Please join us for the opening reception of two exhibitions at Gallery 400: The Netsch Campus: Materializing the Public at UIC and Back to the Future: Visualizing the Arts at UIC, co-curated by Judith K. De Jong and Lorelei Stewart. These complementary exhibitions explore architecture’s agency in the imagined futures and materialized past of the visual and performing arts at an urban public university.
Presaging the 50th anniversary of the 1967 opening of UIC’s Architecture and Art Building,The Netsch Campus: Materializing the Public at UIC re-visits architect Walter Netsch’s vision of a new model for an urban public university, for which architecture and art were both anchor and future, and re-affirms its continuing importance as a symbol of the University of Illinois at Chicago’s urban public mission. Urban and architectural diagrams by Netsch’s Skidmore, Owings & Merrill team, original watercolor “sketches” by Netsch, and black and white photography by Orlando Cabanban of the completed buildings and campus trace the evolution of this new model from ideas to built form, provoking a renewed understanding and appreciation of the urban and architectural design of the campus.
Continuing a long architectural history of projecting possible futures, Back to the Future: Visualizing the Arts at UICpresents three speculative architectural proposals intended to provoke discourse about the future of the arts at the University of Illinois at Chicago and their relationships to the city. Through architectural diagrams and drawings, teams of School of Architecture and School of Design faculty re-interpret design principles of the Walter Netsch UIC campus to imagine a new arts site that centers currently-dispersed academic programs and makes visible, often quite literally, the creative and educational processes of thinking and making in the visual and performing arts
Image caption: Dunn/Bair/Nash/Towler Weese, Exterior view of visual and performing arts center, 2015