You’re Not Really Seeing This

Evanston Art Center

Mar. 15, 2024 - Apr. 22, 2024

1717 Central St.
Evanston, 60201
T: 847.475.5300

EXHIBITION DATES: March 15 – April 22, 2024
OPENING RECEPTION: March 15, 2024, 5–8 pm
GALLERY HOURS: Monday–Thursday, 9 am–6 pm; Friday, 9 am–5 pm; Saturday and Sunday, 9 am–4 pm

*Registration is required. Visit for more information.


The Evanston Art Center (EAC) is excited to welcome the public to You’re Not Really Seeing This.

Textile artist Kelsey Merreck Wagner and sculptor and installation artist Bryan Northup exhibit artworks made of post-consumer plastics to spur social change. Approaching disposable, single-use plastics as a legitimate resource, rather than unusable “trash,” they see the potential to bring attention to the problem of plastic as a toxic pollutant in the environment, as well as the value plastic has as a creative medium for social change-making.

The artists believe that with attention focused on plastic’s materiality and its origins comes the power to challenge complacency and change minds and actions. The works they create carry a familiarity: the thin films of shopping bags, shrink wrap, packaging, as well as computer cables, styrofoam, and all manner of ubiquitous plastic waste from our daily lives are recognizable but reimagined. The artists extend their work beyond the wall so interactions are forced, viewers are standing on the work, enveloped in the pieces.

The long-term global effects of single-use plastic production and pollution are still barely understood and are already devastating. Wagner and Northup’s exhibition is a response to this impasse in values, an encounter with an unavoidable dilemma, and asks why it is we see the problem, recognize the “elephant in the room,” and continue to ignore her at our peril.

You’re Not Really Seeing This will be exhibited in the First Floor Gallery of the Art Center. The opening reception is free and open to the public. This exhibition is partially funded by the Illinois Arts Council, a state agency, and the EAC’s general membership.

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 9am – 6pm; Friday 9am – 5pm, Saturday and Sunday 9am – 4pm. First and second floor gallery spaces are accessible. Limited free parking is available.

For more information, please visit us online at or contact Emma Rose Gudewicz, Director of Development & Exhibition Manager, at (847) 475-5300 or [email protected].

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