stations

We want to bring art to you! SBMA Curator of Education Christyn Overstake has designed these cool, mobile art stations to use for art activities at local events. The design is versatile, made up of four 4′ x 8′ sections that can be connected or set up separately, giving us lots of room for you to create masterpieces! (image above illustrates two 4′ x 8′ sections)

The cost to build each 4′ x 8′ section is $250.

The SBMA is entering this project in a grant competition through The Awesome Fund of South Bend . The South Bend Awesome Fund is dedicated to supporting people, ideas, businesses, and causes that will make the South Bend area even more Awesome! The Summer Quarterly Meeting will be held on Wed., Aug. 2 at The General Deli & Cafe from 6pm-8pm. The Awesome Fund will award three $1000 grants, and the meeting is open to the public. We are hoping to be one of the winners!

Look for news about our mobile art stations very soon!

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James Volkert

Re: Imagining American Art

July 22 — October 1, 2017 | Art League Gallery
Reception: September 1, 2017 | 5:00 – 9:00 p.m.
Gallery talk about his work beginning at 7:00 p.m.

Drawing upon his extensive knowledge of American Art History, as well as his long tenure as a museum professional (19 years at the Smithsonian), Volkert disassembles the history of American Painting and lays the parts out for us, activating them with machines and showing us details we may otherwise have missed.

I have drawn, painted, tinkered and built things all my life. I’m interested in structures, tangible or intellectual, and find satisfaction in understanding the components that create them. My interest in structures extends from the original usefulness or significance of an object, an idea or a place or moment in time, to exploring ways to replicate its elegance or potency in an original work of art. The objects, ideas and moments in this exhibit were explored in relation to works by American artists, primarily from the mid-18th to the mid-19th Centuries because of their inherent narrative qualities.

James W. Volkert,
Racer’s Rhythm: After Sloan,
Oil on canvas, brass, vintage pigeon bands,
24″ x 24″, 2014.

I’ll collect an object now and then, but the ones in this exhibit were given to me by friends or discovered by accident. Pigeon leg bands forwarded from a friend became the impetus to focus on the flight of John Sloan’s Pigeons (1910) in Racer’s Rhythm: After Sloan. Their placement over the birds unintentionally created a musical staff of notes suggesting the sound of their ascending flutter. The design of a huge nineteenth-century rock crusher stumbled upon in Nevada City, California, suggested repetitive sound and motion that inspired the pairing of a similar mechanism with a iconic western image in Gallop: After Remington. The idea of close examination of Thomas Eakins’ The Gross Clinic (1875) led me to order lenses and invent moveable mounts allowing visitors to select parts of the painting for closer viewing of what was once scandalous subject matter in Examination: After Eakins.


James W. Volkert,
Point Perspective: After Moran,
Oil on canvas, wood, sandstone, brass,
25″ x 16″ x 10″, 2015.

Excellent craftsmanship is central to my aesthetic and especially satisfying when objects, ideas, or places or moments in time come together in an experiential solution.  Point Perspective: After Moran began with having the opportunity to stand on the South Rim of the Grand Canyon in 2016 at what is now identified as Moran Point, the view captured by Thomas Moran in his 1871 painting Grand Canyon that helped establish the National Park System. I picked up a representative rock to mark the moment. After studying Moran’s technique, I recreated the painting and selected a portion of the original for framing behind a carriage device that allows the viewer to slide the stone between 111.924350 W and 111.924276 W (GPS coordinates of a 36’ stretch of that location) as if personally walking the rim, as did Moran, to pick a favorite view.
It isn’t necessary for viewers to know the backstory of the original paintings, the acquired objects or the ideas that inspire me art historical constructions: I trust them to find components that they recognize, relate to, or find new or interesting. However, like touring the back-of-house in a theater, museum or factory, I enjoy knowing the reasons why or the steps of how something is produced or made, and I hope this exhibit provides an opportunity for viewers to connect to the joy I take in my process of researching, replicating, building, and creating works of art.

—James Volkert, 2017

James W. Volkert earned his BA in Art from University of California at Davis, and his MFA in Painting from the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena. After a stint with the 1970s Los Angeles art scene, and in support of his growing family, he transferred his skills to museum work. That decision propelled him professionally through his retirement from the Smithsonian Institution in 2005, and forms the basis of his consulting business, Exhibition Associates. 

His art and design sensibilities served him well from his position of Director of Exhibitions at the legendary Junior Arts Center in Barnsdall Art Park in Hollywood, California, to the Smithsonian where he created groundbreaking contemporary shows as Director of Exhibitions at the Smithsonian American Art Museum (SAAM) in Washington, D.C.  before serving in the same capacity at the National Museum of the American Indian(NMAI) in Washington, DC. As Associate Director of NMAI, he collaborated in the vision for and creation of the Cultural Resources Center in Suitland, MD: the nation’s first facility designed to reconnect Native Americans with tribal objects significant to their history and cultural practice. Volkert also supervised the NMAI’s  revolutionary museum building construction project, conceived the inaugural exhibitions for the museum’s opening, and led the Transition Team in charge of the completion of the museum on the National Mall in September 2004.

When asked about highlights from a long career in art, design, and museums, Volkert agrees that he has enjoyed fantastic varied experiences, from serving as secretary in the UC Davis Art Department (“I always knew where the parties were.”), to creating a children’s sculpture workshop with Christo (“We used ice to meet his contract requirements that no residual products would remain.”) , to escorting Man Ray’s widow down a Paris avenue while researching the artist for an exhibition (“She had me carry her purse.”), to opening NMAI in DC (“Seeing over 30,000 Native People process in full regalia at the dedication on the Mall confirmed the museum as a locus for Native communities.”), and to working with the Jordan  Museum in Amman, Jordan (“They have the earliest example of one of the few objects that hasn’t changed design in 6,000 years.”). James Volkert lives in Conway, Arkansas, with his wife Barbara Satterfield. Together, they have four children and five grandchildren spread from the east to west coasts and in between. 

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2017 SBMA Student/Faculty Exhibition

December 1, 2017 – January 7, 2018 | Jerome J. Crowley Community Gallery
Reception: Friday, December 1, 2017 | 5:00 – 9:00 p.m.

Featuring artwork created by SBMA students and faculty from the past year, the annual Student/Faculty exhibition showcases the variety of class offerings at the museum and highlights the talents of its wonderful community.

Any faculty or student of museum classes from December 1, 2016 – December 1, 2017 is eligible.  Participants may submit one (1) work not previously shown at the museum.  All submitted work will be exhibited.  All media will be accepted.

Download a prospectus with full details here.

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Small Business Saturday at The Dot Shop!

Saturday, November 25 | 10:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m.
Mimosa Morning 10:00 a.m. – noon
Free cocoa & refreshments all day
Mimosa Member Morning

This Nov 25, we want to share Small Business Saturday® with you! It’s a holiday shopping tradition that celebrates small businesses like ours. And it wouldn’t be a celebration without customers like you joining us.

So mark your calendar for Nov 25 — the Saturday after Thanksgiving — and get ready to Shop Small® with us. Grab a friend or family member and come by THE DOT SHOP AT THE SBMA between 10:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. on the big day.

You can help get the word out and celebrate Small Business Saturday by using #shopsmall on Facebook and all your social networks.

Thank you for all your support, and see you Saturday, Nov 25!

Members receive 10% discount on purchases. Become a member!

Located just inside the St. Joseph St. entrance to the SBMA. 30 minute parking available adjacent to main entrance.
Regular hours: Wednesday – Sunday, Noon – 5:00 p.m.





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Holiday in the Gallery


Friday, December 1, 2017 | 5:00 – 9:00 p.m. | Free Admission

Let the festivities begin! Join us for an evening of musical entertainment and refreshments while strolling through our galleries.

Sponsored by the Art League, which serves as an auxiliary body of the South Bend Museum of Art and as an advocate for the visual arts within the community. ArtLeagueTrio

Reception for the SBMA Student/Faculty Exhibition, with awards announced at 6:00 p.m.

Musical entertainment by the John Adams High School Show Choir, 6:30 p.m.

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#SHOPSMALL at SBMA’s Dot Shop 

Friday, December 1  | 5:00 – 9:00 p.m.
Saturday, December 2 | 12:00 – 5:00 p.m.
Sunday, December 3 | 12:00 – 5:00 p.m

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Support local artists and the SBMA! Enjoy hot cocoa, tea and cookies as you shop our selection of art for everyday living. New items just in time for the holidays!


