Scottsdale Public Art, library bring Professor McGee to the Gallery

Scottsdale Public Art and the Civic Center Library partner again this year to present an interactive summer exhibition at the Gallery @ The Library titled Nathaniel Lewis Presents: the Catacombs of Professor McGee!, May 23–Aug. 31.

This summer, Scottsdale Public Art artist-in-residence and Phoenix Art Museum Contemporary Forum Grant winner Nathaniel Lewis is transforming the gallery at Civic Center Library into the 19th century home of the eccentric Professor McGee.

Visitors young and old will learn about archaeology, fossils, local history, science, and discover the creatures and secret passageways of Professor McGee’s home, according to a press release. All those who enter will receive the title of explorer and be provided with a personal field journal to document their findings.

Mr. Lewis’ work is inspired by the exploratory function of classic children’s computer games like Myst and Splunx, and the additional flavor of Yo Gabba Gabba and PeeWee’s Playhouse. With a house façade welcoming visitors at the gallery entrance, the main gallery will be divided into “rooms” along the wall. The back portion of the gallery will contain foam walled catacombs complete with stuffed rocks and hidden creatures.

Throughout the exhibition, new beasts and treasures will be added to the catacombs, so the public can return on different occasions to make new discoveries with each visit, and continue to add to their field journal, the release stated.

Several local artists, scientists, and writers will be conducting workshops throughout the summer to assist visitors in their exploration. Local artists Lauren Strohacker, David Adams, Dr. Lisa Tolentino and Christina Lopez and many other experts will conduct free, bi-weekly workshops based on their disciplines in the arts and sciences.

Upcoming workshops include:

  • June 4: Silhouette-making workshop with ecology artist Lauren Strohacker
  • June 18: Sound-based art and technology workshop with musician and artist Dr. Lisa Tolentino

The full workshop schedule will be announced in May, the release stated.

Nathaniel Lewis Presents: The Catacombs of Professor McGee! has been made possible by a generous donation from the Carstens Family Funds.

Through the partnership between Scottsdale Public Art and the Scottsdale Civic Center Library, the Gallery @ The Library brings engaging artistic, visual, and educational experiences to the public—building community through free, accessible, quality exhibitions, the release stated.

Scottsdale Public Art will host an opening reception for Nathaniel Lewis Presents: the Catacombs of Professor McGee! 2-5 p.m. on Saturday, May 28. The public will be invited to meet Professor McGee, aka the artist, who will welcome you to his strange and wonderful home for an afternoon of discovery, games, and fun. Scottsdale Public Art and the Civic Center Library will also be hosting a Closing Reception Extravaganza on the evening of Saturday, August 27. Stay tuned for more details as they become available.

For more information about Nathaniel Lewis Presents: the Catacombs of Professor McGee! at the Gallery @ The Library, Scottsdale Civic Center, the opening and closing receptions and associated free workshops, visit

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