Permanent Art Collection
Norris’ permanent art collection holds within its vast catalog decades of collaboration between Northwestern and its creative communities. Gathered from donation, acquisition, and commission, our collected surveys a range of visual art created by both preeminent national artists and close by community members and students. With mediums ranging from sculpture to mosaics to protest posters, the walls of Norris celebrate and promote visual creation in all of iits forms.
View here the art on permeant display in the Norris University Center:
POPPIES IN MEMORY OF A NORTHWESTERN STUDENT MARIE POMPILIO, 1970-1988M. SODFREY
This warm, floral print was added to the Norris collection in memory of Northwestern student Marie Pompilio. Pompilio was a freshman at Northwestern when she passed. The warm color and naturalist scene of this print reminds those who walk past it of the ever-present beauty surrounding us in life, and the urgency in grabbing such beauty while we can. Like the indulgently romantic tone of this print, life is for the cherishing.
FLY BYDAVID DRIESBACH
COLOR VISCOSITY ETCHING
David Fraiser Dreisbach, printmaker, and educator, was born in Wausau, Wisconsin on October 7, 1922, to George Croll Driesbach and Lucy Adelaide Kilbourn.
David Driesbach was an extremely prolific artist, creating hundreds, if not thousands of artworks throughout his life. Up to the end of his life, he enjoyed drawing and painting at Wynscape. He was an innovator in the development of new printmaking techniques and was featured in multiple national and international exhibitions. In his later years, he traveled the country giving workshops at colleges on color viscosity printmaking, a technique he learned while on sabbatical in Paris.
In 2012, Driesbach received the Printmaker Emeritus Award from the Southern Graphic Council International.
Ringhaver is an iconic figure in the art of printmaking in the Chicago scene. Along with two other women, Ringhaver opened Expressions GRaphics in 1981. The original idea for the center was a place to printmake, etch, block print, and silk screen for those who were new to the form. They wanted to teach and educate about a side of art that not many knew much about.
Ringhaver’s print in the Norris collection is an impressive example of her own personal abstract style. Expressions Graphics is still around and thriving, though Ms. Ringhaver is no longer with us.
ALEXANDER CALDER (b. 1898 - d.1976)
Alexander Calder was an American sculptor from Pennsylvania. He was the son of well-known sculptor Alexander Stirling Calder, and his grandfather and mother were also successful artists. Alexander Calder is known for inventing wire sculptures and the mobile, a type of kinetic art that relied on careful weighting to achieve balance and suspension in the air. Calder’s work in mobiles and large scale sculpture work shaped the course of the modern art world in the 1960s, and continues to hold an influence stake in the how sculpture is presented in the art world.
CARLOS CORTEZ (b. 1923 - d. 2005)
Carlos Cortez was a poet, graphic artist, photographer, muralist and political activist, active for six decades in the Industrial Workers of the World. As an accomplished artist and a highly influential political artist, Cortez is perhaps best known for his wood and linoleum-cut graphics.
EL ORGULLO DEL SIGLOS
CARLOS CORTEZ (b. 1923 - d. 2005)
MARGARET BURROUGHS (b. 1915 - d. 2010)
Margaret Taylor-Burroughs, also known as Margaret Taylor Goss, Margaret Taylor Goss Burroughs or Margaret T G Burroughs, was an American visual artist, writer, poet, educator, and arts organizer. She co-founded the Ebony Museum of Chicago, now the DuSable Museum of African American History.
The oldest museum dedicated exclusively to African American art and history, the DuSable now occupies a complex of buildings in Washington Park in Chicago and is affiliated with the Smithsonian.
EDUARDO DE SOIGNIE (b. 1970 - present)
ACRYLIC LATEX PAINT ON WOOD PANEL
Eduardo De Soignie was born in Havana Cuba in 1970. In 1988, he began his art education at Instituto Superior de Arte (ISA) but had his studies interrupted after receiving an exit visa to immigrate to the US the following year. De Soignie moved to Miami, Florida, where he resided for three years.
