Dittmar’s newest exhibit ‘When Homeward You Turn’ highlights a variety of artistic media exploring notions of home


Kunjal Bastola/The Daily Northwestern

Local artists and Northwestern students have artwork featured at Dittmar Gallery’s “When Homeward You Turn” exhibit.

Kunjal Bastola , Reporter

Dittmar Gallery’s latest exhibition, “When Homeward You Turn,” explores people’s unique relationships to the abstract concept of home. 

“I feel a lot of college students, university students probably understand homesickness, and so that’s kind of something that really spoke to me when I was coming up with this theme,” said Weinberg junior Ellie Lyons, one of the exhibit curators. 

Artists chose to depict places and memories like lakefronts, handwritten letters and people in media ranging from oil on canvas to clay to fiber art. Those media highlight how home means something different to everyone and which aspects of life remind people of home. Many of the pieces feature works by Northwestern students and members of the Evanston community.  

The gallery opened at Norris University Center last Friday and runs through the end of month. It’s open every day from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Dittmar will host the closing reception on April 28, when award winners will be announced. 

Medill sophomore Ysa Quiballo submitted a video titled “An Arm’s Reach,” which explores how parts of life can progress in circular motions rather than linearly. 

“I feel like I’m a person who loves to think about growing and progressing towards something,” Quiballo said. “But the truth of life is that there’s so many things that repeat, and sometimes that can be frustrating, but that’s just the truth of life.” 

Quiballo said she drew inspiration from the movie, “Everything Everywhere All at Once, which she watched over Winter Break. 

She said she really loved the movie because the film was just such a moving piece, and she originally wanted to create something pretty similar to it.   

From a model neighborhood to a painting of the Lake Michigan landscape to Quiballo’s video, the exhibit offers diverse representations of what home looks and feels like to students. While the exhibit features literal representations of a structural home, it also includes more abstract notions, including a childhood mattress. 

“To some people home is painful. To some people home is joyful. To some people home is solace,” Communication freshman Maggie Munday Odom, an exhibit assistant, said. “To see that range is really exciting and beautiful.” 

Lyons said she hopes students come in and feel like they are home, whatever that may mean to someone.

She said she wants to provide the space within Norris for students to feel understood in their homesickness and let them know that they aren’t alone in feeling this way. 

“It’s so wonderful to see all these different ideas of home and what that can look like to different people, both to university students and the outside community,” Lyons said.

Email: [email protected]

Twitter: @kunjal_bastola

Related Stories:

Evanston Art Center features artists over the age of 50 at Later Impressions Exhibit

Jim Weber brings experience and spontaneity to the scenic arts

‘For Those Without Choice’ art exhibit celebrates abortion rights and bodily autonomy