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Summer 2011 Visual Arts Calendar

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

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June 21, 2011 | by Judy Moore
"Ebbtide,” 56” x 35”/Fused fiber fragments: cottons, cotton blends, lace, satin, silk, ribbons, trims and threads. Tulle overlays. Machine embellished with cotton and rayon, and metallic threads. Design Elements: Overall surface design. Predominant colors:  fuchsia, blue and green.

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 a July 16 discussion with glass artist Josh Simpson and offering free Sunday tours of its Outdoor Sculpture Garden from June 26 through Aug. 14. 

Northwestern’s Dittmar Memorial Gallery is hosting a summer exhibition of fiber works by artist Pat Kroth opening June 24 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. 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. Free parking is available on weekends and after 4 p.m. on weekdays. For more information on Block exhibitions, programs or location, phone (847) 491-4000 or visit 

www.blockmuseum.northwestern.edu.

BLOCK MUSEUM 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. For more, visit www.blockmuseum.northwestern.edu/exhibitions/current/ts.html.

“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 SUMMER EVENT/GLASS ARTIST JOSH SIMPSON

Discussion with glass artist Josh Simpson, 11 a.m. Saturday, July 16, Block Museum, Pick-Laudati Auditorium. Simpson, an internationally known and exhibited glass artist, will discuss his work and his artistic process in a special program. Simpson, the subject of the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) documentary “Defying Gravity,” finds inspiration in the colors and complexity of nature, from oceanic worlds to celestial phenomenon (visit www.youtube.com/user/SimpsonMegaplanet to see an excerpt from the documentary). His glass art is in the permanent collections of numerous museums and institutions, including the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston and the Museum of Decorative Arts in Prague. A 10:30 a.m. coffee reception will precede the July 16 discussion. This program is cosponsored by the American Craft Exposition, presented Aug. 26 to 28 at Northwestern University’s Henry Crown Sports Pavilion, 2311 N. Campus Drive, Evanston campus, by the Auxiliary of NorthShore University HealthSystem at Evanston and Glenbrook hospitals.

BLOCK OUTDOOR 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 MUSEUM SUMMER 2011 TOURS

• Docent-led Adult Tours of the Summer 2011 exhibitions, Mary and Leigh Block Museum of Art, 1 p.m. Saturdays, from June 25 through Aug. 13. Free tours begin in the museum lobby. Reservations are not necessary.

• Block Museum docent-led tours of the Block’s Outdoor Sculpture Garden, 1 p.m. Sundays, from June 26 through Aug. 14. Free tours begin in the museum lobby. Reservations are not required.

• 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.

DITTMAR MEMORIAL GALLERY

The Dittmar Memorial Gallery, Norris University Center, 1999 Campus Drive, Evanston Campus. 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

“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.

Topics: Campus Life