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Heartland Community College

Falling in Between

Falling In Between

May 22 to August 5, 2023. 

Reception: June 20th, 4:00-6:00 pm.


Curatorial Statement 

Falling in Between is an accessible and welcoming show with layers of concept behind it.  

The Gallery hosts a youth-accessible exhibit each summer that can capture the attendance and attention of children, young people, and families. Last year's, Within Reach exhibition, was all about introducing a wide variety of art-making methods and materials (some traditional, some not) and emphasizing that it is never too late, nor too soon, to exercise your inner artist.

This summer, Joe McCauley Gallery is welcoming back an artist from that group show, Peytin Fitzgerald, for a solo show. 

Peytin Fitzgerald is a queer artist, and an ISU alumna with an MFA focusing on printmaking. They are currently based in Peoria, Illinois and working as the assistant to the interim director at Normal Editions Workshop, located in the Wonsook Kim College of Fine Arts at Illinois State University.  

Peytin’s works through color and form suggest the human body. Scars, bumps, deformity, and tension are implied through a playful juxtaposition of fabric that is hand or machine stitched with lots of layering. Fitzgerald’s works often explore personal experiences of trauma, pain, feminism, and familial relationships. They state:Creating a space for myself and others to take up space in this way is not an easy task, but one that I strive to continue to achieve. Through my making I utilize feminism to reinhabit my past experiences and be more aware of my body in space. My work is about me and my experience in this life. I am inviting the viewer to sit within my vulnerability.” 

Peytin's works and the messages behind them, mental health, self-discovery, and acceptance is the kind of conversation we delight in bringing to our gallery. It is a valuable message to share with our young audience throughout the summer.  

This year we are collaborating with Illinois Art Station (IAS) to reach a larger audience on a deeper level. This show seeks to bring more awareness to the value of introducing art earlier in children’s life. IAS will use this show as inspiration for a pilot program​ with students of Central Illinois Bridge Academy. Fitzgerald will be an artist of discussion/contemplation in the CI Bridge Academy summer curriculum. ​The artist will visit their classroom for a conversation on July 11th and July 18th and bring a small piece of artwork created for each student in the program. These events are part of a Summer School experience.

​Additionally, young artists and families will explore and be inspired by Peytin's work onsite at IAS during Saturdays at the Station (drop-in artmaking every Saturday from 10:00 am - 2:00 pm from June 24th through July 29th). Peytin's work will be featured in the summer rotation of Creation Station artmaking activities and will also be featured in an Open Studio artmaking activity on Saturday, July 22nd. This event is free and open to the public. Participants can make either a soft sculpture or a quilted piece at their own discretion with guidance from IAS art educator Jonathan Stein.

“Illinois Art Station is thrilled to collaborate with the artists and staff of the Joe McCauley Gallery to reduce the distance between our young artists and families and regional practicing artists and their works,” said Hannah Johnson, Executive Director of Illinois Art Station. “The theme of self-discovery in Peytin Fitzgerald’s artwork is universal and transformational. And textiles as a chosen medium provides space for creativity and comfort in the consideration of complex questions and topics across ages and lived experience. We hope that our young artists and families will seek out the Joe McCauley Gallery to experience the exhibition firsthand.” 


Falling in Between is organized by Shahrbanoo Hamzeh, Heartland Community College gallery coordinator. 

Contact the Art Gallery

ICB 2507

Gallery Hours:

Monday- Friday

9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.

Summer Hours

Effective from May 20-August 16


9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.

And by appointment


Emma Grant


Phone: 309-268-8635

Carol Hahn 

Campus Map

Liberal Arts and Social Sciences Division