The mission of the O’Connor Art Gallery is to present timely, relevant and focused contemporary art exhibitions that foster critical and thoughtful dialogue across disciplines. Exhibitions are curated with the Dominican student body in mind, as they are meant to introduce students to new and innovative artistic concepts, practices and strategies.

Located in Lewis Hall, steps from many of the art department’s studios and classrooms, the gallery is particularly accessible to art students as a space for intimate engagement and reflection. In addition to curated exhibitions, the gallery is the site of an annual juried student show and senior thesis exhibitions.

The gallery is open to the public during the academic year.  All are welcome.

Questions? Please contact

Location:  Lewis Hall, Fourth Floor

Fall 2022

Jade Williams Semine Ab Aetherio

September 28–October 21, 2022
Reception: Wednesday, September 28, 4:00-7:00 p.m.
Gallery talk at 4:30 p.m
Curated by Jenna Richards

The O’Connor Gallery is pleased to present Jade Williams’ solo exhibition Semine Ab Aetherio.

Semine Ab Aetherio, From the Heavenly Seed, is an offering into William’s world-building practice as she sows the spiritual, cultural, and familial seeds of her upbringing as a means to restore inner world order. Combining material explorations and personal artifacts, the exhibition invites viewers to question, meditate on, and care for our roots, relationships, and rituals; ultimately, prompting them to return home with her and with themselves.

Image: Jade Williams, Let the Congregation Say, Asé (A Seed’s a Star if You Hold Her Up to the Light), 2022, Coconut Shell Halves, Faux Rabbit Fur, Pink Pearls, Nylon Stockings, 6”x 3”x 4” per seed

About the Artist

Jade Williams (she/her) is an interdisciplinary artist and designer whose practice reflects the ways that she engages in the radical traditions of altering, adorning, collecting, and congregating. Each of these meditative actions possess a transformative quality, making them powerful vehicles for space making; and, when performed routinely, healing rituals. Using hair, gold hoops, acrylic nails, original surface patterns, and ornate fabrics, her works are heavily influenced by the 1970’s/80s, metaphysics and her matrilineal line.

Jade received her BFA from the University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign and is a graduate of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Her works have been exhibited at spaces including the Krannert Art Museum, the Evanston Art Center, the Leather Archives and Museum, and Woman Made Gallery. Jade is a 2020 recipient of the One State Artist Project Grant, a 2021 recipient of the National Black Arts Festival Artist Project Fund, a 2021 HATCH Artist Resident with the Chicago Artists Coalition, and a 2022 Luminarts Cultural Foundation Visual Arts Fellow. She is the creative co-lead of The Black Bloom Project and currently works in the Greater Chicago Area.

Learn more at and Instagram @sexandthestudio

Udita Upadhyaya to build a house on a hill

November 9–December 16, 2022
Reception: Wednesday, November 9, 4:00–7:00 p.m.

Gallery talk at 4:30 p.m.
Curated by Jenna Richards

The O’Connor Gallery is pleased to present Udita Upadhyaya’s solo exhibition to build a house on a hill. Working with text and textile Udita Upadhyaya investigates her inheritance of craft and language. Engaging intimately with found and worn fabrics, Upadhyaya makes room for grief, and rage, as well as spontaneous bursts of joy. Her process ranges from slow and meditative to energetic, writing and unmaking with fervor. Her body, and its stories, are at the center of the work. Her objects are surrogate bodies, allowing themselves to be held and providing holding. She navigates loss by losing, letting herself be caught in concentric circles of confusion and longing for connection.

Image: Udita Upadhyaya, Letters from my mother, 2022, embroidery thread, stray strands on found fabric, 4” x 10”

About the Artist

Udita Upadhyaya is an interdisciplinary artist, educator, and birthworker. Her work spans live art, devised theatre, performative photographs, sculpture, installation, video, writing, text, and fiber arts. She works with the principles of Vipassana meditation to uncover the trajectories of desire, shame and their many intersections. Upadhyaya’s  practice is rooted in wisdom of the body and is built by asking piercing questions, deep listening, and in pursuit of intimacy and connection. She often works collaboratively, tapping into her training in filmmaking and market research. Upadhyaya’s works gently invite audiences to witness, reflect, participate, and consensually co-create. Her artistic explorations include a study of global cultures and an uncovering of personal and collective histories, both ignited by the passion to transcend cultural, social and gender binaries. Recently, Upadhyaya has performed and exhibited work at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, Smart Museum of Art, Hyde Park Art Center, Villa Teresa Decorative Arts Museum, and Links Hall. Her artist book of scores, nevernotmusic, was acquired by the Joan Flash Artist Book Collection, and University of Chicago’s Rare Books Collection, among others. She also has an MFA in studio art from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, where she has since lectured.

Upcoming Exhibit


January 18–February 24, 2023
Reception: Wednesday, January 18, 4:00–7:00 p.m.
Gallery talk at 4:30 p.m.

Curated by Jennifer Mannebach

The O’Connor Gallery is pleased to present Lois Bielefeld, Noelle Garcia and Tulika Ladsariya.

These artists coax communication across cultural, generational, and ideological boundaries. They reveal a desire to nurture and propagate new offshoots,honoring the nuances of change and growth where there is no firm demarcation. Ritual, recovered narratives, and displacement are explored through photographs, drawings, and objects that often reference vessels.

About the Artists

Lois Bielefeld is a queer Milwaukee-based photographer who also works in video and installation. Generational and ideological boundaries are compassionately examined in the series ‘To commit to memory’, which focuses on her parents who are evangelical Christians. Captions reveal a collaborative attempt to describe domestic rituals within the boundary of home.

In her soft sculptures, Noelle Garcia employs beading techniques that recall her identity as a North American indigenous artist in her Medicine Bottles. Small things of consequence become fertile ground for work that dialogues with lineage while responding to emergent interpretations. Her work also includes paintings and drawings, often based on family photographs taken of her as a child when she visited her father in prison.

As a first-generation migrant mother, Tulika Ladsariya creates literal vessels that act as temporary homes for propagation. Cuttings from plants grow in hand built ceramic pieces that are embossed with tatted lace made by her mother in India, extending this generosity of spirit by providing the viewer an opportunity to reflect on the nature of careful tending. This work reveals these artists’ penchant for diving into vulnerabilities that are inherent in negotiating past and present, the tangled interplay of identity and ritual.
Jennifer Mannebach