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February 2010 Visual Arts Calendar

January 25, 2010 | 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 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. The museum is closed on Monday.

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


"A Room of Their Own: The Bloomsbury Artists in American Collections," Jan. 15 through March 14, Block Museum, Main Gallery and Alsdorf Gallery
. Vanessa Bell, E.M. Forster, Roger Fry, Virginia Woolf and other artists and writers of the Bloomsbury group changed British culture as they brought art, literature, social thought and domestic life into the modern age. This exhibition explores the work and significance of Bloomsbury artists through more than 150 paintings, works on paper, vintage small-press books and decorative objects by Bell, Fry, Duncan Grant and Dora Carrington, assembled from collections around the United States. The winter exhibition is organized by the Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art at Cornell University, Ithaca, N.Y., in conjunction with the Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University, Durham, N.C. It is accompanied by a host of programs, including tours of the exhibition, a lecture series, performance, family workshop, book club discussion and symposium, all taking place at the Block Museum.

Theo Leffmann: Weaving a Life into Art," Jan. 15 through March 14, Theo Leffmann Gallery. Theo Leffmann is recognized as a rich contributor to the American fiber art movement in the late 20th century. For more than 30 years, Leffmann liberated textiles from practical and decorative applications by using them as a means of personal expression. Through the generous gift of Paul Leffmann, these works are part of the Block Museum's permanent collection.


Exhibition Tours, 1 p.m. (new time) January 15 through March 14. Docent-led tours of "A Room of Their Own: The Bloomsbury Artists in American Collections" will be held Saturdays and Sundays. E-mail blockeducation@northwestern.edu or visit the "Education" section on the Block Museum Web site for information on tours for groups of eight or more people and activity-based tours for school classes.


Bloomsbury Lecture Series, "Writing in Bloomsbury: Forster, Woolf and Sackville-West," 6 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 3, Block Museum. Mary Ann Caws, distinguished professor of English, French and comparative literature at the Graduate School of the City University of New York, will discuss the styles and temperaments of three major writers of the Bloomsbury group -- E.M. Forster, Virginia Woolf and Vita Sackville West. The lecture series is cosponsored by Northwestern's Alice Kaplan Institute for the Humanities.

Performance, "Vita & Virginia" with Linda Gates and Mary Poole, 4 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 7, Block Museum. Adapted by Eileen Atkins from the letters and diaries of Vita Sackville-West and Virginia Woolf, this play charts the relationship, both intellectual and romantic, between two very different women: Woolf, shy and dowdy but one of the foremost writers of the 20th century, and Sackville-West, an upper class aristocrat and lauded poet and author.  Northwestern theatre department faculty member Linda Gates, who has appeared in New York, Chicago and venues throughout the country, and Northwestern faculty member Mary Poole, a veteran director and actor of many Chicago stages, will read the roles.

Bloomsbury Lecture Series, "The Iconoclastic Economist: John Maynard Keynes and the Bloomsbury Group, 6 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 17, Block Museum
. A core member of the Bloomsbury group and one of the preeminent economists of the 20th century, John Maynard Keynes worked on ideas ranging from probability theory to business cycles. Robert Gordon, Stanley G. Harris Professor of the Social Sciences in Northwestern's Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences, and Lynne Kiesling, senior lecturer of economics, in Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences, will explore Keynes' passions -- from economics to literature and art -- and the role the Bloomsbury group played in shaping them. In light of the current recession they also will discuss Keynes' continuing relevance to today's economic policies.

Family Workshop, "The Art of Crafts," 1 to 3 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 21, Block Museum. Enjoy a tour of the Bloomsbury exhibition and then create artwork that is both beautiful and useful. This program is recommended for families with children 6 to 10 years old. Advanced registration is required and space is limited. E-mail blockeducation@northwestern.edu to reserve space.

Book Club, Virginia Woolf's "A Room of One's Own," 6 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 25, Block Museum
. Take part in a lively discussion of Virginia Woolf's essential writing on women and art, led by Leah Culligan-Flack, Northwestern visiting assistant professor of English. Cost is $15 for Museum members and Northwestern faculty, staff and students or $20 for nonmembers. The fee includes a copy of the book. Space is limited and advanced registration is required by Monday, Feb. 1. E-mail blockeducation@northwestern.edu. Books will be mailed to all participants before the event.

