The Ferguson Art Gallery at Concordia University Chicago is pleased to announce its upcoming show, “Pushing Back the Sea” by Mary Porterfield. The exhibit is free and open to the public from Jan. 9 to Feb. 25. A reception with the artist will be held in the gallery Sunday, Jan. 29 from 2-4 p.m., with an artist’s talk at 3 p.m.1 Mary Porterfield Pushing Back the Sea.jpg

Mary Porterfield’s life-size, realistic figurative drawings are inspired by her mother's role as a caregiver to her disabled father. In painting on semi-transparent papers, she progressively layers her images to address the reoccurring struggles in health care that are outwardly hidden. By sharing her parents’ story, she hopes to uplift those that serve as caretakers, while simultaneously embracing the enduring memories of loved ones.

Porterfield is an occupational therapist and adjunct instructor of art at Northeastern Illinois University. She has exhibited both nationally and internationally at venues including the Lim Lip Museum in South Korea, the Phoenix Art Museum, the San Diego Art Institute, the Hyde Park Art Center, the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art, the Kohler Arts Center, the Dubuque Art Museum, the Ukrainian Institute of Modern Art, the Rockford Art Museum, the Figge Art Museum and the Weatherspoon Museum.

The Ferguson Art Gallery is located in Kretzmann Hall at Concordia University Chicago, 7400 Augusta St., River Forest, IL. The gallery is directed by Nikkole Huss, professor of art and chair of the Arts Division at CUC. Gallery hours are Monday through Friday 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. For more information, visit or call 708-209-3013.