In 1992, he received a scholarship to go to the School of the Art Institute of Chicago graduating in 1996. Since then, De Soignie has been exhibiting in Chicago and the Midwest and had participated in symposiums and residencies in Canada, Spain, Poland, and England.
MITCHELL MELSON JR.
FOUND OBJECT COLLAGE
For over two decades, Melson JR. has used the fruits he gleans from yard sales and flea markets to create tribal masks he believes represent a modern urban tribe. Melson Jr. is the founder of UTRIBE, “an artistic approach to remembering the past, knowing the present and implying the future.” He leads
workshops on the craft of African mask-making using 21st-century concepts and recyclable materials.
THE PEACH BLOSSOM PARADISE
OKJU CHUN OH
WATERCOLOR ON RICE PAPER
Chun Oh’s The Peach Blossom Paradise visualizes a story of Chinese poet Tao Chi’en.
As the story goes, a poor fisherman was fishing down the river early one morning. Everything around him was peaceful as he rowed his bamboo skiff smoothly over the still pearl-grey water to a stretch of the river he has never seen before. As he rowed on, something drew him as if by magic towards the
rosy line of the peach blossom forest. The peach trees were in full blossom, their boughs trembling in petals. A path scattered with a thousand falling petals wound its way among the trees. Like a man in a dream, he begun to follow it.
There, in the magic forest, the fisherman was mesmerized by the beauty of the surroundings, engulfed in the aroma of the fragrant peach blossom. He no longer felt the pain and burden of the world. He wanted to stay there forever. However, he had to go back to his world and not mention what he had seen. Upon his return to the village, he told the villagers about the magic forest, unable to keep his secret. When he returned, this time with the town people, the peach blossom paradise was nowhere to be found.
(words provided by Okju Chun Oh)
THE MOSAIC OF COMMUNITY
STUDENTS OF NICHOLS MIDDLE SCHOOL, EVANSTON TOWNSHIP HIGH SCHOOL, AND NORTHWESTERN UNIVERSITY
The Mosaic of Community is a collaborative art project thought up by Northwestern students Rebecca Laks and George Newman to foster a social and artistic relationship between Northwestern students and students at local Evanston public schools. Each student who participated was based to create a
smaller mosaic that represented their individual personalities. Put together, this large-scale mosaic collage represents our community as a whole, from a range of schools, ages, and background comes to a dynamic vision of who we are.
NORRIS UNIVERSITY CENTER
TIMOTHY MCCARTHY (b. 1967- present)
Tim McCarthy’s career in art began to take shape at the University of Illinois where he earned his bachelor's degree in Fine Arts in Painting in 1989. His first teacher, however, was his mother, who is also an artist. His first commercial art experiences were commissioned portraits of the U of I sororities. This was his initial thrust into portrait commissions. After graduation, Tim went to work for an art gallery in downtown Chicago. Tim continues to live in Illinois and work full-time in the freelance arena where he has built up his name and clientele.
ANTHONY LEE O’NEAL
OIL ON CANVAS
O’Neal began his career inspired by clay figures, heads, busts, and masks.
Nearing the age of ten, his father recognized his fascination with his art collection from various corners of the globe and gave him his first oil painting supplies.
His father’s paintings from France and Haiti along with crafts from Africa were the most influential. As well as his father’s childhood Native American Indian artifacts, crafts, and cultural influences from India, China, South America, and Japan made an impression.
This childhood influence is strongly seen in this work, a Motif and imagery inspired by the Goode homolosine projection.
Chiou’s work was purchased to be a part of the Norris permanent art collection from Northwestern’s Senior Undergraduate Art Majors Exhibition, "Inside|Out: Art Theory and Practice Senior Exhibition” in 2006. The exhibition was meant to display these students’ “bridging of the realms of the public and private.” The ethereal self-reflection in Chiou’s work merges the physical body with a self-reflective perception of it.
MUSICOUS DELAS FEISTAS
MARIA ALEXANDRA CARLES
OIL ON CANVAS
Carles’ work was purchased to be a part of the Norris permanent art collection from Northwestern’s 2008 Senior Undergraduate Art Majors Exhibition. The vibrant, visceral aspect of bodies in motion in Carles’ work brings the unmitigated joy of music, community, and passion into a full, boisterous reflection.
