College Celebrates Women’s History Month with ‘Polar Nights’ Art Exhibition

February 26, 2016 | by the Office of Marketing and Communications

Olivia Petrides’s drawings are immersive, large-scale abstractions based on her direct observation of the Aurora Borealis, or Northern Lights.

With a background in scientific illustration, Petrides uses simple tools such as ink, gouache and paper; and the basic element of drawing, the line, to reenact the forcefulness and sublime effect of the ever-shifting aurora.

As part of Women’s History Month, Elmhurst College will host “Polar Nights,” an exhibition of Petrides’s works, from Monday, March 7, through Saturday, April 16. The exhibition can be viewed on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays from 12:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. in the Barbara A. Kieft Accelerator ArtSpace. A reception with the artist will be held on Tuesday, March 15, from 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. in the Accelerator ArtSpace, with an artist’s talk at 5:00 p.m. Both the exhibition and reception are free and open to the public. For more information, call (630) 617-5186.

Petrides received her M.F.A. from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, where she is currently an adjunct associate professor in the Painting & Drawing Department and the Visual Communications Department. She has had numerous exhibits in galleries and museums in Iceland, the Faroe Islands, Scotland, Seattle, Washington, D.C., and Chicago. Her works are included in the public collections of the Smithsonian Institution, the United States Park Service, the Field Museum and the Icelandís Hafnarborg Institute of Art, among others.

The Women’s History Exhibition is one of about a dozen art shows that Elmhurst College hosts each academic year in two campus venues. In addition, the College’s A.C. Buehler Library permanently houses the College’s unparalleled collection of Chicago Imagist and Abstractionist Art, which explores the vibrant, often outrageous, yet precisely crafted works of Chicago artists between 1950 and the present. For more information, please contact Suellen Rocca at (630) 617-6110 or

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