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    This past Thursday, October 1st, “We the People: Photographs by Milton Rogovin” officially opened at the Hite Art Institute’s gallery in Schneider Hall at the University of Louisville. The show is completely free and accessible to the public; it will be open Monday through Friday from 9:00a.m. to 4:30p.m., Saturday from 10:00a.m. to 2:00p.m., and Sunday from 1:00p.m. to 5:00p.m. until October 31st. The show is a part of the Louisville Photo Biennial festival and organized by Gallery Director Chris Reitz, and curators Elizabeth Reilly, Professor and Curator of the Photographic Archives at UofL, and Christopher Fulton, Professor in the Department of Fine Arts at UofL.

     

    This exhibition displays 70 pieces from Milton Rogovin, a social documentary photographer who captured individuals from the industrial working class. Rogovin passed away in 2011 at the age of 101. Rogovin photographed subjects in the U.S. as well as in various countries such as Chile, Mexico, the Czech Republic, Germany, and Zimbabwe. These photographs are from the 1960s to the 1990s, and as Reitz describes, they unknowingly capture a few of the “last industrial workers of the pre-globalization era.” Change was coming and would soon drastically decrease  the need for the kind of industrial labor shown in these photographs.

    The exhibition exposes people that are often seen and labeled by their occupation and illuminates the other aspects of their characters- the aspects that make them who they are. Reitz emphasized Rogovin’s desire to display these individuals “on their own terms, to really allow these people to speak to an international audience.” After all, the fruits of their labor were utilized worldwide.  Rogovin gave these workers an opportunity to show the world their individuality and their story- no longer were they just laborers, no longer were they invisible.

    Each photograph in this exhibition displays a stark portrait of its subject with great photographic technique and composition. We observe these characters and wonder what their lives were like, what kinds of person they were in a time that was vastly different from today’s. It’s a “powerful” exhibit to visit!

    On top of that, in the gallery next to Rogovin’s is a second exhibit, “On Fruited Plains,” displaying work selected by members from the Society for Photographic Educator’s Women’s, Multicultural, and LGBTQ Caucuses. If you’re looking for even more art to view, the “Throwing Light/ Catching Shadows” exhibition is now open at the downtown Cressman Center for the Visual Arts (100 East Main St.) with pieces by presenters at this year’s Society for Photographic Educators Midwest Regional Conference!



    Photos by Irena Tran

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    About Irena Tran

    I studied Art at UofL and now physical therapy at Bellarmine University. I love art, sports, and good food. I'm always looking for something new to try and new concepts to photograph!

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