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Marc Digeros Ewer, 2013 Earthenware, 6.5 x 8 x 4.5 inches

© 2013 Lillstreet Art Center 4401 N. Ravenswood Ave. Chicago, IL 60640 Artwork © the artists. Text © Karen Irvine and Natasha Egan. Design by Jess Mott Wickstrom. Exhibition: June 7 - July 14, 2013. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced in any form, or by any electronic or mechanical means, without permission in writing from Lillstreet Art Center. Cover: Sarah-Marie Elisabeth Land, Elliott, 2012 Back cover: Jessica Harvey, 1783, from the series “i am rock. i am an island”, 2012


WORK I NG AT a photography museum,

winner, Daniel Farnum, makes portraits of

scores of images cross our desks every day.

adolescents from cities in Michigan that are

Experience has taught us that a photographer

economically depressed, creating a compelling

has just a few moments to grab a viewer’s

study of place. The runner up, Jessica Harvey,

attention using purposeful composition

creates spectacular images of the unique

and skilled technique. Beyond that, the

landscape of Iceland that hint at the fragility

photographer has to then keep the viewer’s

of the planet.

attention by having something to say. Compelling images usually have a sense of

All of the artists included in this exhibition

mystery, layers of meaning, and ask more

share not only a common occupation, but

questions than they answer. In other words,

also, in their artwork, an engagement with

they often go beyond what they literally

humanity. They all seem to fundamentally

depict and incite our imaginations.

understand that art is able to communicate in a way that no other medium can. At its

For this exhibition, Lillstreet awards two

best, art can awaken a sense of wonder in the

prizes, a winner and an honorable mention.

viewer, and activate his or her intellect. We

Both of this year’s award winners make

congratulate everyone who submitted work

works that feature a strong idea supported

to Lillstreet for making skilled and engaging

by effective technique. We chose two very

photographs. It was a privilege for us to see so

different artists for the awards. The first place

much good work in one place.

Natasha Egan, Director, and Karen Irvine, Curator and Associate Director Museum of Contemporary Photography at Columbia College Chicago

W O R K S A R E P I C T U R E D in alphabetical order by artist name. To inquire about availability or to purchase, please call 773-769-4226 or email

R I C H A R D A A R D S M A has a background in graphic design, photography and

painting. Train Station is a computer generated photo montage created from hundreds of photographs. Inspiration for the digital print comes from the work of Georges Seurat and Edward Hopper. Aardsma received a B.A. in Visual Arts from Hope College, and went on to complete graduate work in intaglio printmaking at Michigan State University. He currently resides in Grandville, Michigan.


Richard Aardsma Train Station, 2012 Digital Inkjet Archival Print 18 x 27 inches

E R I C B L A D H O L M ’ S current work explores 20th century Soviet-era

industrialization and its aftermath effects on the landscape, people, and culture, in relation to contemporary post-communist Eastern Europe. He received his BFA in Fine Art from California College of Arts & Crafts and has made art in Chicago ever since, other than his frequent detours to Eastern Europe.


Eric Bladholm Danube Rooftop, Romaina, 2012 From “Istok Industrija Projekat” Inkjet on Archival Ragboard 18 x 26 inches

R O B I N C A R L S O N ’ S photographs force the surreal coexistence of interior

and exterior—capturing moments where interventions in the landscape evoke both nostalgia and vulnerability. Robin recently earned her MFA in Photography from Columbia College Chicago. She also holds a BFA in Illustration from the Rhode Island School of Design. In addition to her personal art practice, Robin is currently staff photographer for the Chicago Botanic Garden.


Robin Carlson Untitled, 2009 Archival Inkjet Print 14.5 x 22 inches

M A T T H E W C R O W T H E R ’ S work draws on his experiences growing up in rural

upstate New York, as well as literary and cinematic influences. He received a BA from Fordham University and an MFA from the University if Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.


Matthew Crowther Hot Buns, 2011 Digital C-Print 20 x 30 inches

J U L I E D I D O M E N I C O finds inspiration for her work in the ambiguity of the

everyday and through being in new places while simultaneously making them familiar. She received her BFA in Photography from Columbia College Chicago in 2010.


Julie DiDomenico Fire smoke and a shovel, 2012 Digital C-print 20 x 30 inches

B A R B A R A D I E N E R photographs in small towns in Illinois that are

demographically similar to the town in Germany where she grew up and explores the rich undercurrent of spiritualilty and ritual in these communities. She received her BFA in Photography from California College of the Arts in 2006 and her MFA in Photography from Columbia College Chicago in 2013.


Barbara Diener George, 2012 Archival Pigment Print 30 x 40 inches

J E R E M Y D R E I E R is a documentary and editorial photographer. His current

project titled “City Noir� explores the ever changing dynamics of the midwest urban landscape. He resides in Omaha, Nebraska.


