August 6 - October 13, 2013
The Rural Documentary Collection Exhibition fills the entirety of University Galleries’ four exhibition spaces and includes a satellite exhibition of photographs at Milner Library of Illinois State University. This exhibition program presents a snapshot of documentary photography and video produced through the Rural Documentary Collection, a program of the School of Art at Illinois State University. Also included in the exhibition at University Galleries are historic photographs of McLean County produced between 1918 and 1926, social documentary works created by current and recent students, and photographic portraits created at this year's McLean, Livingston, and Woodford County Fairs. The exhibition at Milner Library showcases 4-H student photographers enrolled in the Rural Documentary Collection Youth Project workshops at University Galleries.
Founded in 1988, the Rural Documentary Collection consists of over 800 photographs created primarily by M.F.A. students at Illinois State University. In the words of the Collection's founder, Rhondal McKinney, Professor Emeritus of Photography at Illinois State University:
The works are about the social realities confronting rural people as they try to hold together communities that are threatened by decline of the economy, a weakening of the social fabric, and the neglect of an ever more urban- and suburban-focused government and policy-making apparatus.
The works of ten photographers from the Rural Documentary Collection are featured in Gallery 1, including Ted Diamond, Hava Gurevich, Julie Lindemann, Rhondal McKinney, Mark Rabung, Beatrix Reinhardt, Juli Reiten, John Shimon, Nancy Siesel, and Gerritt Sinclair. Documentary strategies used by each photographer range from intimate portraits to sweeping landscapes, and include both color and black and white.
This selection of images from the collection's past is situated amongst a historic view of McLean County taken by Clara Brian between 1918 and 1926. Brian, McLean County's first home extension adviser, traveled from farmhouse to farmhouse to teach community members about health and modern living. As she traveled, she documented her experiences with a camera, capturing home interiors, school children, and country living. McKinney selected and printed the photographs from the Clara Brian archive, which is maintained by the McLean County Museum of History.
In Galleries 2 and 2.5, recent works by students and alumni of I.S.U.'s photography program highlight an array of approaches to social documentary. These works record events of social or personal significance not restricted to the rural communities of Illinois. These photographers pursue other geographic locations, such as the Austrian Alps, and people on the cultural fringe, like Sasquatch seekers, to offer experiences divergent from the rest of the exhibition. Photographers include: Matt Burns, Caitlin Cox, Ulrich Eigner, Alex Hogan, Marie-Susanne Langille, Jason Reed, Britten Traughber, Michelle Lee Wallace, and Marissa Webb.
The Rural Documentary Collection County Fair Project is highlighted in Gallery 3. Through this project, more than 300 portraits of fairgoers were created at this year's McLean, Livingston, and Woodford County Fairs as a record for posterity. These photographs were produced by Marissa Webb and Alex Hogan with the assistance of student photographers who received training during a documentary photography workshop presented by University Galleries. In addition to the works created at the fairs, portraits made by students during the training workshop are included in the exhibition.
A satellite exhibit, the Rural Documentary Collection Youth Project Exhibition, will take place at Illinois State University's Milner Library from September 30 through December 15. This exhibition presents a selection of landscape photographs created by 4-H student photographs enrolled in the Rural Documentary Collection Youth Project, which took place in June.
These events are generously supported by the Illinois Arts Council, a state agency, and the Illinois Prairie Community Foundation—Mirza Arts and Culture Fund. The Gallery Gallop is organized by the Friends of the Arts at Illinois State University.
Wednesday October 2, 2013
5 p.m. - 7 p.m.
Wednesday October 2, 2013
5:30 p.m. - 6:30 p.m.
Friday October 4, 2013
5 p.m.- 7 p.m.
September 30 - December 15, 2013