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Dittmar Exhibits 'Jazz on Campus'

February 7, 2006 | by Judy Moore

EVANSTON, Ill. --- Contemporary mixed media artist Terry Dixon infuses digital photography, abstract expressionism and a passion for jazz music into bold and vividly colored paintings.

A collection of the Chicago-based artist’s works will be on view to the public during the Dittmar Memorial Gallery’s Winter 2006 exhibition Terry Dixon, “Jazz on Canvas” (Feb. 15 to March 19) on Northwestern University’s Evanston campus.

The free exhibition is one of the events Northwestern University has scheduled during Black History Month.

During an opening reception from 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 23, that is free and open to the public, art lovers can view the exhibition, meet the artist and be entertained by a campus jazz trio. Light refreshments will be provided.

Dixon creates his new art perspectives by employing various visual art techniques through photography, computer art and traditional painting. Some compositions address social and political issues, while others focus on the rhythm of line, color and brushstroke. He creates his works while listening to his favorite jazz artists. Musicians Miles Davis, John Coltrane, Chick Corea and Max Roach have been the most influential on his work.

The Dittmar Gallery’s “Jazz on Canvas” exhibition will feature works that utilize a variety of mediums including digital photography, acrylic and oil pastels.

“Bru,” a mixed media piece, was inspired by a photograph that Dixon took of a homeless Evanston man. The lines in the man’s face convey his daily struggle with life and coincide with the complicated sounds and rhythms of jazz and blues music, Dixon said.

“Conversation,” an abstract mixed media work, was created while Dixon listened to a Miles Davis recording. It was inspired by two men standing on a corner talking about life. The phrase “Free Jazz” -- the term for an extremely abstract jazz form that began in the mid-1950s with heavily dissonant improvisations and without easily perceptible structure -- is written vertically on the right hand side of the urban landscape behind the men.

“Jonesing” is based on a photograph Dixon took of another homeless Evanstonian. Abstracted images show the power within the subject’s face. Dixon shows the man peering out from behind a shattered glass windowpane to illustrate that the man is trapped in a bleak situation with no visible outcome to his ongoing struggle to survive.

“Masquerade” incorporates a drawing and a digital photograph manipulated in PhotoShop. It is one of Dixon’s intuitive pieces and features flowing lines that were created to the sounds of rhythmic music. (For more information on Terry Dixon visit http://www.artistterry.com/.)

The Dittmar Memorial 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.

The gallery is located on the first floor of Norris University Center, 1999 Campus Drive, on Northwestern’s Evanston campus. The gallery is open from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily. Admission is free. For information, call (847) 491-2348 or Norris University Center at (847) 491-2300, e-mail dittmargallery@northwestern.edu or go to the Norris Web site at www.dittmar.northwestern.edu.

Topics: Campus Life