Life in Motion: Photography on a Logan Square swing, the CTA, and the streets of Chicago
Julie Dworkin, Deborah McCoy, Wendy Love
Opening: Friday, September 7, 7:00pm-10:00pm
City on the Move showcases Chicago street photography from three women photographers seen from three different perspectives.
Part 1: Swingers
Julie Dworkin noticed in the summer of 2017 that someone had been hanging swings from trees in Logan Square much to the delight of Logan Square residents. One of the swings hung from a tree at the Centennial Monument at the very heart of the neighborhood. Julie was on a sabbatical from her job for the month of September and planned to do a lot of shooting outdoors while the weather was nice. In walking past the Monument she noticed that there was always someone on the swing. And it wasn’t just children as one might have expected. Many adults passing through (as well as those who hung out at the Monument during the day) could not resist the allure of the swing. So she visited the swing every day for 14 days and photographed anyone who got on the swing, ultimately shooting 57 different people.
Julie has lived in Logan Square for twenty-one years and has seen the neighborhood change and become more white and middle class. But the Monument seems to be one part of the neighborhood that has resisted the pull of gentrification. It is a space that is still used by long-time residents, teenagers on skateboards, young families, and homeless people. The photographs show what the face of Logan Square looks like in 2017 through the lens of the swing. She talked to each person as they swung to learn about their connection to Logan Square. Most lived in the neighborhood. Some were life-long residents. The one thing they all shared was the joy and nostalgia of being on a swing.
Part 2: People in Transit
Deborah McCoy snaps photos of people riding transit on her commute to and from work showing little moments of city life.
Part 3: Scenes of Self-Expression
Wendy Love approaches street photography in the same way she reads books: as a ticket to experience the world from someone else’s perspective. And, just as any reader’s personal history filters the story, Wendy’s project meshes her own point of view with the scenes she observes as she explores neighborhoods beyond her own.
Making photography a priority after a long career as a journalist, communicator, marketer and researcher, Wendy dedicated time every week for the past three years to walking and looking, sometimes talking, and photographing neighborhoods around our city. The photos in her series share one important thing she learned: Truth cannot be faked. It’s there in the way we live, and the impressions we make.
About the Artists:
Julie Dworkin is a photographer and mother of two children, ages ten and twelve. For paid work, she advocates for public policy changes to address homelessness.
Starting in 1995, Julie shot outdoor black and white photography, infrared black and white, and slides for Polaroid transfers. She belonged to a cooperative gallery in Oak Park called the Art House where she had a number of exhibits including one featuring the Chicago river as seen from land and from a boat. She also did a solo show in a cafe in Logan Square after a trip to Southeast Asia.
She took a break from photography for about ten years because she didn’t have time to work in a darkroom while taking care of two young children and working. In
2014, she bought a digital camera and took the plunge into digital photography. Julie’s work has focused on architectural details and street scenes and more recently on portraits.
In 2015, she did a solo show at Voice of the City in Logan Square of photographs focused on reflections and light and shadow. The photographs were displayed using fabric and plumb lines that hung throughout the space. The show was very successful and the opening was able to raise additional funds to help offset costs that Voice of the City invested in the exhibit.
Julie has lived in Logan Square since 1996 and have been very active in the neighborhood with Logan Square Neighborhood Association fighting for affordable housing, at her children’s school, Goethe Elementary, and on various political campaigns. She feels strongly about her ties to the community and would love to show her work in the neighborhood.
Deborah McCoy grew up in Hoffman Estates, a bedroom suburb of Chicago, in the fifties with parents who were active in their Episcopal church, their community and local politics. She was her dad's darkroom helper as he processed his black and white photos for peewee football teams, youth dance groups and political candidates. She was always happy to carry his camera bag and assist in any way during photo assignments.
Deborah has lived in Logan Square Chicago since 1981 and came to digital photography in 2007 to support her own interest in community organizing and particularly non profit groups addressing issues of equity in Chicago communities of color. She is a past president of Logan Square Neighborhood Association and a past State Chair of Independent Voters of Illinois - Independent Precinct Organization. Her particular focus is affordable housing, community schools and voter access.
Photography is work and therapy. It is a skill that can be shared. It is also an escape when life is challenging. Recently she has been exploring the neighborhood areas of Chicago by public transit.
Wendy Love is a professional photographer and the founder of Pivot Photography. Her expertise includes journalistic assignments, event photography, sports action and natural light portraits. Wendy’s personal work is inspired by her love for Chicago and the Midwest, and a passion for telling true stories. She is a member of Women in Focus Chicago, an artist-initiated organization of female photographers, and her photos have been featured online, in print, and in several group exhibitions over the past three years, most recently as part of the “In the ‘Hood” exhibit at Jackson Junge Gallery in Wicker Park..