By Abigail Bovard
Anyone involved with Roosevelt University a couple years back may remember the Gage Gallery. Originally opened in 2001, it was a photography gallery with a multitude of shows. This October, it is reopening on the first floor of the Wabash building.
The Gage Gallery is open Monday through Friday from 10:00am to 1:00pm, and on Saturdays from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. The first show in the new location is, “Civil Rights Era Contact Sheets,” by Steve Schapiro. The show is sponsored by the College of Arts and Sciences. The exhibit ends on December 22, 2018.
The founding director of the Gage Gallery is Mike Ensdorf, a professor of photography at Roosevelt. Ensdorf has overseen and curated many of the photography exhibits.
“I wanted to start a gallery on campus because we didn’t have one,” Ensdorf said.
He went on to say that Roosevelt was one of the only universities to not have some sort of gallery. Thus, the original Gage Gallery was opened.
The Gage Gallery was originally in the Gage Building which is located a few blocks away on Michigan Avenue.
“It brings all of our operations back into the building… the Gage Building felt like an outpost,” Ensdorf said.
With the move, the Gage Gallery is conveniently located on the Wabash side of the Auditorium Building in Room 178.
The Gage Gallery features socially conscious photography that is meant to teach a lesson. The gallery is all about education through photography. Ensdorf feels that children in grade school all the way up to college age can soak up knowledge through the gallery. People will not only get educated on certain topics, but will be able to form an opinion on these topics.
Steve Schapiro is an internationally acclaimed photographer, known for his photojournalism. His work has graced the pages of many magazines around the world. Schapiro has photographed the likes of David Bowie and Barbra Streisand. He wrote photo essays on narcotics additions, Easter in Harlem, the Apollo Theater, Haight-Ashbury, political protest and even the presidential campaign of Robert Kennedy. He was known for his activism through photography.
The Civil Rights Era Contact Sheets exhibit contains Schapiro’s work from the 1960’s that show how life was back in the Civil Rights Era and contains contact sheets by Steve Schapiro. These contact sheets are a sheet of photo paper that contain several of Schapiro’s film negatives. With this it is easy to see Schapiro’s process as a photographer. Ensdorf stated that many of these negatives have never been seen by the public. As some of the negatives, that can be seen on the contact sheets, have never been printed. This exhibit shows a unique perspective on the Civil Rights Era.
The “Civil Rights Era Contact Sheets” exhibit is a companion exhibit with the Illinois Holocaust Museum and Education Center. Titled “Activists and Icons: The Photographs of Steve Schapiro,” there are even more photographs by Schapiro at the Holocaust Museum.