Northwestern University

Fri 9:00 AM

Artist Residency: Jen Bervin

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When: Friday, February 9, 2018
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM  

Audience: Faculty/Staff - Student - Public - Post Docs/Docs - Graduate Students

Contact: Lindsay Bosch  

Group: Block Museum Exhibitions

Category: Fine Arts

More Info


Through the Alice Kaplan Institute for the Humanities Artist in Residence program, the Block Museum brings artist Jen Bervin to campus during Winter Quarter 2018. In addition to connecting to Northwestern’s staff, faculty and students across disciplines, Bervin will conduct research for future art projects in Northwestern University Libraries’s diverse collections—from its John Cage archives in the Music Library to textiles and ancient manuscripts in the Melville J. Herskovits Africana Library.

Bervin’s residency will culminate in an interdisciplinary writing workshop for faculty and students using the Library’s collections. The workshop will be developed by the artist, the Block’s Susy Bielak, the Susan and Stephen Wilson Associate Director of Engagement/Curator of Public Practice, and Martin Antonetti, the Library’s Head of Distinctive Collections and a team of the Libraries’ curators and conservators. Participants will draw inspiration from library holdings, as well the architecture of the historic Deering and Main Libraries themselves, examples of the Collegiate Gothic and mid-century Brutalist styles.

Bervin’s other campus engagement activities will include a rich array of programs and learning opportunities, including a studio course focused on relationships between traditional craft and technological innovation in the sciences. The course is offered through the Art Theory & Practice Department in collaboration with the McCormick School of Engineering. The course will be open to all Northwestern undergraduate and graduate students and faculty.

Especially for faculty: Meet the Artist and Enjoy Happy Hour in the Artist’s Studio, Thursday, February 8, 2018, 4-6, Kresge Hall #2315

Especially for students: Meet the Artist in the Studio, Thursday, February 15, 2018, 4-6, Kresge Hall #2315


Jen Bervin is an artist and poet whose research-driven interdisciplinary works weave together art, writing, science, and life in a complex yet elegant way. Her work explores the intersection of text and textiles in acts of reading, writing, listening through the lens of traditional craft and cutting-edge technology.” Her recent projects include Silk Poems, a poem written nanoscale in the form of a silk biosensor in collaboration with Tufts University’s Silk Lab. She is currently a SETI Institute Artist-in-Residence. The SETI program facilitates a cross-disciplinary exchange of ideas between artists and scientists who study life in the universe.

Bervin’s work has been the subject of solo exhibitions at the Des Moines Art Center and Granoff Center for the Arts at Brown University and has been featured in group exhibitions at MASS MoCA, MCA Denver, The Power Plant in Toronto, and the Walker Art Center.

Bervin has published nine books, including Gorgeous Nothings: Emily Dickinson's Envelope Poems with Marta Werner. Her new book, Silk Poems, was released by Nightboat Books in Fall 2017.


Artists’ Talk with Jen Bervin
Wednesday, February 21, 6PM, Block Museum

Artist and writer Jen Bervin embraces subjects as wide-ranging as the Mississippi River, Emily Dickinson’s poetry, and the history of silk, weaving, and nanotechnology. Join the artist, Jeanne Dunning, Art Theory & Practice professor, and Susy Bielak, Susan and Stephen Wilson Associate Director of Engagement/Curator of Public Practice, for a conversation about Bervin’s work. In winter 2018, Jen Bervin will be a Kaplan Artist-in-Residence hosted by the Block Museum of Art.

Presented in partnership with the Alice Kaplan Institute for Humanities


Jen Bervin’s residency is hosted by the Block Museum of Art and supported by the Alice Kaplan Institute for the Humanities, Department of Art Theory & Practice, The Center for the Writing Arts, and Northwestern Libraries.

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