Dittmar Memorial Gallery, established in 1972, is a student-operated gallery that enlightens and challenges the Northwestern University community with the works of emerging and underrepresented artists from the Chicago area and the Midwest. The staff at Dittmar is dedicated to developing and fostering the Northwestern community’s awareness of the changing attitudes and trends in the art world. We invite artists who work in the contemporary vein, as well as artists who offer an alternative perspective that hinges on the periphery of the art world. In essence, our goal is to provide well-deserved exposure to those outside or on the margins of the mainstream art world.

Current Exhibit 


New Americans: Our Mutual Improvement & Social Elevation
Jason Patterson
RECEPTION:  Friday, April 4th, 6-8pm
EXHIBIT: April 4th – May 11th

New Americans is a stylized, contemporary examination of images emerging from a specific period in American history – a collection of portraits rendered after 19th century tintypes, Daguerreotypes and ambro types.  Through slavery, Black people were forced to play an integral role in the birth and cultivation of the United States.  After the Emancipation Proclamation, the 13th, 14th & 15th Amendments or ‘Reconstruction Amendments,’ and the end of the American Civil War in 1865, the condition of slavery was replaced with cultural, economical, moral and legal oppression.  At the beginning of that century of struggle, there was a spark, a progression had started, and a comprehension of personhood, citizenship, self worth and self-respect had begun.  New Americans intends to glorify that new age, focus in on the hope, and potential freedom and happiness many former slaves and previously freed Black Citizens saw ahed of themselves after The Civil War.  This work is not meant to tell a comprehensive history but is instead an idealized history, a life that should have been opportune to all, but only seen by a few..