Tarble to celebrate 40th anniversary Friday


Iyanna Stanton

Tarble Arts Center Assistant Director and Exhibitions Curator Mike Schuetz, looks at the Abraham Lincoln Biography, in woodcuts that is part of the Working Artists Exhibit on Feb. 14.

Drew Coffey, Campus Reporter

The Tarble Arts Center, a place of creativity and expression on Eastern’s campus, is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year.  

For decades, it has acted as an environment where artists can show their talents along with the beauty of their craft.  

According to the Director and Chief Curator of the Tarble Arts Center Jennifer Seas, she is beyond proud of the center’s impact.  

 “I am excited to celebrate the Tarble turning 40, and I feel honored to be able to organize projects that represent the mission of the Tarble,” Seas said. 

Seas said her duty is to create experiences for audiences that explore culturally significant issues unfold over time, build connections and understand and appreciate art.  

While the Tarble Arts Center acts as a gateway for artists on Eastern’s campus, it is also an artistic staple for the community of Charleston.  

“The Tarble is artist-led and celebrates the creativity in all of us,” Seas said. “We often invite artists and creative practitioners to campus to work directly with community members and students.” 

Tarble also provides numerous opportunities for aspiring artists as well as people who are generally interested in the topic.  

The arts center welcomes collaborators from all areas of art such as performances arts, literary arts, healing arts and design.  

“The education lab, design lab and collection lab are resources for interdisciplinary activity, placing art as a primary tool for research, advancing knowledge and interpreting the world we live in,” Seas said. “This experimentation produces courses and projects that reach EIU students and community members.” 

With this, it also brings the art of the world to inspire young and hopeful artists. 

“We continue to also exhibit work from our collection, the work of EIU students and art made by K-12 artists in the region,” Seas said.  

But how has Tarble remained relevant and impactful for the art community for 40 years? 

According to Seas, Tarble supports an annual program of rotating exhibitions that provide encounters with art of international, significant and local relevance.  

“We bring arts programming from acclaimed artists working across the globe to campus, while also hosting the local arts community by providing professional exhibition and programming opportunities,” Seas said.

A future event to showcase various forms of art at Tarble is the fall exhibit taking place on the center’s anniversary Sept. 23. 

“Everyone is invited, and one of our visiting artists will be performing live at the opening in relation to a sculpture he has built specifically for the show,” Seas said. 

All events at Tarble are free and welcome for people of all interests to come and enjoy the creative and powerful art that makes the center so influential even after all these years. 


Drew Coffey can be reached at 581-2812 or at [email protected].