CHICAGO (CBS).- Chicago’s visual artists may already be familiar with the nonprofit organization LATITUDE Chicago.
The West Town location houses a digital photo processing and design laboratory.
The organization celebrated its 10th anniversary in March. To celebrate, they’re hosting a photography exhibition at the Chicago Art Department, curated by Associate Curator at the Museum of Contemporary Photography, Asha Iman Veal.
Veal said, “Participating in that role does not only involve doing shows or exhibitions at my own institution but also at places around the City as a guest.”
“I know” [Asha] Through the School of the Art Institute and Museum of Contemporary Photography connections. Latitude was founded with a lot photographic roots. So it made sense for us to work with a curator also with photographic roots,” Colleen Kehrm, Executive Director at LATITUDE Chicago.
Latitude has been providing services to students, hobbyists, and professionals for over a decade. Because of the accessibility to their space and resources, Latitude has been a central part of Chicago’s photography scene.
“You can visit the Adobe office, pay the membership fee, and sit at a desk. Then, you can use the Adobe products. The scanners can be used to scan film and family archives. We also have printers and documentation for artworks. The space you see is actually donated to us. Keihm stated that a lot the technology is donated by local schools.
“Otherwise, most of the technology here is very costly. Keihm stated that by having the technology donated and having someone who can fix it and share their knowledge, we have been able build over the past ten years.”
Latitude was the inspiration for the anniversary show. Veal said she wanted to capture the spirit of everyone who makes Latitude a special haven for artists of all levels.
“Do you have people who have been playing the game for 30 or more years? Maybe five or ten years? They’re all part of the community and use the facilities. Guggenheim Award winners are now common. Veal stated that you have people who are working for Vogue magazine alongside people who are coming out of undergrad, grad school, or somewhere in between.”
“I think that exhibitions and curatorial projects can always be changed, but this project was about LATITUDE. So it was less about thematics and more about showing off the community. “So it helps people understand that LATITUDE, the community, isn’t just one place. It’s actually the entire city they reach and hopefully, that can be kind of done through the arrangement.
It can be someone new to their profession, not necessarily looking at it as a career but as a passion. This will continue to those who, quote-unquote are making it in the industry. And I think that’s a microcosm of what LATITUDE does we want to make sure the tools are accessible to anybody who’s interested in making images, not only photography but graphic design– really anything,” said Keihm.
“You don’t need to be an expert photographer to be at the event. Keihm stated that anyone with questions is welcome.
“I think it can make a lot of sense that artists are often self-propelled. It’s not always possible to find all the resources you need. They have to be sought out. Veal said that LATITUDE offers that space, not just in terms equipment but also as a community for people.”
The installation will be on display until December 8. For information about their hours and other community events, you can visit Chicago Art Department’s website.