Jeremy Dreier Parking, 2012 Digital C-Print from scanned negative 24 x 30 inches

D A V I D E L L I O T T ’ S current work is focused on uncovering myths and secrets

in the landscape, people, and memories of Kansas. He received a BFA from the Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design and currently resides in Kansas City.


David Elliott Untitled (church), 2011 Archival Inkjet Print 10 x 10 inches

G R E G G E V A N S ’ work examines the tension between representation and

presentation, between the traditionally singular desire inherent in the photographer’s gaze, and the mutual desires involved in cruising. He holds an MFA in Photography from Columbia College Chicago and a BFA in Photography from S.U.N.Y. Purchase.


Gregg Evans Cancellation, 2012 Archival Inkjet Print 40 x 32 inches

D A N I E L F A R N U M was born in the blue-collar town of Saginaw, Michigan. His

photographs, which address the American experience, landscape, and culture, have been showcased nationally. Farnum received his MFA from the San Francisco Art Institute and BFA from the University of Michigan. He is currently a professor of photography at the University of Missouri. Dan recently accepted a new position at the University of Tulsa where he will be running the photography program as an Assistant Professor.



Daniel Farnum Open Fire Hydrant, Detroit, 2012 From the project “Young Blood: Michigan’s Urban Youth” Archival Inkjet Print 16 x 20 inches

J U A N F E R N A N D E Z ’ S work addresses the collective perception of place.

Photographs of urban and suburban architecture operate with a sense of familiarity, illustrating seemingly banal moments. The images create a false impression of truth, which complicates the viewer’s relationship to reality. He received a BFA in Photography from Columbia College Chicago and a MFA in Photography from Northern Illinois University.


Juan Fernandez Organization, 2012 From the series “Facade� Archival Inkjet Print 32 x 40 inches

J E S S I C A H A R V E Y is an artist who explores the myths we create for ourselves

and nature while trying to preserve a more desired history. i am a rock. i am an island is a project that explores the sublime solitude of the Icelandic landscape. She was awarded a Fulbright Grant to Iceland for 2011-2012 and has recently exhibited work at the Urban Institute for Contemporary Art in Grand Rapids, MI, The Detroit Center for Contemporary Photography, Johalla Projects, and MDW Art Fair. Harvey received her MFA in Photography from Cranbrook Academy of Art in 2009.



Jessica Harvey 1783, 2012 From the series “i am rock. i am an island” Archival Inkjet Print 20 x 24 inches

M A R I A H K A R S O N is a freelance photographer based in Chicago. On assignment

for French magazine Le Nouvel Observateur, Mariah captured the oil boom which has changed the landscape of remote Williston, North Dakota. Vacant spaces with infrastructure are a rarity in a vast, empty landscape. Due to supply and demand of housing and the influx of transient workers, people are forced to live in hotels or trailers at exorbitant costs. Currently, it is easier to find well-paying employment in Williston than a place to live.


Mariah Karson Williston, North Dakota, 2012 Archival Pigment Print 13.3 x 20 inches

J A M E S P E P P E R K E L L Y ’ S Clothes Line is part of an ongoing series of straight

photographs that address the everyday. His practice explores anti-utopian humanism and the redemptive potential of mundanity and ritual, and he likes to work with light. Originally from rural Virginia, Pepper currently lives and works in Chicago where he makes photographs, videos, and installations.


James Pepper Kelly Clothes Line, 2010 Archival Inkjet Print 16 x 24 inches

N U R I J U L I E K I M finds most of her inspiration from her personal experiences,

which are mainly focused upon her transition between childhood and adulthood. Throughout her works, she attempts to create metaphors for isolation and a growing obsession about youth. Julie received her BFA from School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2013. She was born in Seoul, South Korea and grew up in Bellevue, Washington.


Nuri Julie Kim Hide and Peek, 2013 Archival Inkjet Print 16 x 24 inches

S A R A H - M A R I E E L I S A B E T H L A N D creates images that blur the line

between the fictitious and the real. Her environmental portraits seek to create a complex body of work and provoke questions concerning identity, education, and class system. She studies photography at Saint Louis Community College in addition to holding a MA in French from Saint Louis University and a BA in French and International Political Studies from Drury University. Her affinity for the Fine Arts and French also led to work overseas teaching English in Paris. She resides in St. Louis.


Sarah-Marie Elisabeth Land Elliott, 2012 Archival Digital Print 20 x 16 inches

N A T E M A T H E W S ’ work examines the modern architecture of public institutions

that are often made in a brutalist style of poured concrete. He seeks to show the visual remnants that indicate how people respond to and attempt to modify and improve this architecture. Mathews studied at Columbia College Chicago where he received his MFA in Photography in 2008. In addition to making art, he teaches Photography at Northeastern Illinois University.


