Portrait of Norman Akers with a gray studio backdrop

Norman Akers

Norman Akers is a citizen of the Osage Nation from Grayhorse District. He received a BFA in Painting from the Kansas City Art Institute in 1982, and a Certificate in Museum Studies from the Institute of American Indian Arts in 1983. In 1991, he received an MFA in Fine Arts from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.

Akers had solo exhibitions at the Lawrence Arts Center, Lawrence, Kansas, Jan Cicero Gallery in Chicago, Illinois, and the Gardner Art Gallery, Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, Oklahoma. He has participated in numerous group exhibitions including, Mapping: Motion and Memory in Contemporary Art, Katonah Museum, Katonah, New York, Unlimited Boundaries, The Dichotomy of Place in Contemporary Native American Art, Albuquerque Museum, Albuquerque, New Mexico, and Who Stole the Tee Pee?, at the National Museum of the American Indian, Smithsonian Museum, New York, New York.

His paintings are in several collections including the Gilcrease Museum, Tulsa, Oklahoma, Rockwell Museum, Corning, New York, Heard Museum, Phoenix, Arizona, Eiteljorg Museum, Indianapolis, Indiana, National Museum of the American Indian, Washington DC, and Museum of Fine Arts, Santa Fe, New Mexico.

In 2007 he was selected to participate in the “We Are All Knots” print project, sponsored by the National Museum of the American Indian and ART in the Embassies Program Print Series. He was a recipient of the Joan Mitchell Painters and Sculptors Grant in 1999.

Norman Akers previously taught painting and drawing at the Institute of American Indian Art in Santa Fe, New Mexico. In 2009 he accepted a teaching position at the University of Kansas where he is currently an Associate Professor of Painting and Drawing.

Portrait of Norman Akers with a gray studio backdrop

2022 A&D Convocation Deadlines

01/10/2022    Student cap and gown online ordering is activated (herff.ly/Illinois)

02/11/2022    Updated student and family addresses due

04/12/2022   Last day for students to order regalia at early discounted rate

04/15/2022   A&D Convocation Ceremony Form due

04/18/2022   A&D Convocation Tickets may be picked up-132 A&D

04/20/2022   Student regalia website no longer active after 10:59 CT

04/25/2022   Reserved Convocation Tickets must be picked up

05/15/2022   Convocation at 1:00pm

Answers to Frequently Asked Questions | 2022

  • What is Convocation? How is it different from Commencement?

Commencement is the university-wide “graduation” ceremony where degrees are conferred.

Convocation is the term describing individual departmental or School ceremonies. These smaller ceremonies are dubbed Convocation to avoid confusion with the university-wide Commencement ceremony. A&D’s Convocation ceremony is scheduled so as not to conflict with the Commencement ceremony; thus, you and your guests may attend both ceremonies.

  • Do I have to graduate in spring 2022 in order to be eligible to participate in the A&D convocation?

Not necessarily. PhD candidates need to have finished all graduation requirements (including the dissertation deposit for PhD students) in order to attend the A&D Convocation.  However, EdM/MA/MFA degree candidates are eligible to attend the A&D Convocation ceremony, while they have a maximum of 8 hours of unfinished coursework left (and/or a thesis deposit).  BFA candidates may participate in the A&D Convocation if they are graduating in May, August or December, 2022.

  • Does registration for graduation automatically register the student for the A&D convocation, and vice versa?

No. The graduation process is completely separate from the convocation ceremony. Each event has their own registration process.

  • Why do we need tickets for the A&D Convocation ceremony?

Graduating students who are participating in the ceremony do not need tickets. However, your family and guests (including babies) do. Foellinger Auditorium, where Convocation will be held, requires tickets to all its events. However, tickets are free.

Seven tickets are guaranteed if you pick them up by Monday, April 25. Additional tickets may be picked up on a first-come, first-served basis beginning Wednesday, April 27. A&D makes every effort to ensure that each student can get the tickets they need, and that no guest is turned away. But please pick up tickets during regular business hours; they will not be available after hours or on weekends.

  • Both my parents and I received the Convocation Ceremony Form. Who should complete it?

Either you or your parents may complete the Convocation Ceremony Form. We send a hard copy of the form to both parents and students so that everyone has the same information. We encourage students, however, to consult with their family about their plans and complete the form themselves. We would prefer that you use the online version, but either one is acceptable. Either way, the form is due on Friday, April 15, 2022.

  • Why do we need to complete the Convocation Ceremony Form?

The School needs to know who is participating in the ceremony, to ensure that you will have a seat with your program on the stage, and to list you in the Convocation’s printed program. Students who have not submitted a form may be omitted from the printed program and will be seated out of order, space permitting. We do not wish to disappoint family and guests by omitting a student’s name from the program. Graduates seated out of order may have to squeeze by their fellow students when their name is called. This detracts from everyone’s enjoyment of the ceremony.

  • Do I have to RSVP for the reception after the A&D Convocation? Are tickets required?

You do not have to RSVP for the after-convocation reception, which will occur in the Link Gallery (which connects the A&D building and Krannert Art Museum) immediately after the ceremony; however, RSVPs are encouraged. The reception is a relatively unstructured event that allows students and their guests the opportunity to mingle with fellow students, faculty, and staff and view the BFA Exhibits.

  • What about graduation attire—when and where do I order it?

Academic regalia must be ordered through Herff Jones’ website. The discounted rate order deadline is Tuesday, April 12 at 10:59pm CT, and  all regalia orders are due by Saturday, April 30. Please consult the Commencement website for up-to-date deadlines and procedures (https://commencement.illinois.edu/may-commencement/graduates/academic-attire/).

  • How do I get on stage?

Please arrive promptly at 12:00 p.m. on Sunday, May 15 for procession instructions at the

Foreign Language Building, 707 S. Mathews Ave., Urbana, IL. Enter from Mathews and look for directional signs/A&D faculty. From there, you will walk/process to Foellinger Auditorium.

Your name will be printed on a card and placed on your seat. Seating will be by program in alphabetical order.

COVID-19 Protocols

Current COVID-19 protocols for University events require that attendees show proof of a negative COVID-19 test within 72 hours of the event or a COVID-19 vaccination record to enter the facility or event space. Illinois students, faculty, and staff can use their Building Access Status to enter, either through the Illinois App or Boarding Pass. Any updates to this guidance will be e-mailed to graduates and shared on the university’s COVID-19 Event Guidance website. The ceremony will be livestreamed for individuals who are unable to attend in person.

Useful dates and deadlines

Monday, January 10          Student cap and gown online ordering is activated (herff.ly/Illinois)
Friday, February 11            Updated student and family addresses due
Tuesday, April 12                Last day for students to order regalia at early discounted rate
Friday, April 15                    A&D Convocation Ceremony Form due
Monday, April 18                A&D Convocation Tickets may be picked up-132 A&D
Monday, April 25                Reserved Convocation Tickets must be picked up
Saturday, April 30               Student regalia website no longer active after 10:59 CT
Sat., May 14, 9:30 a.m.     (University-wide) Commencement ceremony, Memorial Stadium.
Sunday, May 15                   (12:00 p.m. sharp) Graduates arrive at Foreign Language Building,
707 South Mathews Ave., Urbana, IL.
Sun., May 15, 1:00 p.m.   A&D Convocation Ceremony followed by reception.

Useful links

Commencement:  http://commencement.illinois.edu/
Order regalia from Herff Jones: http://herff.ly/illinois

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