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‘Stranger Than Fiction: This is America’ makes for a fitting fall exhibition

Dittmar Gallery shows two artists’ colorful perspectives of present-day America

'Essential Workers During Coronavirus Pandemic' by Nguyen Tran
'Essential Workers During Coronavirus Pandemic' by Nguyen Tran

Is the truth stranger than fiction?

Emerging artists Nguyen Tran and Henry Sandifer approach that question in a new exhibit that will run from Sept. 25 to Nov. 15 at Northwestern University’s Dittmar Gallery. “Stranger Than Fiction: This is America” examines realities of the contemporary United States through pop cultural iconography juxtaposed with politics and societal norms.

Originally from Vietnam, Tran works as an illustrator in Chicago. His illustrations show his dynamic relationship with America, sharing what he sees in life and on social media. His art has won awards from American Illustration, Society of Illustrators and Society of Publication Designers.

Sandifer is a self-taught multidisciplinary artist from Chicago. His brand, Original Custom Art, uses film, canvas, music and fashion to tell stories. In “This is America,” he aims to challenge the viewer to question not only their own humanity, but the world in which we live. He is also an actor with more than 10 years of experience in the TV and film industry.

Dittmar will follow COVID-19 safety guidelines for in-person engagement. The Gallery is open to Wildcard holders of the Northwestern Community during Norris Center hours, Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Visit the Dittmar Gallery website to register for a virtual conversation with the artists in October (date TBA).

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