Relax, It’s Labor Day Weekend!

Labor Day was first celebrated in 1882, however it wasn’t until 1894 (after the Pullman strike in Chicago) when President Grover Cleveland approved Labor Day as a federal holiday. Over 120 years we have been celebrating this holiday. Some people see it as the last hurrah of summer, or as a holiday break between the 4th of July and Thanksgiving. For 2015 let’s celebrate all the achievements we made from this past year.

Celebrate by eating with the family,

Asparagus [B&LG], 2000 © Elizabeth Ernst
Asparagus [B&LG], 2000 © Elizabeth Ernst
drinking with friends,

Untitled (D.B.D.), 2006 © Dan Estabrook
Untitled (D.B.D.), 2006 © Dan Estabrook

and by soaking up sunshine at the weekend picnic.

Picnic, 2012 © Julie Blackmon
Picnic, 2012 © Julie Blackmon

Cheers to Labor Day 2015.

Have a safe and relaxing holiday weekend!

 

 

Keliy Anderson-Staley’s Summer Darkroom Updates!

Summer Darkrooms:
Travel and New Projects

My summer began with a couple weeks as an artist-in-residence at the Hampshire College Creative Media Institute, where I taught a workshop and made some new work. The personal highlight for me was having the opportunity to photograph Michael Lesy and Elaine Mayes.

© Keliy Anderson-Staley
© Keliy Anderson-Staley

After the Creative Media Institute, I set up a darkroom in a trailer on my mother’s property in Maine to make portraits and to do some photogram experiments.

Screen Shot 2015-08-29 at 3.05.23 PMI then spent an intense weekend of shooting at West Point, where I was researching family history and making a series of new portraits as part of Found Unfound.

West_Point_Darkroom 2I took additional trips to New Orleans and Chicago for openings and went several thousand miles in the car with all my equipment and the kids!

-Keliy Anderson-Staley

 To see more work by Keliy Anderson-Staley visit our website.

“Every Breath We Drew” is available from Daylight Books!

Screen Shot 2015-08-26 at 5.17.48 PM Screen Shot 2015-08-26 at 5.17.22 PMOver the past decade, Jess T. Dugan has created intimate portraits that engage with issues of identity, sexuality, gender and community. Her first book, Every Breath We Drew, compiles color portraits of the artist and others. Working within the framework of queer experience and actively constructed masculinity, these portraits examine the intersection between private, individual identity and the search for intimate connection with others. The photographs are made in private spaces, often the subject’s home or bedroom, using medium- and large-format cameras to create a sustained engagement that results in an intimate portrait.

With text by curator Amy Galpin and an interview by acclaimed photographer Dawoud Bey, this hardcover is an important addition to the canon of queer photography.

Visit daylightbooks.org to purchase your copy today!

Introducing The Chicago Project Artist, Jason Vaughn!

Introducing The Chicago Project Artist, Jason Vaughn!

Jason Vaughn is based in Wisconsin.  His first major series, hide, is a typological study using Wisconsin hunting stands as a reflection on legacies and family.

Mineral Point, WI, 2013 © Jason Vaughn
Mineral Point, WI, 2013 © Jason Vaughn

In 2011, while working on hide, he was diagnosed with leukemia at age 32. After a yearlong hiatus, he completed the series in 2014.  It has been met with great acclaim and featured in the New York Times, Slate Magazine, and Artforum, among others.  Photographs from hide were included in the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art Wisconsin Triennial and the State of the Art exhibition at the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art.  For this show, curators visited over 1,000 studios in a search for “the most compelling American art being created today.”  hide was recently published by Trema Förlag with a special edition by Paul Schiek.

hide

hide is a project that began as a commentary on Wisconsin’s hunting tradition, using deer stands as a metaphor for the changing values of the sport.  When my sudden cancer diagnosis interrupted the project, hide took on a much deeper, more personal meaning.

I was inspired on my drives through Wisconsin by deer stands, and began having conversations with hunters about the tradition of hunting in their families.  Some people described building the stands as something permanent that could be passed to the next generation, especially sons who would inherit the land.  I was anticipating the birth of my own son and thinking about my legacy to him, so this idea resonated strongly with me.  I also heard hunters emphasize that their pastime is not about violence, but more about oneness with nature and time spent with their children in the stands.  I wanted these photographs to capture the serenity of that sentiment, and to suggest the dignity that was associated with hunting when it was seen as a means of feeding large families.  Finally, I wanted to look at the issue from a historical standpoint, and the impermanent nature of some of the stands illustrates the fading hunting tradition in Wisconsin, which has declined in recent years.

When I was diagnosed with leukemia in 2011, my work on hide was put on hold.  I was 32 years old and had a 3-month-old baby at home.  Having to face mortality so unexpectedly made me come back to the project with a new perspective on the ideas of permanence and impermanence.  Ultimately, hide became my reflection on legacies and family, my homage to the state that has become my home, and a narrative about accepting change.

Columbus, WI, 2013 © Jason Vaughn
Columbus, WI, 2013 © Jason Vaughn

Select images from Jason Vaughn’s hide series are on view in our current exhibition, The Chicago Project VI: Selections from our Online Gallery running through August 29th.

Screen Shot 2015-08-22 at 2.38.09 PM We also want to congratulate Jason Vaughn on the recent release of his monograph, hide, along with a special boxset edition through TBW Books!

Born from a mutual appreciation for the publisher’s home-state of Wisconsin, the special edition boxset continues TBW Book’s tradition of crafting fine books from unique, and often, found, materials.  Items chosen for the special edition mimic the essence of the deer stands: weathered and rugged plywood, taking on the characteristics of their surroundings, meant to conceal the contents within; these rough elements are used in contrast to the edition’s finely milled and assembled framework… continue reading

– Sarah Stankey

Screen Shot 2015-08-22 at 3.29.46 PM
Two Creeks, WI , 2013 © Jason Vaughn

 

Introducing The Chicago Project Artist, Lauren Wilkins!

Introducing The Chicago Project Artist, Lauren Wilkins!

Lauren Wilkins is a collage artist, analog photographer and vintage collector. She adores chemical photobooths, collection cameras and listening to her father’s turntable. Lauren earned a BA in photography from Columbia College Chicago in 2013.

Couple, 2012 © Lauren Wilkins
Couple, 2012 © Lauren Wilkins

I collect found photography, with a focus on traditional family photographs. In gathering new material I consider a series of questions: Why pick up the camera to capture that moment? Are these people still with us today? How far did these images travel before coming into my possession?

-Lauren Wilkins

Untitled (mountain), 2012 © Lauren Wilkins
Untitled (mountain), 2012 © Lauren Wilkins

In this series of photographic collages I am trying to better understand anxiety as a meaningfully destructive psychological condition. Anxiety can make it difficult to have close, enduring relationships. Through these strangers’ snapshots I see both romanticized ideals which are ultimately unattainable, and life choices I both fear and desire: marriage and motherhood, as well as all the responsibilities that would come with them.

-Lauren Wilkins

World Traveler, 2011 © Lauren Wilkins
World Traveler, 2011 © Lauren Wilkins

Select images by Lauren Wilkins are on view in our current exhibition, The Chicago Project VI: Selections from our Online Gallery running through August 29th.

Terry Evans is lecturing at the Raue Center for the Arts!

Mark your calendars for November 15th at 3:00pm because Terry Evans will be speaking at the Raue Center for the Arts!

Terry will be lecturing about her aerial photography and documentary work that reveals the transformation of our quite prairie lands into oil fracked, polluted industrial landscapes. Tickets are $15, and well worth the money.

AW Poster_24x36