Symposium, "New Looks: The Social Life of Art and Design in Bloomsbury," 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 27, Block Museum
. The symposium presents fresh and diverse scholarship on Bloomsbury art and design, covering topics from the decorative arts, fashion and social dancing to literary responses to architecture and painting. Participants include Elizabeth Sheehan (University of Virginia); Celia Marshik (State University of New York, Stony Brook); Rishona Zimring (Lewis and Clark College); Laurel Dreher (California State University); and Anna Fewster (University of Sussex, England). Moderated by Chris Reed (Pennsylvania State University) and Christine Froula (Northwestern University). Support for the symposium is provided by the Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art.


The Sculpture Garden of the Mary and Leigh Block Museum of Art constitutes one of the most significant groupings of modern sculpture in the Midwest 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 best known 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 about the Sculpture Garden, visit www.blockmuseum.northwestern.edu/collections/sculpture.html.


The Dittmar Memorial Gallery, Norris University Center, 1999 Campus Drive, Evanston campus
. Open from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily and admission-free, the gallery places emphasis on ethnic art, art by emerging artists, art by or about women, artwork by Northwestern 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 www.norris.northwestern.edu/dittmar.php.


"Artist Made Books" and "Beethoven, Bach and the Composers Sleeping in the Coffin," through Feb. 8, Dittmar Memorial Gallery
. "Artist Made Books" is a small collection of books, "fanzines" or "zines" (pronounced "zeens," nonofficial magazines produced by fans of a particular cultural phenomenon and graphic texts made by 14 local artists. They include Alejandro Ayala, Eric Bartholomew, Alyson Beaton, Roh Esta, Marcia Maltz, Zach Plague, Clare Rosean, Mark Rospenda, Kally Stachura, Anna Timmerman, Chris Tyre, Plamen Yordanov, Jennifer Yorke and Betsy Marie Zacsek. "Beethoven, Bach and the Composers Sleeping in the Coffin" is an exhibition of mixed media by Luke Tauber, who works out of the art studios at Little City Foundation in Palatine, an organization for the developmentally disabled. Many of Tauber's artworks reflect his interest in classical music and composers, his deceased family members and Western funeral practices. For several years, Tauber has worked on projects with Chicago-based artists Marc Fischer, John Grod, Jennifer Mannebach and Kerry Hagy. The Dittmar Gallery organized Tauber's exhibition with Frank Tumino, studio arts manager for Little City's Center for the Arts. For more information on Tauber, visit www.littlecityarts.org/pages/luke_tauber/49.php.

"AfriCOBRA and the Chicago Black Arts Movement," Feb. 12 through March 17, Dittmar Memorial Gallery
. AfriCOBRA is an African-American artist collective that formed on the South Side of Chicago in 1968 and still exists today as one of the longest running artist groups in American history. Formed originally as COBRA (Coalition of Black Revolutionary Artists), by 1970 the group had changed its name to the African Commune of Bad Relevant Artists. Adding the African reference to the name solidified their connection to a national and international African Diaspora community bound together by their common roots. "AfriCOBRA and the Chicago Black Arts Movement" is the first exhibition in decades to bring together many of the most famous AfriCOBRA artworks created during the collective's formative years in Chicago. The exhibition explores how AfriCOBRA influenced African-American visual artistic production on the national and international level. Its artists established aesthetic principles of bright colors, the human figure, lost and found line and lettering and images, which they agreed identified the social, economic and political conditions of African-Americans. An opening reception from 6 to 8 p.m. Friday, Feb. 12, at the gallery, will feature a keynote lecture by Michael Harris, current AfriCOBRA member and associate professor of art history and African American studies, Emory University. Two related events that also will be held at the Dittmar Gallery include a 5 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 17, panel discussion on "AfriCOBRA and the Chicago Black Arts Movement"; and a 5 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 24, poetry reading by poet, author, educator and activist Haki Madhubuti, and Northwestern alumna Tara Stringfellow. The exhibition, opening reception, panel discussion and poetry reading are all free and open to the public. The events are cosponsored by Northwestern's Dittmar Gallery, Center for the Study of African American History and the department of African American studies.

Nathalie Rayter, a junior in the School of Education and Social Policy, contributed to this story.

Topics: Campus Life