Evanston Art Center Presents “All The Water That Ever Was, Now Is”
Date and Time:
Apr 16 2023 1:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Evanston Art Center
1717 Central St.,, Evanston, IL 60201
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Evanston Art Center Presents “All The Water That Ever Was, Now Is”

Community Event

March 2023
Evanston Art Center 2023 Exhibition


EXHIBITION DATES: April 1 – May 7, 2023
OPENING RECEPTION: April 16, 1-4pm
GALLERY HOURS: Monday–Thursday, 9 am–6 pm; Friday, 9 am–5 pm; Saturday and Sunday, 9 am–4 pm

The Evanston Art Center (EAC) is proud to present a new exhibition, “All The Water That Ever Was, Now Is,” featuring works by Rebecca Keller.

Comprised of large paintings, a sculptural installation, research into agencies that care for our water, and demographic data of the communities that share Lake Michigan water accessible via QR codes, “All The Water That Ever Was, Now Is” engages the idea of water as a commons, a contended resource, and a mutual responsibility. The dialogue touches on livelihoods, access, pollution, wealth, ownership, usage, climate change, and fears and obligations for the future.

For her paintings, Keller asked people to look—really look—at the water and the sky, and used the familiar mechanism of paint samples to gather their impressions. She used the swatches to build up a painting/index of people’s impressions over time. The project, began in Maine, was repeated at Lake Michigan and will be reiterated on the Mississippi River.

In Keller’s sculptural installation, clear vessels are carefully filled so the surface tension at the top forms a meniscus… a fragile barrier, keeping the water contained. The color of each vase influences the vessel next to it —embodying how boundaries and borders may control access and usage but separation is a fantasy when it comes to our shared water.

Conversations about water are also about economics, demographics, social resources, and responsibilities. In order to show this complex and dynamic frame of reference, throughout the exhibition labels with QR codes link to organizations studying and protecting area water supplies, US Census data for Evanston, Kenosha, Chicago, Gary, and New Buffalo, well as links about quality, access, resources, and recreation.


Rebecca Keller is a scholar/artist/writer, recipient of grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, two Fulbright awards, the Illinois Arts Council, and a TED talk.

She has exhibited her artwork in the US, China, and Europe, including at the MCA, Chicago, the Portland Art Museum, Jane Addams Hull House Museum, the Estonian National Museum of Art, and many others. Her book about her projects in public historic sites, Excavating History; When Artists Take on Historic Sites, was published by Stepsister Press, and her essay “Mazes and Mirrors; Reflections and Play” is published by the Frans Hals museum for The Transhistorical Museum project. Keller’s fiction has won the Betty Gabehart prize and two Pushcart nominations. She was a finalist for the 2013 Chicago Literary Prose award, and her first novel, You Should Have Known, is newly released by Crooked Lane Books/ Penguin Random House.

“All The Water That Ever Was, Now Is” will be on display in the Evanston Art Center’s Second Floor Atrium Gallery from April 1 – May 7, 2023, with an opening reception on Saturday, April 16, from 1-4pm. The exhibition and opening reception are free and open to the public.

Evanston Art Center, a nonprofit 501 (c)(3) organization, is dedicated to fostering the appreciation and expression of the arts among diverse audiences. The Art Center offers extensive and innovative instruction in broad areas of artistic endeavor through classes, exhibitions, interactive arts activities, and community outreach initiatives.

Evanston Art Center is located at 1717 Central Street, Evanston, IL. Evanston Art Center Gallery Hours: Monday– Thursday, 9 am–6 pm; Friday, 9 am–5 pm; Saturday and Sunday, 9 am–4 pm. First and second-floor gallery spaces are accessible. Limited free parking is available. Masks are optional but strongly recommended for students, visitors and staff.

For more information, please visit us online at www.evanstonartcenter.org or contact Audrey Avril, Manager of Exhibitions, at 847.475.5300 or aavril@evanstonartcenter.org. Visit the Evanston Art Center on Facebook: www.facebook.com/EvanstonArtCenter/, follow us on Twitter: www.twitter.com/#!/evartcenter, or on Instagram: @EvanstonArtCenter.