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June 2011 Visual Arts Calendar

Exhibitions and events at the Mary and Leigh Block Museum of Art and Dittmar Gallery

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May 20, 2011 | by Judy Moore

EVANSTON, Ill. --- An exhibition exploring the role photography plays in artist Kiki Smith’s work and an interactive installation by the Chicago-based art collective Temporary Services are on display through Aug. 14 at Northwestern University’s Mary and Leigh Block Museum of Art.

The Block Museum also is hosting Northwestern’s MFA Thesis Exhibition through June 19. Theo Leffmann’s weavings, wall hangings and sculptural objects will be on view through Aug. 14.

Northwestern’s Dittmar Memorial Gallery is hosting the Senior Art Majors Exhibition through June 13 and a summer exhibition of fiber works by artist Pat Kroth opening June 17 and running through Aug. 11.

MARY AND LEIGH BLOCK MUSEUM OF ART

The Mary and Leigh Block Museum of Art, 40 Arts Circle Drive, is located on Northwestern University’s Evanston campus. The museum is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday; 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Wednesday, Thursday and Friday; and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. SUMMER HOURS: From June 21 through Aug. 14, the Block Museum will be open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Tuesday through Sunday. It is closed on Monday year-round. Admission to the museum and all programs is free, unless noted. For more information on Block exhibitions, programs or location, phone (847) 491-4000 or visit
www.blockmuseum.northwestern.edu.

BLOCK MUSEUM SPRING/SUMMER 2011 EXHIBITIONS
 
“I Myself Have Seen it: Photography and Kiki Smith,” through Aug. 14, Main Gallery. A major figure in contemporary art, Kiki Smith is best known for sculpture, prints and drawings exploring the human body and nature. This exhibition examines the ways Smith thinks and articulates her ideas through the camera, and includes images the artist has used as source material, photographs of her work that suggest new meanings for her art, and her explorations of photography as an independent art form. The exhibition was organized by the Henry Art Gallery in Seattle and curated by Henry’s chief curator Elizabeth Brown, with support from Steven Johnson and Walter Sudol, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Paul G. Allen Family Foundation, and ArtsFund.

“Social Mobility: Collaborative Projects with Temporary Services,” through Aug. 14, Ellen Philips Katz and Howard C. Katz Gallery. The Chicago-based artist group Temporary Services has gained attention for its experimental methods of and strategies for making and displaying art. Through social actions, do-it-yourself projects, publications and public interventions, artists Brett Bloom, Marc Fischer and Salem Collo-Julin aim to raise awareness about social, economic, environmental and political issues. The exhibition showcases “Designated Drivers,” an installation in which visitors can view and download art work by 20 artists as well as older projects, such as “Self-Reliance Library,” which includes many of Temporary Services’ own publications on creativity and alternative living, and “Personal Plastic,” an exploration of plastic shopping bags and their presence in our lives.

MFA Thesis Exhibition from the Department of Art Theory and Practice, through June 19, Alsdorf Gallery. This exhibition represents the culmination of study for the master of fine arts degree from Northwestern University. The works vary in style and conceptual approach, each manifesting the individual vision of the artist. This year’s artists include Haig Aivazian, Cameron Crawford, Crystal Heiden, Eric May and Chris Naka. Support for the exhibition is provided by the Norton S. Walbridge Fund and the Myers Foundations.

“Theo Leffmann: Weaving a Life into Art,” through Aug. 14, Theo Leffmann Gallery. Artist Theo Leffmann’s 40-year-career coincided with a revolution in textile art in the mid-20th century, as divisions between “high art” (painting and sculpture) and craft diminished. This display of her colorful, richly textured and playful weavings, wall hangings and sculptural objects is drawn from the Block Museum’s permanent collection.

BLOCK MUSEUM SPRING 2011 EXHIBITION TOURS

Docent-led Adult Tours of the Spring 2011 exhibitions, Mary and Leigh Block Museum of Art, 1 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays through June 19. Summer tours of the exhibitions will be held on Saturdays only from June 25 to Aug. 13. Tours begin in the museum lobby. Reservations are not necessary.
 
Docent-led Group and School Tours by Appointment. The Block Museum offers free docent-led tours to groups of eight or more. The 45-minute tours are available each day the museum is open. The Block also provides hourlong interactive tours and activities for school groups. Arrangements for group or school tours should be made at least four weeks in advance by e-mailing blockeducation@northwestern.edu. Visit www.blockmuseum.northwestern.edu/education for more information.
 
BLOCK SCULPTURE GARDEN

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, bequested a large group of outdoor bronze sculptures to the museum. These pieces formed 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 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, visit www.blockmuseum.northwestern.edu/collections/sculpture.html.

BLOCK SCULPTURE GARDEN TOURS

Block Museum docents lead free tours of the Sculpture Garden at 1 p.m. Saturdays from June 26 to Aug. 14. Reservations are not required.
 
DITTMAR MEMORIAL GALLERY

The Dittmar Memorial Gallery, Norris University Center, 1999 Campus Drive, Evanston campus is open from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily through June 19. Summer hours: From June 20 through Aug. 11, the Dittmar Gallery will be open from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Thursday, and from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday through Sunday. The gallery will be closed Sunday, July 4. 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 www.dittmar.northwestern.edu.

Senior Art Majors Exhibition, “A Whiner’s Torso,” through June 13, Dittmar Memorial Gallery. This exhibition features the work of the Class of 2011 undergraduate art majors in Northwestern’s department of art theory and practice and their varied approaches to contemporary art making. Displaying artists are seniors Claire Anderson, Zac Farley, Nelson Fitch, Kathryn Floyd, Tina Frank, Danny Hirsch, Carol Kim, Kari Rayner and Meshia Reed.

“Found and Stitched -- Fiber Artwork by Pat Kroth,” June 24 through Aug. 11, Dittmar Memorial Gallery. The process of making, handling and manipulating materials is an important element of southeastern Wisconsin-based artist Pat Kroth’s fiber works. Her “art quilts” are stitched together by hand and sewing machine. Many incorporate tiny fiber fragments, sheer overlays, colorful threads and found objects such as shimmery candy wrappers, toys, buttons, feathers and fortune cookie messages. “I truly feel that I am ‘painting with fabric and thread,” says Kroth. For more on the artist, visit www.krothfiberart.com. The summer exhibition and an opening reception from 6 to 8 p.m. Friday, June 24, are free and open to the public.

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