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Visual Arts in Summer 2015

Block Museum, Dittmar Gallery and University Library exhibitions open to public

  • Julie Green’s “The Last Supper” exhibit depicts death row inmates’ last meal requests
  • “Compression” works represent each key area of Block’s extensive art on paper holdings
  • Dittmar Gallery’s “The Melting World” draws attention to the magnitude of natural disasters
  • University Library hosts exhibits on “Art & Science” and history of Gothic Deering building

EVANSTON, Ill. --- Out-of-town visitors, as well as Chicago area community members, still have ample time to schedule a summer visit to the Block’s compelling Julie Green installation, “The Last Supper: 600 Plates Illustrating Final Meals of U.S. Death Row Inmates.” Green’s exhibition runs through Aug. 9 in the Block Museum’s Main Gallery on Northwestern University’s Evanston campus.

“The Last Supper” features 600 hand-painted plates depicting death row inmates’ last meal requests. Green, an art professor at Oregon State University, has been painting plates for 15 years and is committed to creating 50 each year until capital punishment is abolished in the United States.

During a visit to the Block, make sure to drop by the Block’s Katz Gallery to view “Compression: Recent Gifts to the Block from Bill and Sheila Lambert,” which also runs through Aug. 9. “Compression” features a group of works that compress time, space, memory and knowledge. Using photography, printmaking, publishing, computer-generated art, collage and drawing, these works represent each of the key areas of the Block’s extensive holdings of art on paper, a cornerstone of the collection.

On June 25, Northwestern’s Dittmar Memorial Gallery will welcome guest artist Jave Yoshimoto and host an opening reception for his latest exhibition, “The Melting World,” which runs through Aug. 9. The painter and multimedia artist’s summer show draws attention to the magnitude of natural disasters, in particular, the earthquake and resulting tsunami that struck Japan in March 2011. 

University Library and Deering Library is presenting two current exhibitions. “Art & Science: Traversing the Creative Spectrum,” runs through Sept. 4 at University Library (Main Library). And “The History of Deering Library” will be on view in the lobby of Deering Library through Sept. 6.  

The following Northwestern summer 2015 events will take place on the Evanston campus. All are free, unless otherwise noted.


Northwestern’s Mary and Leigh Block Museum of Art is located at 40 Arts Circle Drive on the University’s Evanston campus. Admission to Block Museum exhibitions is always free. Parking in the garage and lot directly south of the museum is free all day on weekends and after 4 p.m. on weekdays. For more information on Block exhibitions, visit or call 847-491-4000.


“The Last Supper: 600 Plates Illustrating Final Meals of U.S. Death Row Inmates” by Julie Green through Aug. 9, Main Gallery. An installation by artist Julie Green features 600 white ceramic plates decorated with cobalt blue mineral paint to depict the last meal requests of U.S. death row inmates. Every plate in “The Last Supper” is accompanied by a description of the meal request, date and state -- but no more. Without naming the inmate or crime, the meals highlight the human dimension of capital punishment. The plates function as anonymous portraits that when grouped together suggest a memorial to lost life on a mass scale. Green, a professor of art at Oregon State University, has been painting plates for 15 years and is committed to creating 50 each year until capital punishment is abolished. Green’s Block Museum exhibition has particular salience at Northwestern, as the Northwestern University School of Law was influential in the eradication of the death penalty in Illinois. The Block is partnering with the School of Law, among others, to address issues raised by the exhibition. Funding for the project has been generously provided by Chicago artist Angela Lustig and Northwestern alumnus Dale E. Taylor. Taylor is the president and CEO of AbelsonTaylor.

Block Cinema is taking a summer break, but will return in September with several new series of films. General admission is $6; or $4 with a Northwestern WildCARD, Block Museum membership, student ID, and for seniors. A quarterly pass is $20. Visit the Block Cinema website later this summer for Fall 2015 series film descriptions, at

“Compression: Recent Gifts to the Block from Bill and Sheila Lambert” through Aug. 9, Katz Gallery. Drawn from recent gifts to the Block Museum from Bill and Sheila Lambert, “Compression” traces the contemporary use of technologies to reduce the work of art to its essential forms and functions, including photography, printmaking, publishing, computer-generated art, collage and drawing. These works represent each of the key areas of the Block’s extensive holdings of art on paper, a cornerstone of the collection.

Learn more about the Block’s summer exhibitions.


• Free guided docent-led tours of the Block Museum’s exhibitions are held every Saturday and Sunday at 1 p.m., through Aug. 9. No reservation is necessary.

• Free tours for groups of five or more can be pre-arranged. Requests should be made at least four weeks in advance. For more information, email or visit

Gallery tours for higher education groups and kindergarten through high school classes also are available.


The Dittmar Memorial Gallery, first floor, Norris University Center, 1999 Campus Drive, Northwestern University, Evanston campus. The Dittmar Gallery is open from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily. Admission is free. The gallery focuses on ethnic cultural art, art by emerging artists, art by or about women, artwork by Northwestern art students and traveling art shows. For more information, contact the Dittmar Gallery at 847-491-2348 or Norris University Center at 847-491-2300, email or visit


“The Melting World” by Jave Yoshimoto, June 25 through Aug. 9, Dittmar Gallery. Yoshimoto's work takes on the ephemerality of news and information and how the emotions we bring to each tragedy in the news cycle are swept away by the wave of information that floods the media. He addresses this social amnesia with the work acting as a social memory for tragic events so quickly forgotten in our information age. “The Melting World” is a memorial to the nearly 16,000 lives lost in Japan during the 2011 earthquake and resulting tsunami. Read more on Yoshimoto’s exhibit. The exhibition and an opening reception from 4 to 6 p.m. Thursday, June 25, are free and open to the public.


Northwestern’s University Library is located at 1970 Campus Drive. Deering Library is located at 1935 Sheridan Road. The following exhibitions are free and open to the public.

“Art & Science: Traversing the Creative Spectrum” through Sept. 4, University Library (Main Library). Why do we tend to think of art and science as opposites? They may seem at odds, but both are born from creativity, both employ process and both push boundaries. In truth, they are complementary fields, not contrary, and they rely on one another. Whether it is astronomers pushing the limits of photography, or illustrators experimenting with printmaking technology, art and science often converge in a place where they become inextricable. This University Library exhibit examines the historical interconnectedness of art and science, two disciplines forever linked on the same spectrum of creativity. 

“The History of Deering Library” through Sept. 6 in the lobby of Deering Library. From its dramatic barrel vaults to its reading room often equated to Hogwarts, Deering Library has been a campus icon for more than 80 years. This exhibit is a remount of a display last seen in 2012. It re-creates the history of the Collegiate Gothic building, including the initial Georgian designs proposed by architect James Gamble Rogers. The exhibit also commemorates the 45th anniversary of the dramatic 1970 student strike on campus in protest of the Vietnam War and Kent State shootings -- an era when Deering was often a central meeting point for protesters during the weeklong campus shutdown.


Northwestern’s Arts Circle Drive has reopened for vehicular and pedestrian traffic. The road, drive-up handicap access to arts venues, the pedestrian path at the lakefront and all sidewalks are now open for public use. New improvements to the South Beach Garage have also eliminated the need to use the stairways since both levels of the two-story parking structure are now accessible to persons with disabilities for easy access to the Mary and Leigh Block Museum of Art. Free parking is available after 4 p.m. in the two-level lakeside lot directly south of the museum. Additional parking is also available in the new Segal Visitors Center at 1841 Sheridan Road. Find directions and additional parking information here.

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