OIL ON CANVAS
Nadkarni’s work was purchased to be a part of the Norris permanent art collection from Northwestern’s 2005 Senior Undergraduate Art Majors Exhibition. The stilled focus on the female figure in Nadkarni’s work acts as a penetrative meditation on an excursion in daily life. An excursion was necessary to be seen. If she were standing, her face would not fit in the frame.
The blurred figure behind the female also engaged in a bending tells the viewer that this excursion is a communal one, and endless in its variation. We do not see what they are retrieving from the ground. This unknowing allows the goal of this bodily effort to be open-ended. And asks the viewer, what do you reach for?
Brown’s etching presents the mountainous landscape of rural America in such aesthetic proportion that its compelling nature outlives trends in visual culture. It is a meditation on the atmosphere beyond trends, beyond conversations, buildings, campus, and roads, where the only structures are the primitive ones, the mountain, the rock, and the water. The calming beauty their rhythms may bring. The moments of stillness their commemoration offer.
MAY 28TH ROLL SEMI-TRANSPARENT AND ALL AT ONCE
OIL ON CANVAS
Fugate’s work was purchased to be a part of the Norris permanent art collection from Northwestern’s 2012 Senior Undergraduate Art Majors Exhibition. The wide and disorienting chromatic mirage of shadow and light brings the viewer into a window of abstraction that is neither welcoming nor turning us away. The title, MAY 28TH ROLL SEMI-TRANSPARENT AND ALL AT ONCE, plays with this abstract landscape by referencing a specific date as both an opening and an overwhelming wave. The answer to why this date, why these emotions will only ever be answerable by the artist but may ask, when would this date be for us?
WOMAN BATHING HER FEET IN A BROOK
OIL ON CANVAS
Fakes’ work was purchased to be a part of the Norris permanent art collection from Northwestern’s Senior Undergraduate Art Majors Exhibition, "Inside|Out: Art Theory and Practice Senior Exhibition” in 2006. The exhibition was meant to display these students’ “bridging of the realms of the public and private.” The simple, domestic act of cleansing in Fakes’ piece romanticizes the often mundane act of taking care of our bodies while destigmatizing the act of caring for non-normative bodies. The pointillist strokes lend a nostalgic, warm node to the impressionist bathing scenes of Georges Seurat.
PICK-STAIGER COMPOSITION 2
OIL ON CANVAS
Kim’s work was purchased to be a part of the Norris permanent art collection from Northwestern’s 2011 Senior Undergraduate Art Majors Exhibition. This large-scale work acts as a special x-ray, exposing the bones of an interior space while erasing its insides. It's disorienting rethinking of decor allows a particular appreciation of minimalism and linear grace that acts as a refreshing addition to Norris’ collection.
WALTER PARKE (b. 1909 - 1984)
Parke studied at the Palette and Chisel Art Academy in Chicago in the 1970s, where they mastered their craft in etching, and found their interest in the realistic depiction of nature’s objects. In Open House, Parke plays with the welcoming gaps of a dead tree trunk. While the tree is no longer with us, its body is asking us in. This focus points to the ever-giving nature of the natural world, even after death, a tree wants to offer us shelter, shade, and wood.
WALKWAY TO TECH
OIL ON CANVAS
A slice of the student life, Johnson’s Walkway to Tech honors the mundane stroll we’ve all taken many times, to and from different buildings on campus, to and from the grocery store, the trash behind the garage, the stairs to the door.
Giving this glimpse into our daily life onto a large-scale canvas with vibrant color and mood, Johnson elevates our daily experience into something that ought to be celebrated, not merely tolerated.
Jame’s playful depiction of Norris is heartwarming, and reminds us of the playful attitude we often take when studying here with friends. This is not just a spot of labor, but of connection, joy, and memory. The surreal and mythic landscape in James’ drawing adds childish elements into a space that is often overwhelmed with academic discussion. It lets us know we can still be kids, even here. And it makes Norris feel a bit more like home.
