Hello friendly faces! It’s that time of the week! We’re back with a new Chicago North Shore Moms spotlight brought to you in part by Mary Gifford of Gifford Law.
With a background in storytelling, Evanston mom, Lindsay Bosch, found her way to the visual world of art in 2015, where she’s been launching the local art world forward in her field of marketing and communications. This year The Block Museum of Art at Northwestern University is celebrating reaccreditation from the American Alliance of Museums, and as the museum’s Associate Director of Communications, Marketing, and Digital Strategy, Lindsay is at the heart of it all. In this week’s Meet a Mom spotlight, Lindsay tells us all about this art museum, a staple of the North Shore (free admission with validated parking!!), great family excursions and date night hot spots in Evanston and around the North Shore and wise words to live by for everyone. Welcome, Lindsay!
Hi Lindsay, Please introduce yourself.
Hi! I’m Lindsay Bosch. I’m inspired by storytelling and have built my career creating strategic communications for some of Chicago’s most inspiring art, culture, and educational organizations. Since 2016, I have led marketing and communications at The Block Museum of Art at Northwestern University.
I grew up in the leafy forests of Fairfield County, Connecticut but left the East Coast more than 20(!) years ago for the Second City. I studied at Northwestern as an undergrad and my husband and I spent a decade in Chicago’s Lakeview neighborhood before returning to Evanston. We live on the north side of the city close to the Metra and to the ever-growing Central Street business area.
You’re a mama! Tell us about your children and please brag away!
My husband Ted and I are parents to a weird and wonderful four-year-old. He is in the Early Childhood program at a Montessori school in Evanston, which boasts just an extraordinary learning community of educators, parents, and peers. We didn’t know much about Montessori education before, and are very much enjoying the ways it offers experiential learning across age groups and allows students to pursue their areas of interest.
One of the best things about our son at age four is how curious he is about the world – and we get to be curious too! Before he got here, I was just going about my days without always fully paying attention. Now exploring is our default mode. I am armed with a bird call-identifying app, a plant-identifying app, a bug-identifying app, a rock-identifying app, and a star-identifying app. Our house is piled with encyclopedias. Wherever we are, we are finding things and naming them. Being with him is just a different kind of way of being in the world –the possibility of discovery is really a new joy.
Oh that is such a great idea with littles!
What is a fun fact to know about you?
My first career was as an academic and writer, and I’m the coauthor of an encyclopedia called “Icons of Beauty: An Encyclopedia of Art, Culture and the Image of Women.” Now that I think about it, I guess a love of encyclopedias runs in the family!
What are your favorite North Shore places, spaces, and eats to frequent?
With kids: When we’ve got to get out of the house (which is often), you’ll find us at the Evanston Ecology Center, the Emily Oaks Nature Center in Skokie, The Grove Nature Center in Glenview, Kohls Children’s Museum, Dave’s Rock Shop in Evanston or and Wagner Farm. We love children’s author book signings at Booked in Evanston, food truck Mondays at the Kenilworth Green in the summertime and we are regulars at Sketchbook Brewing’s live music on Sunday afternoons.
With adults: And for adults, you cannot beat Pomeroy Winnetka on a Friday night to make the Northshore feel just as vibrant as any Fulton Market hotspot.
What gets you through a tough stretch?
Our family spends time every year in Sonoma, and I’ll admit there is a lot of good wine in my house to go to at the end of a challenging day. There is rarely anything that a little bit of Pinot Noir and Bravo’s Below Deck can’t cure.
What is your mantra if you have one?
Well, these days I often find myself shouting across the playground: “We can’t control other people!!” as my rule-abiding son tries to navigate differing playing styles. It’s such a hard lesson for a four-year-old, and I’m afraid it’s not much easier for a forty-year-old. It’s a good mantra for me in all kinds of situations, but I also try to hold its reverse in mind. There is so much I can’t control, but what is absolutely in my control is me, how I show up, how I deliver, and how relate to others.
So true, and that one I often remind myself and my kids…
You are the Associate Director of Communications, Marketing, and Digital Strategy at Block Museum of Art, Northwestern University. Tell us more about this role.
The Block is such a fantastic museum, not just for its ever-changing, free exhibitions but also for its work to expand thinking about the role that art and museums can play in all our lives. At The Block, we spend a lot of time focusing on how visual arts can drive questioning, experimentation, and collaboration, across fields of study, and for many different audiences.
