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'Visiting Hours'

Works by Tyanna Buie on view at the Dittmar Gallery June 13 to Aug. 9

EVANSTON, Ill. --- “Visiting Hours,” artist Tyanna Buie’s summer 2012 exhibition at Northwestern University’s Dittmar Memorial Gallery, is a memorial to her late Uncle Gregory, who died in the Illinois Prison system shortly before his 44th birthday.

The show’s wall installations and large-scale screen-print paintings highlight her uncle’s life in prison and are an attempt to retrieve what was lost through his own life’s journey. 

“Visiting Hours” opens June 13 and runs through Aug. 9, at the Dittmar Gallery, located on the first floor of Norris University Center, 1999 Campus Drive, Evanston campus. The exhibition and a June 26 opening reception from 6 to 8 p.m. are free and open to the public. 

Buie and her three older siblings spent most of their young lives in foster care, moving from one temporary home to another in Chicago and Milwaukee. She spent a short time with her uncle at age 12, and never saw or heard from him again due to his incarceration. In recent years, her family discovered he had been in and out of prison for armed robbery, burglary and aggravated battery until his untimely death in prison in 2009.

Through “Visiting Hours,” artist Buie aims to come to terms with her uncle’s death and document his life in prison and create a sense of resolution pertaining to her late uncle’s unfortunate circumstances. 

Buie’s mono-prints combine several techniques, including collage, silk-screen, painting and Chine-collé (a special printmaking technique in which the image is transferred to a surface that is bonded to a heavier support in the printmaking process.) 

“By appropriating from my uncle’s real experience, I have created a new document that conveys a story that is unmarked and unclassified by the prison system,” said Buie.

Buie, a Chicago native, received a Master of Fine Arts degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in the spring of 2010. She lives in Milwaukee, where she lectures on silk screen- and mono-printing techniques at The Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design. Her work has been exhibited in Chicago, Hawaii, Wisconsin and Georgia. It was also featured on the cover of sociology Professor Averil Y. Clarke’s book “Inequalities of Love: College-Educated Black Women and the Barriers to Romance and Family.”

For more on the artist, visit

The Dittmar Gallery is open from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily. Summer hours begin June 18 and run through Aug. 9, when the Dittmar will be open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. For information, call the Dittmar Gallery at (847) 491-2348 or Norris University Center at (847) 491-2300, email or visit
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