Category Archives: Chicago Art Photography

Chicago’s Victorian Heritage

Chicago is a virtual museum of Victorian-era structures.  Sure, an enormous number of buildings were destroyed in the Great Chicago Fire of 1871, but those were in the downtown and near north area. If you explore Old Town and parts of Lincoln Park today you will discover a treasure trove of Victorian houses and commercial buildings. This just adds to the reputation of Chicago as one of the world’s finest cities for architectural excellence.

Unofficial Cubs Museum

Hidden from view and unbeknownst to most Cubs fans is a virtual Hall of Fame/museum paying homage to the 100-plus years of Chicago Cubs baseball. Beneath the left and right field bleachers at historic Wrigley Field is a concourse with memorabilia honoring Cubs legends through the years. This subterranean gallery was installed just this past year, and while I was visiting the “Friendly Confines” I managed to photograph the installation. When the Cubs win the World Series in a few weeks, I hope the gallery will be open to the millions of fans clamoring to get “up close and personal” with the world’s favorite baseball team.

Ballyea Jewelry Designs

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I have been photographing the unique handmade Irish-inspired jewelry of Ballyea Jewelry Designs for the past two years. Founded by Bernadette Moore Gibson in 1991, the designs in the Ballyea collection celebrate Gibson’s Irish heritage, and many of the pieces are based on designs from the ancient Book of Kells. I try to bring out the intricate artistry in the rings, pendants, bracelets, and traditional crosses that I photograph.

 

Wicker Park Collage

An apartment rental agency located in the trendy/funky/arty neighborhood of Wicker Park needed a visual representation of the high points of the immediate area to assist them in renting local properties.  They contacted me to produce a 20-foot wide mural of the nearby attractions.  The dozens of images in this collage include churches, school, restaurants, clubs, signage, nightlife, public spaces, and people simply enjoying the vibrant neighborhood.

Wicker Park Collage

Physical Therapy Clinic

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The University of Illinois Chicago and Rush Hospital recently combined forces and opened a state of the art physical therapy clinic.  With abundant space and several treatment rooms, they are much better able to accommodate their large and diverse patient base. I was hired to shoot images of the therapists working so large prints could be displayed around the clinic.

Revival Social Club

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In the late fall, the Revival Social Club opened in Chicago’s Edgewater neighborhood.  The owners wanted to bring a retro environment to the neighborhood where people could hang out comfortably in a warm and inviting setting.  The interior was conceived by Platinum Interior Design of Chicago.  The menu features an abundance of breakfast and brunch options, but also an array of enticing comfort food for lunch and dinner.  Come hang out for coffee or a drink and you will feel like it’s your own private club.

Fulton Street Market

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For the past dozen years, Randolph Street just west of the Loop became the de facto Restaurant Row, fueled by Oprah’s Harpo Studio, the United Center, and a boom in residential development.  Now that expansion is exploding onto the nearby Fulton Street Market area making awkward neighbors of the upscale restaurants and the historic meat packing plants and produce markets.  With the advent of new restaurants and galleries, rents are rising and the meat and produce companies are feeling the pinch.  They provide so much of the character that brought the new tenants to the area in the first place, it would be a shame to have them chased from the neighborhood.  Adding to this mix is the soon-to-be-completed Google headquarters and the showplace Morgan Street transit station; growth is inevitable and change is in the air.

ShamROCK Chicago Going Green

State Street going greenPritzker Pavilion in Millennium ParkHotel InterContinental and Wrigley BuildingTrump International Hotel Chicago Board of Trade Willis Tower and Chicago River and Hancock BuildingState Street and the Chicago TheatreChicago Hilton and TowersGreening of the Chicago River Greening of the Chicago River Hotel InterContinental Chicago Old St Patrick's Church 311 Wacker and Willis TowerOld St Patrick's Church Soldier Field Cadillac Palace Theatre

In the week leading up to St. Patrick’s Day, about two dozen Chicago buildings and icons were illuminated green to showcase Chicago’s Irish pride.  This Global GREENing project (locally called ShamROCK Chicago) also saw famous landmarks around the world also lit green, such as the Sydney Opera House and the Eiffel Tower.  I was commissioned by Tourism Ireland to document all the local buildings glowing green; an amazing project except that the Chicago winter was cruel that week and my fingers were turning green from frostbite. That might be a lot of Blarney, but these photos are colorful evidence that Chicago is the most Irish city this side of Dublin.

Chicago’s Athena Greek Restaurant

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Located in Chicago’s Greektown, Athena has been serving tasty Greek food (“cuisine” might be too extreme) for 17 years. The enclosed patio is one of the biggest attractions, offering a bright and cozy environment in the dead of winter, or a cool respite on those hot summer days, all with a view of Chicago’s skyline.  I had the pleasure of photographing Athena recently, and it offered such a nice range of photo possibilities from the warm interior, the colorful central bar, to the cocktails and delicious Greek dishes. The fried calamari will blow you away–best I’ve ever tasted.  OPAH !!!

 

National Shakespeare Competition

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In November, the Chicago chapter of the English Speaking Union held its annual National Shakespeare Competition.  Students from the Chicago area received training in theater and performance and competed by performing a brief snippet of Shakespeare. The program begins in classrooms nationwide, culminating in school-wide competitions where students perform a monologue from one of Shakespeare’s plays.  Regional winners will eventually compete in New York City, and the overall winner will receive a scholarship to the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art’s Young Actors Summer School in London. These photos were from the day-long conference and competition in Ganz Hall at Roosevelt University in Chicago.