Romare Bearden, “Mother and Child” from the portfolio Conspiracy: The Artist as Witness (1971), color lithograph on paper, 24 x 18 inches (© Romare Bearden Foundation/Licensed by VAGA, New York, NY; image courtesy the Block Museum of Art) as scene in the online publication Hyperallergic, “10 Art Shows to See in Chicago This Fall“
In my work, I get to shape our audiences’ experiences of The Block, both here at the museum and online. I champion stories that focus on how we use art to collaborate and to better understand and relate to the world around us. This might look like partnering on a clinical trial with aphasia patients, rewriting overlooked world history into the national curriculum, convening conversations with astrophysicists, or even collaborating with molecular biologists to look inside an ancient mummy.
What do you want our parents to know about The Block Museum of Art? What makes this museum so special?
The Block is an art museum that specializes in conversations. We really pride ourselves on being a space that keeps questions and dialogue at the center of our work. We are always free and open to all, and our exhibitions change regularly every three to six months – so families are always going to encounter something new. What won’t change–no matter what is on the walls–will be the invitation to join an interesting, maybe even surprising conversations.
One of the things I know I am trying to cultivate in my son is a curiosity, and an openness to question, to look carefully, and to focus deeply. How do we slow down our looking habits to better understand our own biases or our process of meaning-making?
The Block is small in size but big in ideas, making it the perfect space for creating that kind of encounter with children. We design our experiences to help visitors work on observing carefully and thinking critically.
This museum holds a AAM Accreditation. What is that?
Yes! This year we are celebrating reaccreditation from the American Alliance of Museums, the highest national recognition afforded the nation’s museums.
What this means for North Shore families is that you truly have a free, world-class museum right at your doorstep. Of the nation’s estimated 33,000 museums, over 1080 are currently accredited. The Block Museum is one of only 31 museums accredited in Illinois.
Block-originated exhibitions have traveled to some of the nation’s most prestigious institutions including the Smithsonian. Within our collections and exhibitions, visitors will encounter some of the most well-known names in modern and contemporary art, influential historic works, as well as work by artists that may be lesser known but are hugely impactful and resonant.
What exhibitions and events do you have coming up that would make for a great family outing or perfect date night experience?
This fall we have a wonderful exhibition by contemporary photographer Rosalie Favell which features more than 100 portraits of Indigenous artists from around the world. The exhibition is a warm invitation to conversations around self-presentation and about the broad diversity, and vibrancy of contemporary Indigenous communities.
Opening in January 2024 we’re excited to have the whole museum devoted to Actions for the Earth: Art, Care & Ecology, including work by 18 artists and collectives that explore the way that nature, health, and sustainability are intertwined.
Speaking of date night… there are so many amazing restaurants in Evanston. Build us a great date night – go!
I’m on it! The amazing coffee shop Pour transforms into a wine bar by night – often with a live DJ. Grab a drink and then walk over to Union Squared for pizza and their secret bocce courts. You can get a quick game in before your concert next door at SPACE. The acoustics are perfect there so anything you catch sounds amazing. Space shows let out by 10PM, which still gives you plenty of time for a late-night cocktail at the new Oskar whiskey bar.
Excellent recommendations and thank you!
What’s on the horizon for The Block Museum of Art?
One of the most exciting areas of growth for us is an extraordinary, growing permanent collection of over 6,000 artworks. Check it out online! These works often inform exhibitions on view, and are accessed daily by students, faculty, and researchers. With projects like our One Book series and our Collection Spotlights we are always building out new ways to learn about the world, and ourselves through the lens of our collection.
Is there anything else you’d like us to know about yourself or The Block Museum of Art?
If you haven’t been in The Block yet – this season is the perfect time. New this year, we offer free validated parking anytime, and we pair perfectly with a walk on the lakefront. We can’t wait to welcome you (and your little ones) to the conversation!
Thank you, Lindsay Bosch! You have quite literally painted a beautiful picture of such a close and culturally rich resource! Readers, whether this Meet a Mom brings you a new discovery rich in culture that you didn’t know about before or reminds you of what’s in your backyard, we hope you’ll make The Block a part of your upcoming itinerary with and without the kids in tow. The Block is located at 40 Arts Circle Drive, Evanston, IL 60208. Hours of operation are Wednesdays through Fridays: 12-8PM / Saturdays and Sundays: 12-5PM / Closed Mondays and Tuesdays. And again, FREE PARKING VALIDATION. Call 847.491.4000 with any questions or to double check on hours of operation.
About our Meet of Mom Sponsor
A very heartfelt thank you to CNSMoms’ Meet a Mom sponsor, Lake Forest mom of three and owner of Gifford Law, a solo Estate Planning Firm (wills and trusts). Mary, we appreciate your support of local moms in our North Shore communities! Learn more about Mary by visiting her Meet a Mom spotlight here! Contact Mary directly here: [email protected].