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2010 Ninth Street on the campus of Eastern Illinois University, Charleston, Illinois.



Admission to exhibitions and events is free except as indicated.

To encourage participation admission is free to the galleries and many activities; fees for performances, classes, and workshops are low-cost, and discounted for Tarble members.


Tuesday-Friday: 10 am - 5 pm
Saturday: 10 am - 4 pm
Sunday: 1 - 4 pm
Closed Mondays & holidays





In addition to the programs listed here, the Tarble Arts Center, in collaboration with the Art Department and other co-sponsors, offers a variety of programs for area youth and area schools.

Click here for more information.

Upcoming Exhibitions & Events


Ansel Adams: Masterworks

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Through Oct. 19, Main Galleries/east
Ansel Adams (1902-1984) is one of the most acclaimed American artists of the twentieth century, a major pioneer in championing photography as an art form, and an outspoken conservationist for the preservation of wilderness areas.  This selection of 49 photographs is from a group that Adams made late in his life to serve as a succinct representation of his life’s work -- Adams himself felt these photographs were among his best.  This exhibition was organized by and is on loan from the collection of the Turtle Bay Exploration Park, Redding, CA; exhibition tour management is byLandau Traveling Exhibitions, Los Angeles, CA.   This showing at the Tarble Arts Center is made possible by the Major Art and Artists Exhibitions Endowment in the EIU Foundation, created by a generous gift from the Tarble Family Foundation.  Additional support is provided by Tarble Arts Center membership contributions.             

Tours and class visits are available by appointment during and outside open hours; please make arrangements at least one week in advance.  To schedule a tour or class visit contact the Tarble at 217-581-ARTS (-2787) or

Ansel Adams, Mount Williamson, The Sierra Nevada, from Manzanar, California, 1945, 15 3/8” x 18 1/4”; © 2014 The Ansel Adams Publishing Rights Trust.

2014 Art Faculty Exhibition

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Through Oct. 19, Main Galleries/west
Works in a wide variety of styles, approaches, and media by current and emeritus EIU Art faculty make up this exhibition.  Included are: paintings - Chris Kahler, Bo Kim, Hannah Freeman, and Hannah Eads; drawings - Jenny Chi; sculpture - Matthew Boonstra, Jeff Boshart, and Jim Johnson; woodcuts - Kacey Ramirez; graphic design - Chuck Nivens;  fiber sculpture - Ann Coddington; ceramics  Dwain Naragon and Bill Heyduck;  metals - David Griffin; electronic assemblages (archival ink prints) - Alan Pocaro; and video/digital media - Dave Richardson.  This is a joint program of Eastern Illinois University's Department of Art and Tarble Arts Center.

Chris Kahler, Dialumens 18A, 2014, acrylic on paper, 36” x 36”; lent courtesy of the artist and Bruno David Gallery, St. Louis, MO.

Recent Collection Acquisitions

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Through Sept. 21, eGallery
Presented are paintings by Charleston, Illinois artistsPaul T. Sargent (1880-1946) and Jennie Cell  (1905-1988), and Chicago artist William Conger (b. 1937), a circa 1898 crazy quilt by Lillie Grace (Reasor) Estep, a color lithograph by Spanish Modernist Joan Miró (1893-1983),Détournement prints, and Norton Christmas Projectworks recently added to the Tarble Arts Center collections.

Jennie Cell, Quilting Bee, circa 1969, oil on hardboard, 20 ¼” x 28”; Tarble Arts Center Illinois Folk Arts Collection; Purchase, Mildred Grush Timmons Acquisitions Fund.

William Conger: Gouache Paintings on Paper

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 Sept. 6 – Oct. 26, Brainard Gallery
William Conger is a Chicago-based abstract painter and professor emeritus of art theory and practice at Northwestern University.  States Conger, “The little paintings on paper are done with gouache using small brushes to make thin lines or dabs of cross-hatched modulated colors enlivened with ink. The abstract compositions are similar to my larger oil paintings and sometimes they serve as studies or alternative, looser experiments.” All works are lent courtesy of the artist and Printworks Gallery, Chicago IL.

William Conger, No. 32, 2010, gouache on rag paper, 9 1/8” x 7 1/2”.

2014 Art Faculty Exhibition Gallery Talk

Tuesday, Sept. 16, 11am-12:30pm, Main Galleries
Members of the Studio Art faculty will talk about their artwork in the 2014 Art Faculty Exhibition.  Scheduled to speak are Jenny Chi (drawing), Alan Pocaro(electronic assemblages and electronic media), David Richardson (video/digital media), and emeritus faculty member Jeff Boshart (sculpture).  This Tarble program is presented in cooperation with the EIU Academy of Lifelong Learning and the Art Department.  Admission is free and the public is invited.

Family Weekend Art Extravaganza

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 Saturday, Sept. 20, 1-4pm
Everyone is invited to take part in an art make-and-take activity for “kids” of all ages, and tours of the2014 Art Faculty Exhibition and the nationally-circulating exhibitionAnsel Adams: Masterworks.  This is an Eastern Illinois University Family Weekend event sponsored by the Tarble and the EIU Art Department.  Admission is free.

EIU students and their family members enjoying a workshop at the Tarble's 2013 Art Extravaganza.

20th Biennial Drawing/Watercolor: Illinois

Sept. 21 entry deadline
This competitive biennial exhibition is open to Illinois artists working in drawing media, water-based painting media, mixed media, or collage on paper or synthetic paper.  The exhibition dates are October 25 – January 11.  The juror, William Conger, will select the art for the exhibition and for the purchase and merit awards.  For entry information contact the Tarble Arts Center at or 217-581-ARTS (-2787).

Charleston Community Theatre: Leaving Iowa

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Sept. 26-27 & Oct. 2-4, 7:30pm, and Sept. 28, 2pm
A middle-aged writer takes a journey across Iowa to find a resting place for his father’s ashes in this four-person, family-friendly comedy that provides plenty of laughter as well as thoughtful reflection on the circle of life.  Written by Tim Clue and Spike Manton, this production of Leaving Iowa is directed for the Charleston Community Theatre by Cathy Sheagren.  Admission:  $10/general, $8/senior, $5/student.  Phone the Tarble at 217-581-2787 for information and reservations.

Machines that Make: Recent Work by Frankie Flood

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Sept. 27 – Dec. 18, Tarble Arts Center eGallery
Frankie Flood’s interest in machines and tools and the influence of his working class upbringing is a source of inspiration for the functional objects that he creates. Flood is an Associate Professor of jewelry/metalsmithing at the Peck School of the Arts,  He holds a BA and an MA from EIU, and an MFA from the University of Illinois-Urbana/Champaign.  Flood exhibits his work nationally and internationally, and has received numerous awards, including being named the 2014 Class of Outstanding Graduate Alumni.  This is an EIU College of Arts & Humanities New and Emerging Artists Program presented by the Tarble Arts Center and the Art Department.    This exhibition is the subject of the 2014 Junior/Senior High Art Enrichment program, presented October 14 – November 6 with the EIU Art Education students and faculty, and underwritten by First Mid-Illinois Bank & Trust.

Frankie Flood, Custom Perforation, 2013, anodized aluminum, powder coated aluminum, cast iron, stainless steel and high-speed steel, 17" x 4.5" x 5".

William Conger Artist’s Lecture

Tuesday, Sept. 30, 7:30pm, Atrium
William Conger holds a BFA from the University of New Mexico (Albuquerque) and an MFA from theUniversity of Chicago.  His work has appeared in numerous solo and group exhibitions throughout the United States including the major retrospective exhibition William Conger: Paintings 1958-2008 at the Chicago Cultural Center in 2009, and William Conger: Career Overview at the Cedarhurst Museum(Mt. Vernon, Illinois) in 2012.  This lecture is presented in conjunction with his exhibition Gouache Paintings on Paper and the 20th Biennial Drawing/Watercolor: Illinois exhibition.

2013-2014 Cultivating Creativity: Consolidated Communications Traveling Children’s Art Exhibit

This traveling exhibit showcases art by students grades K-12, representing 47 east-central Illinois school art programs. The exhibit tours to 14 east-central Illinois communities and is made possible through the generous support of Consolidated Communications. Contact the Tarble Arts Center at or 217-581-ARTS (-2787) for the complete tour schedule.

The Cat that Glows by Ashlie Elbert (Grade 3, Ashmore Elementary School), mixed media; Mandy White, Art Instructor.

April 8 - June 29, Atrium and other locations as announced
Generation to Generation: Folk Arts of Illinois

Carved and painted duck decoy by Patrick Gregory (Bloomington, IL).

This traveling photo-panel exhibition highlights the significant, beautiful traditional art that exists in diverse communities and homes across Illinois. The artists include those found on the Folksongs of Illinois CD series, and who have received Illinois Arts Council artist awards in Folk and Traditional Arts. The exhibition also features a media-rich website and accompanying educational curriculum for use by host sites or for classroom teachers.

Curated by Bucky Halker and Lisa Rathje of Company of Folk, a non-profit organization. This program is funded in part by a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Tarble Director Michael Watts to Retire

After 28 years as Director of the Tarble Arts Center I am announcing my retirement from Eastern Illinois University. A national search to select the Tarble’s new director will be initiated later this summer. I will be off this June and July, but will return in August to serve until the new director is selected. The goal is to have the new director in place as of January 2015.

I have been thinking about retirement for a few years. Between the recent changes in the state’s pension system and the fact that my wife, Barb, is retiring at the end of the 2014 school year, the time seems right. I have greatly enjoyed my time at the Tarble, thanks to the cooperation and support from scores of individuals, on-campus and off, and most especially due to the continued, amazing generosity of the Newton E. Tarble family. But more about that later. For now I plan to do some research over the summer, and am looking forward to return for the exhibition Ansel Adams: Masterworks that opens at the Tarble on August 16th.

Michael Watts

Tarble Arts Center Outdoor Sculpture Court, south Tarble grounds

A permanent exhibition of art by past and present EIU Art faculty sculptors – Cary Knoop, James K. Johnson, and Jeffrey Boshart – plus noted Illinois artist Michael Dunbar and EIU Art alumnus Brett Evangelista. Also on Eastern’s grounds is outdoor sculpture by internationally recognized Illinois artist Ruth Duckworth (north of the Doudna Fine Arts Center), Ed McCollough (7th Street in front of Buzzard Hall), and Dan Nardi (between Lumpkin and Coleman Halls), all created through the State of Illinois’ Art in Architecture program.

Summer Sculpture Residency Exhibition

7th Street, between the Tarble and Doudna Fine Arts Centers

This revolving outdoor sculpture program features work by current or recently graduated Midwestern Studio Art masters students and guest artist/emeritus EIU Art faculty member James K. Johnson.

The Summer Sculpture Residency project is coordinated by Jeff Boshart, of the EIU Art Department. For more information, email Jeff Boshart or phone 217-581-2624.

This program is funded in part by the New and Emerging Artist Series program of the College of Arts & Humanities.  

This schedule is subject to change. Please contact the Tarble Arts Center for the most current exhibitions and events schedule information.