Special Event: Photographer Scott Srazzante will discuss his new book Common Ground at the Center on December 5th


Come hear a first hand account of the creation of an extraordinary long-term documentary project by photographer — and former Chicago Photography Center instructor — Scott Strazzante.

A two-hour photo shoot assigned to Scott Strazzante in 1994 turned into a 20-year side project and his first book, Common Ground. It’s the latest of his accomplishments in a career spanning three decades.

Common Ground: The last half-century has seen the disappearance of the American family farm, and the grave cultural and environmental impact of the resulting suburban sprawl.

CommonGround2_webIn 20 years of looking, Scott Strazzante sets judgment aside as he explores the evolution of one plot of Illinois farmland, and the people who live their lives there. He is there as Jean and Harlow Cagwin watch their home demolished; he is also there as Ed and Amanda Grabenhofer nurture their children just yards from the Cagwin’s former cornfield.

What results is Common Ground, in which we are given a chance to mourn what is lost, but are also challenged to question the meaning of home.

Born and raised on the South Side of Chicago, Strazzante worked at suburban newspapers before joining the Chicago Tribune in 2001. There, he was named Illinois Photographer of the Year an unprecedented 11 times, and was part of the Tribune team that won a 2007 Pulitzer Prize in Investigative Reporting.

His work has appeared in National Geographic and Sports Illustrated. He now works at the San Francisco Chronicle.

Scott will discuss the Common Ground project and sign books on Friday, December 5th at 7:00 pm at the Chicago Photography Center

621 W Belmont Ave, Chicago, Illinois 60657

Suggested donation: $10/$8 for members


Special Lecture: An Evening with POY Multimedia Photographer of the Year Brent McDonald

October 30th – 7:00 pm wine and networking 7:30 pm lecture and screening

BRENScreen Shot 2014-10-17 at 11.09.09 PMT McDONALD, a senior video journalist at The New York Times, reports, shoots, and edits documentary news videos for nytimes.com. In 2014, he was voted POYi Multimedia Photographer of the Year for a body of work, including two half-hour documentaries: Hers to Loseabout Christine Quinn’s failed bid for mayor of New York City, and The Trials of Jacob Machabout a former Sudanese lost boy’s journey through the Atlanta Police Academy. In January 2014, McDonald took a post in The Times’ Chicago bureau covering the American Midwest.

Since joining The Times in 2005, as one of the first members of the newsroom’s video operation (along with CPC board member Craig Duff), McDonald has reported compelling human stories on a wide range of issues and events, including reconstruction after the 2010 earthquake in Haiti, heroin addiction, homelessness, immigration, banking reform, water pollution, the Boston Marathon bombing, and most recently, the aftermath of the police killing of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo. Before coming to The Times, he was an independent documentary producer and cameraman in Oakland, California, working for such venues as PBS Frontline/WorldNOVA, and the Times-Discovery Channel.

brentIn this special evening at the Chicago Photography Center, in conjunction with an exhibit of the best photography from the POY awards, Brent will discuss his method for letting the content determine the style of the story. He’ll show examples and take audience questions.

October 30 – 7:00 pm
Chicago Photography Center
621 W. Belmont Ave, Chicago IL 60657

Suggested donation: $5 


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