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June 2009 Visual Arts Calendar

May 5, 2009 | by Judy Moore
EVANSTON, Ill. --- The Mary and Leigh Block Museum of Art, 40 Arts Circle Drive, is located on Northwestern University's Evanston campus. The museum's hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday; 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Wednesday, Thursday and Friday; and noon to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. The museum is closed Mondays.

Admission to the museum is free; unless noted, admission to all programs also is free. For more information regarding Block Museum exhibitions, programs or location, phone (847) 491-4000 or go to the Block Museum Web site at http://www.blockmuseum.northwestern.edu.


"Place and Presence: Photography from the Collection," July 9 through Aug. 30, Alsdorf Gallery. After the 2008-09 exhibitions "A Letter from Japan: The Photographs of John Swope" (Sept. 19 to Nov. 30), "Polaroids: Mapplethorpe" (Jan. 13 to April 5) and "Bare Witness: Photographs by Gordon Parks" (April 24 to June 28), the Block Museum will close its yearlong look at photography with a selection of photographic works from its collection that evoke the character and spirit of their subjects. Many of the photographs, including images by Laura Letinsky, Scott Fortino and Brad Temkin, have never been exhibited at the Block.


"Bare Witness: Photographs by Gordon Parks," through June 28, Block Museum's Main Gallery. Gordon Parks (1912–2006) began working as a professional photographer in the 1940s, documenting the urban and rural poor in the United States for the Farm Security Administration and other organizations. Parks served as a staff photographer for Life magazine from 1945 to 1975, capturing images from all walks of American society, from the struggle for civil rights to the glamour of Hollywood stars. The 73 photographs featured in the "Bare Witness" exhibition, organized by the Iris & B. Gerald Cantor Center for Visual Arts at Stanford University, were personally selected by Parks before his death in 2006 as his most powerful imagery. "Bare Witness" and its accompanying catalogue are made possible by the generous support of The Capital Group Foundation, the Cantor Arts Center's Hohbach Family Fund and Cantor Arts Center's Members. The Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation, New York, has generously supported its presentation at the Block Museum. The Myers Foundations and the Illinois Arts Council, a state agency, have provided additional funding.

"The MFA Thesis Exhibition from the Department of Art Theory and Practice," through June 21, Mary and Leigh Block Museum of Art, Alsdorf Gallery. This annual exhibition represents the culmination of the course of study for the master of fine arts degree from Northwestern University. The works vary in style and conceptual approach, each manifesting the individual visions of the artists. The artists in this year's exhibition are John Henderson, Aaron Hughes, Casey Lurie and Jessie Mott. The exhibition is sponsored in part by the Myers Foundations.

Theo Leffmann, "Weaving a Life into Art," ongoing exhibition, through June 28. Theo Leffman is recognized as a rich contributor to the American fiber art movement in the late 20th century. For more than 30 years, Leffman liberated textiles from practical and decorative applications by using them as a means of personal expression. Through the generous gift of the late Paul Leffmann, these works are part of the Block Museum's permanent collection.


Free guided adult tours of the spring 2009 exhibition, Mary and Leigh Block Museum of Art, 2 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays, through June 28. Block Museum docents will lead guided tours of the spring 2009 exhibition "Bare Witness: Photographs by Gordon Parks." Gallery tours begin in the museum lobby. Reservations are not necessary. Note: There will be no exhibition tour Saturday, June 6.

Group and school tours by appointment only, through June 28. The Block Museum offers free guided tours to groups or schools. Group or school tours may be arranged by contacting blockeducation@northwestern.edu. For more information, visit http://www.blockmuseum.northwestern.edu/visit/guided-tours.html.

Block Sculpture Garden Tours for groups or schools, by appointment only, through Sept. 6. Pre-arranged docent tours of the Block Museum's Sculpture Garden continue through Labor Day weekend.


Northwestern University Alumnae Continuing Education Course, "Behind the Lens of Gordon Parks: Cultural Expressions of the African American Experience in the 20th Century," 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. Tuesdays, April 28 through June 2, Mary and Leigh Block Museum of Art, Pick-Laudati Auditorium.
The work and life of Gordon Parks provide compelling narratives of the social forces that shaped the African American experience in the 20th century. Northwestern faculty members teach this noncredit 6-week course, which is open to all adult learners. Cost is $100 for the full course; $20 for one session. For more information or to register, visit www.alumnae.northwestern.edu or call (847) 604-3569.

Gallery Talk, "The Artists' Perspective," 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, June 6, Alsdorf Gallery. Northwestern's 2009 MFA degree candidates John Henderson, Aaron Hughes, Casey Lurie and Jessie Mott discuss their works on display in the Alsdorf Gallery.


The Sculpture Garden of Northwestern's Mary and Leigh Block Museum of Art constitutes one of the most significant groupings of modern sculpture in the region. In 1987, Leigh Block, one of the museum's inaugural donors and a preeminent collector of modern art, bequeathed a large group of outdoor bronze sculptures to the museum. These pieces form the core of the collection, which now features monumental sculptures by some of the 20th century's most renowned European and American sculptors, including Barbara Hepworth, Jacques Lipchitz and Henry Moore.

In 1989, the Block Museum opened its Sculpture Garden with nine of the monumental bronzes donated by Leigh Block. The Sculpture Garden was designed by Chicago architect John Vinci and through donations and acquisitions has grown to 22 pieces. Located on the Evanston campus, it is open year-round. For more information about the Sculpture Garden, visit http://www.blockmuseum.northwestern.edu/collections/sculpture.html/.


The Dittmar Memorial Gallery, Norris University Center, 1999 Campus Drive, Evanston campus. The gallery is open from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily. From June 21 through Aug. 14, the gallery's summer hours will be from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Thursday and from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday through Sunday. Admission is free. The gallery places emphasis on ethnic cultural art, art by emerging artists, art by or about women, artwork by Northwestern undergraduate and graduate art students and traveling art shows. For information, call the Dittmar Gallery at (847) 491-2348 or Norris University Center at (847) 491-2300, e-mail dittmargallery@northwestern.edu or visit the Dittmar Web site at http://www.norris.northwestern.edu/dittmar.php.


Northwestern University Senior Undergraduate Art Majors Exhibition, "Progression," May 14 through June 19, Dittmar Memorial Gallery. This annual exhibition features the paintings, prints, photography, drawings, sculpture and video of undergraduate students enrolled in Northwestern University's department of art theory and practice. During their undergraduate years, department of art theory and practice majors contribute to a collective body of work. The range of work in the exhibition reflects the varied approaches to contemporary art-making techniques. Artwork by 14 students will be on display, including Renee Calvert, Jasmin Chang, Karinna Gomez, Andrew Karas, Joyce Kim, Sarah-Richelle Lemas, Mary Jo Madda, Yana Myaskovskaya, Debi Nafis, Rachele O'Hare, Lauren Pond, Jillian Putnam, Lauren Redding and Tiffany Wells.

Matt Friel, "Abandoned Archives," June 25 to Aug. 12, Dittmar Memorial Gallery.
The mostly black-and-white photographs of abandoned building interiors across America featured in the "Abandoned Archives" exhibition were taken by Matt Friel. The summer 2009 exhibition depicts neglected industrial facilities and institutions, including factories, power plants, asylums, hospitals and schools. The dark and lonely images in the show present a contemporary narrative of what society has vacated. Friel, who lives in Chattanooga, Tenn., has been photographing abandoned buildings since 2003. For more information on the artist and his works, visit http://www.abandonedarchives.com/. An opening reception from 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday, June 25, is free and open to the public.
Topics: Campus Life