On Thursday, Oct. 11, the Gage Gallery reopened in Roosevelt University's Auditorium Building, following extensive renovations since moving from its previous location at 18 S. Michigan Ave. Roosevelt professor of photography Mike Ensdorf, who founded the gallery 17 years ago, declared the upgrade would be all about "walls and lights, which is all the gallery needs to serve its friends in the new space." The new gallery space features 30 percent more wall-hanging space and double the guest capacity for lectures and events.
The new exhibit selected to mark this occasion is "Civil Rights Era Contact Sheets by Steve Schapiro." A famed activist as well as documentarian, Schapiro covered many stories related to the Civil Rights Movement, including the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, the push for voter registration and the Selma to Montgomery March. The Gage Gallery exhibit featured never-before-seen works from this era, with large displays of rare contact sheets from Schapiro's body of work.
Before the reception that launched Schapiro's exhibit, the Gage spent the four months of renovations documenting its own progress online. Along with showing off sneak peeks of the gallery's new look, these pictures also introduced a new audience to previous exhibits, while subtly emphasizing how many ways the gallery had changed over the years.
"Hosting Steve Schapiro and his groundbreaking exhibition at Roosevelt is a tremendous honor for the University and our newly reopened Gage Gallery," Ensdorf said. "Schapiro's stunning photographs have marked some indelible moments in American history, particularly certain events of the Civil Rights Movement, and I'm thrilled we get to display some of his work that hadn't been seen by the general public before. With 2018 marking the 50th anniversary since 1968, I'm especially proud that our students can get to see firsthand what the struggle for civil rights looked like, and how that fight continues to rage on today."
About the Gage Gallery
The Gage Gallery at Roosevelt University is a private, nonprofit social documentary photo gallery located in the Chicago Loop. Since its establishment in 2001, the gallery has educated through internationally acclaimed photography that addresses critical contemporary social issues. The gallery fosters discussion through art, lectures and symposia, aligning with Roosevelt University's ideals of social justice. The Gage Gallery has been heralded as "Chicago's premier space for showcasing contemporary critical social photo-documentary" by Newcity Art. For more information, visit roosevelt.edu/centers/gage-gallery.