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Heartland Community College

Have Your Cake

Have Your Cake

August 22 to October 7, 2022. 

reception Sep 21, 4:00-6:00 p.m. 


Have your cake curatorial statement

Emma’s works are first sweet and inviting, like a big embrace, then when you are engaged there the bitter comes and captures you. She challenges the audience’s expectations visually and conceptually which produces short disturbance and confusion that opens up thoughts and conversations about boundaries, vulnerability, comfort, connection, relationship, love, and emotional safety. She states: “The phrase: “you can’t have your cake and eat it too” is frequently used to describe a situation where someone is trying to have it both ways, illustrating the idea of a tradeoff. A tradeoff can also be made without taking the feelings of other people into account, and through the work, I want to offer ideas of empathy and understanding when making decisions that can affect others. The cakes, for example, look remarkably like edible cakes but upon closer inspection, it becomes known to the viewer that these could never be eaten. The artist has already made the decision for the viewer, and they can only have the cake one way.” The title of the show has a sense of order but is also inviting to potential food, which also emphasizes this concept.

Have Your Cake is organized by Shahrbanoo Hamzeh, Heartland Community college gallery coordinator.


About the artist

Emma Oliver is a sculpture artist who grew up in Marblehead, MA. She primarily works in yarn as her sculpture medium and makes large-scale knit and crochet works that command space and the attention of her viewer. She is interested in human connection and communication and attempts to convey these themes in her work. Emma completed her bachelor’s in fine arts at Alfred University in upstate New York in 2018 and is finished her Master of Fine Arts in sculpture and expanded media from the Wonsook Kim College of Fine Arts at Illinois State University in May of 2022, where she was also a graduate assistant. After completing her MFA, she plans to teach sculpture in higher education.


Random Act of knowledge Season 2, Episode 7: Knitting a Cake


About the Joe McCauley Gallery 

Exhibits, events, and parking at Heartland’s Joe McCauley Gallery are free. The Gallery is in room 2507 of the Instructional Commons Building (ICB) on Heartland's Normal campus, 1500 W. Raab Road. 

 Hours are Monday-Thursday from 9:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m. (on days the College is open). Appointments for groups can also be made upon request.

Joe McCauley 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

Contact the Gallery

Carol Hahn

Associate Dean, Liberal Arts and Social Sciences

Emma Grant

Administrative Assistant, Liberal Arts and Social Sciences
Phone: 309-268-8635

Campus Map

Liberal Arts and Social Sciences Division