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Heartland Community College

'Have Your Cake' at Joe McCauley Gallery

August 17, 2022

A new exhibit at Heartland Community College is a feast for the eyes, if not the palate. 

The Joe McCauley Gallery at Heartland presents the collection Have Your Cake featuring artwork by Emma Oliver from August 22 to October 7, 2022. 

The exhibit includes knit and crochet sculptures that look remarkably like edible cakes. The quality of the work helps to highlight ideas of physical comfort and decadence of texture. 

“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,” said Joe McCauley Gallery Coordinator Shahrbanoo Hamzeh. 

Emma Oliver is a sculpture artist who primarily works in yarn as her medium. She completed her bachelor’s in fine arts at Alfred University in upstate New York in 2018 and 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. 

“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,” Emma Oliver said of the exhibit. “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 exhibit is free and open to the public on weekdays during regular Gallery hours. A reception for the exhibits is planned for September 21 from 4:00-6:00 p.m. at Joe McCauley Gallery.  

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. and Fridays from 9:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m. (on days the College is open). Appointments for groups can also be made upon request. 

For more information about this exhibit, visit or contact Gallery Coordinator, Shahrbanoo Hamzeh at

Written by: Steve Fast