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Museum After Dark:
Snowflakes & Rainbows


Museum After Dark: Snowflakes & Rainbows!
Friday, December 8 | 6:30 – 10:00 p.m.
Carmichael Gallery
The SBMA welcomes everyone to this inclusive, social, event! Peruse the galleries and enjoy cocktails, hors d’oeuvres, and Jazzy melodies from the LowLifes. Proceeds benefit the SBMA and TREES Inc.

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Lecture | Comic Nurse

Lecture | Comic Nurse
Sunday, December 10 | 2:00 – 4:00 p.m.
MK Czerwiec, a co-founder of the new field, Graphic Medicine, will discuss how comics are being used by patients and providers to improve communication, bridge gaps, dispel stigma, and create community.

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Biennial 29


July 8 – October 1, 2017 | Warner Gallery
Reception: Friday, September 1 | 5:00 – 9:00 p.m.

Sponsored by The Art League

Now in its 29th incarnation, the South Bend Museum of Art’s all media Biennial 29 presents a diverse look into contemporary artwork made by artists living in the Midwest. Open to artists residing in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio and Wisconsin, this exhibition is an up-to-date dialogue of art happening in our own backyard. The pool of exhibiting artists is deliberately limited to allow for the showing of a greater body of work by each artist. From 247 submitting artists, twelve were selected by juror Miranda Lash, Curator of Contemporary Art at the Speed Art Museum, Louisville, Kentucky.

Biennial 29 artists are:

Juror Miranda Lash is Curator of Contemporary Art at the Speed Art Museum. At the Speed, Lash oversees the contemporary department’s exhibitions, programming, collection, and acquisitions, as well as commissions for the Elizabeth P. and Frederick K. Cressman Art Park. Prior to the Speed, Lash was the founding curator of modern and contemporary art at the New Orleans Museum of Art from 2008 to 2014. At NOMA she organized over twenty exhibitions, including the traveling retrospective exhibition Mel Chin: Rematch; Swoon: Thalassa; Camille Henrot: Cities of Ys; and Parallel Universe: Quintron and Miss Pussycat Live at City Park. Her essays have been published in the Harvard journal Res: Anthropology and Aesthetics, the anthology Baroque Tendencies in Contemporary Art, New American Painting, and Gulf Coast: A Journal of Literature and Fine Arts. Lash has been a Clark Fellow at the Clark Art Institute, a consultant for Creative Capital, a panelist for the National Endowment for the Arts, and a member of the Curator’s Council for U.S. Biennial Prospect.4. Her upcoming exhibition at the Speed, Southern Accent: Seeking the American South in Contemporary Art, an inquiry into Southern identity, is co-organized with Trevor Schoonmaker, chief curator at the Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University, and is accompanied by an extensive catalog published by Duke University Press. She is a graduate of Harvard University and Williams College.

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June 17, 2017 – May 19, 2019
Reception at the South Bend Museum of Art: September 1, 2017 | 5:00 – 9:00 p.m.

Begun in 2013, Sightlines is an ongoing collaborative exhibition between Century Center and the South Bend Museum of Art featuring large installations of artwork by artists from both within and outside the region. A national call for entries is announced every two years from which new artists are selected. Selection is based on the quality of the proposals, the harmony among the artworks, and how the selection committee can envision the work activating various spaces within Century Center. All artworks in Sightlines are located in or outside of Century Center, highlighting not only the artworks themselves, but also the voluminous space and distant lines of sight that are available throughout the building and grounds.

Sightlines provides a unique experience for chance art encounters for visitors to the Century Center, engaging them in a moment of artistic appreciation or contemplation — or even perhaps to challenge their preconception of “what is art?”

Current artists:

Heather Brammeier  (Peoria, IL)

Ioan Florea  (Shelbyville, IL)

Lea Goldman  (South Bend, IN)

Gina Herrera  (Bakersfield, CA)

Sean Hottois  (South Bend, IN)

Sasha de Koninck  (Santa Monica, CA)

Gautam Rao  (Indianapolis, IN)

Richard Shipps  (Chicago, IL)

Past artists:
Jeff Boshart (Charleston, IL); 2013–2017
Roger Boulay (Winona, MN); 2015–2017
Maria Lux (Champaign, IL); 2013–2015
Mollie Oblinger (Ripon, WI); 2013–2015
Robert Patrick (White Bear, MN); 2015–2017
Jake Webster (Elkhart, IN); 2013–2015
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