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National Juried Photography Exhibit: Reception, Morpho Gallery 4/5/2019


Infrastructure Madness, Calumet River

Opening Reception for the 14th Annual Juried Photography Exhibition

You’re invited!  You are invited to the opening reception for the 14th Annual Juried Photography Exhibition at Morpho Gallery on Friday, April 5th, 6pm – 10pm. I’m pleased that the juror,Lloyd DeGrane, selected my photo Infrastructure Madness, Calumet River for the exhibit.

When:  The reception is this Friday evening, April 5th, 6pm – 10pm, and the exhibit continues until May 1st. It is free and open to the public.  Join us at the reception night for some appetizers, drinks and fantastic new artwork.

What: This national exhibit features over twenty photographers selected by the juror, Lloyd DeGrane.  He is a freelance photographer whose work has appeared in the New York Times, Chicago Tribune, Chicago Reader, the Paris Match, The Guardian and other national and international publications.

My photo, Infrastructure Madness, Calumet River, is part of my industrial art series:  Steel Giants of the Heartland. It features the industrial area at 95th Street and the Calumet River.    

Where:   Morpho Gallery is at 5216 N. Damen Avenue in Chicago.  Gallery hours are on Friday and Saturday afternoons and by appointment from 10 AM to 2 PM.  Phone: 773 878 4255; Email:

About: Steel Giants Of The Heartland.  

Driving between my studio in Hyde Park and the galleries where I show art  in Indiana, I pass through the industrial area at 95th Street and the Calumet River.  This area strikes me two ways; it’s both depressing and fascinating! During my early drives, I only saw the rusting, forgotten, half-abandoned buildings and bridges and electrical towers and train tracks…..a reflection of the diminished industrial might of the American Heartland. To my surprise, I eventually developed a sense of awe — pride even — for these powerful icons of a bygone era, an era of boundless dynamic energy.  These staggering icons loom here in this gigantic, eerie, outdoor museum.  

I want to use my art to share my respect for these symbols.  I choose not to portray them as sad and in advancing decline, but as structures to be admired– honored even. I achieve this by photographing the area, then altering the photographs to suggest this past energy, going beyond what the eye sees today, and giving a hint that America’s celebrated strength is still within us. 

To accomplish this, I use techniques I developed through digital explorations on the computer and with the use of imaginative commercial software. With these techniques, I substituted the actual gray quality of the landscape with digitally induced color saturations to create dramatic raw energy.  I reduced the light and color gradations to get a bold high contrast. The result was a series of powerful and colorful photographs, a series I call “Steel Giants of the Heartland”.

In photographing the area, I was continually drawn to the strong shapes of three lift bridges that are side by side and that once serviced three active parallel train tracks. These bridges are prominent in most of the photographs.   The steel laced Skyway provides a unifying background presence running throughout the series. The electrical lines draped across the top of many photos give a light and dynamic counterbalance to the heavy steel and concrete masses below. The waterway lends a feeling of the eternal and acts as an added unifying element.

My contact info:  For more information about this exhibit and about my art, you can contact me at

To see more of my industrial art, view my website at: