First earning a Bachelor of Arts from DePauw University in 1949, Maureen Hubbard Cribbs is an accomplished artist, who specializes in media, drawing, woodcuts and printmaking. Also certified as a secondary school teacher, she served as an art teacher for Chicago Heights School District 163 in Park Forest, Illinois, from 1960 to 1978, during which time she furthered her studies with coursework at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago from 1971 to 1972 and a Master of Arts from Governors State University in 1973. After spending a year as a humanities instructor in Rich Township High School District 227 from 1978 to 1979, she returned to the School of the Art Institute of Chicago for further coursework from 1979 to 1981.
In 1979, Ms. Cribbs embarked on her career as a painter and printmaker and today she operates out of the Maureen Hubbard Cribbs Studio in Park Forest. Starting in 1980, she also lectured at Chicago State University until 1981 and was a painting instructor for Village Artists until 1987. During this time, she became an artist-in-residence for the Park Forest Community Arts Council in 1983. She has also been very active with the Art Institute of Chicago over the years, holding such roles as artist-in-residence for the Ox-Bow School of Art & Artists’ Residency; chair of the institute’s study group; secretary of the women’s board for the Homewood-Flossmoor Community Associates; and member of the advisory committee and presenter for the printing and senior celebrations with Art Insights. She is currently an outreach presenter for Art Insights with the Art Institute of Chicago.
Other professional endeavors of Ms. Cribbs’ have included time spent as an adjunct professor at Governors State University in 1995 and an art and art history instructor at Robert Morris University from 1996 to 2001. In 1999, she participated in printmaking at the Santa Reparata Graphic Art Centre in Florence, Italy. Closer to home, she has been faculty at the Tall Grass Arts Association School since 2000 and a docent at the Nathan Manilow Sculpture Park at Governors State University since 2010, a role she previously held from 1996 to 2004. In order to keep abreast of developments in her field, she maintains affiliation with the American Association of University Women, the Mid America Print Council, the American Print Alliance, the Chicago Artists Coalition, the Woman Made Gallery, the National Association of Professional Women, the Union Street Gallery Artists’ Guild and the Tall Grass Arts Association.
With her work widely shown in both group and solo exhibitions, some of Ms. Cribbs’ most recent works include an exhibition of eight large woodcuts at the Union Street Gallery, an exhibit of a large woodcut and 12 life drawings at the Tall Grass Arts Association, and another exhibition with the Tall Grass Arts Association where she showed her watercolor painting “Vision,” all in 2020. She has been a regular exhibitor at the Union Street Gallery and the Arts Guild at the Gretchen Charlton Gallery since 2014 and at the Steeple Gallery since 2005. Her artwork has appeared nationally in galleries, shows and permanent collections in Indiana, Iowa, West Virginia, Ohio, Wyoming, Colorado, Tennessee, South Carolina, Alabama, Connecticut and Oregon, and internationally in Bulgaria and Denmark.
Inspired and motivated by her parents, Roy Cecil Hubbard and Lillian Worner Yeoman, Ms. Cribbs is grateful that she was allowed to grow up without inhibitions and that she was treated gently and always supported. She takes great enjoyment from being in her studio and working on various projects, and among her favorite pieces are the 15 works she created for Freedom Hall in 1982. For her art and educational achievements, she has been presented with a number of honors and accolades, including grants from Freedom Hall, the Illinois Arts Council Agency and the Park Forest Community Arts Council. Since 1987, she has been presented with the Russia Peace Ribbon and, in 2015, she was inducted into the Park Forest Hall of Fame.
Beyond these awards and recognitions, Ms. Cribbs considers her greatest achievement to be having influenced so many young people. She enjoys receiving letters from former students telling her about their lives. One of her former students has gone on to become a pediatrician and all of the other students who have reached out to her are contributing to society in their own ways as well. She is proud to have had such an impact. Looking toward the future, Ms. Cribbs hopes to leave a legacy as someone who really cared about other people.