Tikas, as a noun, can mean various forms of traditional marks or ornaments worn on the forehead. Roche’s Etching places a Tikka on the forehead of many different types of characters. The relaxed old woman, the worried bearded man, the child, the mother. Every figure in this piece is connected through the marking on their forehead. Roche is demonstrating the universal spirit that runs through all different types of bodies. The mismatched use of shape and color enhance this sense of universality. In all ways, there is one.
SPIRIT OF NELSON MANDELA
FATHER AUSTIN COLLINS
Austin I. Collins, C.S.C., is a professor of sculpture in the Department of Art, Art History, and Design at the University of Notre Dame. Collins studied art at the University of California at Berkeley and received an M.F.A. in sculpture from Claremont Graduate University. Collins’s area of practice includes public art, large outdoor sculpture, installation art, and liturgical art. The theme of his creative work often deals with political and social issues. Collins has had over 130 exhibitions, including exhibitions at Northwestern University, University of Tennessee, University of Alabama, University of California, and the University of Virginia. His work is in 40 private and public collections.
Mazarowitz’s work on the first floor of Norris invites the viewer to indulge in the disorienting shapes, colors, and figures of Indigenous art. A style that not only encompasses, but celebrates, aesthetic practices outside the Eurocentric traditions of artistic creation and categorization. The inclusion of this work within Norris’ permanent collection speaks to our commitment to broadening Norris’ collection beyond the often Eurocentric academic and artistic ways of seeing in which we take on
GABRIELLE BRILL (B. 1913 - ?)
Gabrielle Brill is a Postwar & Contemporary artist. Born in Germany, she fled to the USA in 1933 as a Jewish refugee. Being fleeing Europe, she was educated at Academies in Berlin and Vienna. She spent the bulk of her career in Hollywood, California. Her etchings often reflect embryonic life and visuals, a stylistic movement of the 1970s in which she involved herself in. She exhibited widely, mostly on the west coast.
Speaking on her work, Brill said she “makes prints and drawings and compositions in many media of the Unborn growing, pushing into form and shape and of the Old melting reluctantly and with sadness into the ultimate resolution--and between the beginnings and the endings one reaches across..."
HONK 2 END THE BLOCKADE
SILVER GEL PRINT
Lyons’ photograph on the basement floor of Norris is a stirring example of the political photographic form. The subject of the photo, the backside of a truck, reads with a poster “CHAPEL HILL NC TO CUBA” “HONK 2 END BLOCKADE.” The solidarity between the American left and Cuba, especially signaling the solidarity movement of the American student body with the global Communist cause, is displayed here in full effect. The words on this truck mince no words. The photograph acts as a lasting reminder of the power of the American youth in swaying public debate.
David Holmes was born and raised in Newark, New York. He attended the Tyler School of Art at Temple University. For the next few years, he taught children with cognitive disabilities at an institution in upstate New York. Then, he moved to Wisconsin to attend the University of Wisconsin – Madison for his M.F.A. In 1974, Holmes began working as an assistant professor of painting, drawing, and design at UW Parkside in Kenosha. By 1977, he became a full professor and by 1978 he stood as the Art Department Chair, a position he held until 1980 and then again from 88 to 90 and 98 to 2006.
Speaking on the development of his artwork, Holmes said, “I was trained as a painter but moved into sculptural forms to expand my creative possibilities. I have always felt the concept comes first and then you seek the media to articulate that idea. Therefore, I am a painter- sculptor who loves to draw and does occasional print.
Holmes’ displayed this work along with a series of others at Norris’ Dittmar Gallery in 2006 in the exhibit Mystical Mechanical Menagerie.
We hope you’ve enjoyed overviewing our incredible works. If you are able, we encourage you to come visit the Norris University Center in person to view our art up close.
As we are constantly in conversation on what new works should be added to our growing collection, it is intrinsically important to us that our art reflect and inspire our equally diverse community. We are proud to house in Norris an art collection that is vibrantly pulling together both student and professional, local and national artworks.