Portrait of the artist: Jason Patterson
  • "We are here to facilitate a dialogue between all of you and Jason," says Sinead Lopez, seated right, one of Dittmar's student curators.
  • SESP sophomore Darien Wendell, seated center, curated "New Americans: Our Mutual Improvement & Social Elevation."
  • Patterson based many of the exhibit's works on photos from the Flickr page of Yale University's Beinecke Library.
  • "I barely graduated high school, but I loved the artwork I did and I loved history. That really helped me get to where I am now," says Patterson, whose studio is located in the art supply store where he works.
  • Patterson specifically picked anonymous people for his portraits, wanting them "to be an embodiement of African Americans at that time."
  • "The best way to describe myself is as a history painter, but I don't actually do many paintings. These are all drawings," Patterson said.
Photos by Lucy Wang / North by Northwestern
Jason Patterson, an artist based in Urbana, IL, visited Norris University Center's Dittmar Memorial Gallery on April 29 to chat with visitors about the gallery's current exhibition, "New Americans: Our Mutual Improvement & Social Elevation." The exhibition runs from April 4 to May 11 and features a collection of Patterson's portraits rendered after 19th century tintypes, Daguerreotypes and ambro types.


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