College of Liberal Arts & Social Sciences > Academics > The Art School > Faculty > Mary Ann Papanek-Miller

Mary Ann Papanek-Miller

  • ​​

  • Professor, and Director
  • ​​​​​

  • The Art School
  • Faculty
  • 773.325.7565
  • 1150 W. Fullerton, Room 313

M. A. Papanek-Miller was born in Hinsdale, Illinois. She received a Master of Fine Arts degree, in Art from the University of Houston, Texas with a dual emphasis in drawing and in metals. She is a mixed media artist working primarily in drawing related works that are woven and layered with images that provoke environmental concerns. These concerns include the varied human relationships with animals and with the aspects of water access, use and ownership, which are additionally informed from both an urban and a rural perspective. Her works' image selection and drawing approach are seasoned with humor, worry, and vulnerability as conditions of the human experience. These experiences are expressed and often applied to the selected toy-related objects she draws and includes in her final works as image guides to direct the viewer into the idea paths of the visual stories explored in her artwork.

She has exhibited widely across the country including the following selected recent exhibitions that featured her artwork: 2018 “Preparing For Winter” (solo exhibition) Jean Albano Gallery, Chicago​; DePaul Newsline and interview with Bro. Mark Elder-Radio DePaul at; 2014 “M.A. Papanek-Miller and Jenni Brant”, (2-person exhibition), Rolland Dille Center for the Arts Gallery, Minnesota State University, Moorhead MN; 2013 “The Elastic Past”, (4-person exhibition-brochure), The Yellowstone Art Museum, Billings MT, “… go forward till you come to a castle”, (3-person exhibition), William and Florence Schmidt Art Center, Southwestern Illinois College, Belleville IL; 2011 “Summer Show”, (small group exhibition), Jean Albano Gallery, Chicago IL; 2010 “Under The Influence Of Ducks”, (solo exhibition and brochure), the Mitchell Museum-Main Gallery; Cedarhurst Center for the Arts, Mt Vernon IL; 2009 “A Snowman Cares For Our Memory of Water”, (solo exhibition and catalogue), the Missoula Art Museum, Missoula MT; 2008 “Looking for Alice; you won’t know who to trust”, (solo exhibition and brochure), Jack Olson Gallery, Northern Illinois University, DeKalb IL; 2007 “Advice From A Caterpillar”, (featured artist), Northern State University, President’s Gallery, Aberdeen, SD; and 2006: ArtView: ”… and the dish ran away with the spoon- Current Works by M.A. Papanek-Miller”, (featured artist), The Plains Art Museum, Fargo, ND.

She was one of the recipients of the 2004 State of Minnesota Artist Initiative Grants to individual artists co-supported by the National Endowment for the Arts. She completed a large commissioned artwork funded by a grant from the Seattle Arts Commission for the Federal Justice Center building in Seattle Washington which opened to the public in November 2002. She is a Professor and Director of The Art School at DePaul University in Chicago (; formerly she served in the same capacity at The University of Montana, Bemidji State University in Minnesota, Cornish College of the Arts in Seattle; and she was a full-time faculty member at The Glassell School of Art, the Museum of Fine Arts Houston. Currently, her artwork is being shown by the Jean Albano Gallery in Chicago. She lives and works between Chicago Illinois and the woods/lake country of rural northern Minnesota.​