Nate Mathews Three Flower Pots, 2010 Archival Inkjet Print 24 x 30 inches

C O L L E E N M U L L I N S was born in San Francisco and lives in Minnesota. In 2006,

she began a journey of both discovery and rediscovery in the well-worn ruts between places she went as a child. She subsequently became an archaeologist of her own existence, excavating the documents and photographs left behind in a house she moved out of in 1968. Ultimately, this led to a deep photographic investigation of the places between her hometown of San Francisco and the more rural northern California areas to which her family traveled annually in the ‘70s. The work depicted here examines camping resorts along the Russian River.


Colleen Mullins Riverbend Resort, 2010 Inkjet Print 22 x 27 inches

J E N N I F E R M U R R A Y is interested in the imperfections of daily life, private

space, and the meaning we place on arbitrary things. She received an MFA in photography from Columbia College Chicago and teaches at Loyola University Chicago in the Department of Fine and Performing Arts. Her work has been shown in numerous group exhibitions throughout Chicago and the Midwest including The Detroit Center for Contemporary Photography, among others.


Jennifer Murray The Ship Painting, 2009 Archival Pigment Print 16 x 20 inches

G E O R G I A S C H W E N D E R is currently the Visual Arts Coordinator for the

Fermilab Art Gallery in Batavia, IL. The science that encompasses Fermilab National Accelerator Laboratory inspires her. She captures the elements of Fermilab that are both unique and visually invigorating like the charged particle tracks captured by the Bubble Chamber. Georgia received her BPS from the Art Institute of Boston.


Georgia Schwender Bubble Chamber and Tracks, 2012 Cyanotype, Inkjet Print 12 x 10 inches

J A Y T U R N E R F R E Y S E A W E L L ’ S recent work explores how institutions shape

our perceptions of the United States and its history. His work has been exhibited in the United States and the Pingyao International Photography Festival in China. He is the recipient of numerous awards, including the Albert P. Weisman Award through Columbia College Chicago, where he also received an MFA in Photography.


Jay Turner Frey Seawell Press Conference, 2013 Archival Inkjet Print 24 X 36 inches

S A R A H S T O N E F O O T ’ S photographs introduce small, naturalistic objects

into the home, creating a collision of two worlds and coupling the unsettling with the captivating. She received a BFA from the University of Buffalo and an MFA from Illinois State University. She currently teaches at Beloit College and will be teaching at Cazenovia College in the Fall.


Sarah Stonefoot Ladies in Red (795 Ladybugs), 2010 Archival Pigment Print 30 x 24 inches

L U K E S T R O S N I D E R ’ S series “I Wish You Where Here” explores his experience

of being both a resident and a tourist while briefly living in Europe. He studied at Photographic Center Northwest in Seattle and received an MFA from Visual Studies Workshop in Rochester, New York. Currently residing in Chicago, he is an instructor of photography, media, and design at several schools including Loyola University and the Evanston Art Center.


Luke Strosnider Untitled, 2008 From the series “I Wish You Where Here” Inkjet Print 13 x 19 inches

J E S S I C A T A M P A S ’ most recent series is a typological study of century-old dolls.

Studying their cracked forms, we learn to find compassion for what is broken within us, for our utterly human imperfections that may forever go unfixed. Tampas studied at the Massachuseetts College of Art where she received her MFA. In addition to pursuing her fine art, she works in her own commercial studio, Jessica Tampas Limited, in Chicago’s West Loop.


Jessica Tampas Unbroken, 2012 Archival pigment on Baryta paper 53 x 40 inches

P E T E R Y A N K O W S K Y grew up in the suburbs of northern Kansas City, leading

a similar childhood to the kids he portrays in his work. Having so recently been one of these subjects himself, his work tends to take a self-referential path while adhering to most constraints of a documentary endeavor. Yankowsky’s background lies in both commercial photography and small town photojournalism. He currently is an undergraduate student at the University of Missouri studying under Joseph Johnson.


Peter Yankowsky Shooting Position A, 2012 Digital Archival Print 16 x 16 inches

R I C H A R D A A R D S M A (Grandville, MI) received a BA Degree in Visual Arts from

Hope College, and went on to complete graduate work in intaglio printmaking at Michigan State University. His background includes graphic design, photography and painting. Inspiration for the digital print, Train Station, comes from the work of Georges Seurat and Edward Hopper.


Midwest Contemporary  

A catalogue which accompanies the exhibition of the same name, June 7 - July 17 at Lillstreet Art Center.

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