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Community Portraits: North & South Lawndale

I would like to set up a make shift photo studio in an open space on the south side of Ogden and Springfield in the boundary of South and North Lawndale. Free mobile service companies and street vendors already use this site as a hub for community services and it is sometimes used as a community parking lot. The make shift studio would function as a free “Family” Photography Studio that would allow anyone living within the two communities to participate in taking “Family” Portraits (In this context I would define family as anyone who is close to the participants).

This project would allow for 6 things to happen

  1. It would provide families that wouldn’t necessarily have access to family portraits an opportunity to have a 13 in x 19 high quality family portraits for free.

  2. Allow for community members, if they choose to, to share how they came to live in the North Lawndale or South Lawndale community in order to document the personal stories that make up the communities.

  3. Provide an opportunity for me as a community member, teacher, and artist to talk to community members about their stories and the importance of documenting personal histories/herstories within our neighborhoods.

  4. Produce archival quality photographs and possibly record stories that will allow for the creation of an online community archive for the various community stakeholders to access community stories that represent the South and North Lawndale Community.

  5. An exhibition would be organized during early October for the Little Village Art Festival where community members from both communities would be invited and given an opportunity to see the compilation of all the family portraits gathered during the summer studio workshop.

  6. Community members visiting the exhibition would be given an opportunity to add to the exhibition through an onsite family portrait and story-gathering workshop.

Funded by Chicago, IL (May 2014)