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John DuBois at Camerawork Gallery
March 28, 2020 @ 10:00 am - 4:00 pm
John DuBois, Island Of Hope, Island Of Tears
March 28th – April 24, 2020
NOTE: THE ARTIST TALK AND RECEPTION IS BEING POSTPONED UNTIL THE CORONAVIRUS IS UNDER CONTROL; THESE EVENTS WILL BE RESCHEDULED AFTER THE DANGER HAS PASSED. BE SAFE AND STAY WELL. HOWEVER, WE INVITE YOU TO VISIT THE GALLERY AND ENJOY OUR EXHIBITS DURING NORMAL BUSINESS HOURS: MONDAY-SATURDAY, 9AM-6PM; SUNDAY, 10AM-4PM.
301 N. Graham Street, Portland, OR 97227
Located in Lorenzen Conference Center – Legacy Emanuel Medical Center Campus.
9am – 6pm, Monday-Saturday, Sunday, 10am-4pm
Free off street parking available, Stair and elevator access, TriMet Routes 4, 24 and 44, ADA accessible
Event is free and open to the public
From 1892 to 1954 Ellis Island in New York Harbor was a gateway for millions of immigrants to America. Washington State photographer John DuBois’s mother was among them. This project began as a journey of family history but evolved into an exploration of place, of who came and, of the spirit of what remains. It was a multi-year project which developed into a project within a project. The images in this series are constructed from historical images and the present, physical state of the hospital buildings on Ellis Island. Arriving immigrants with medical needs were treated here and this history combined with the island’s close proximity to the Statue of Library invite questions of who we are and how we came to be here.
DuBois notes, “We all came from somewhere; feelings of place and history are deeply rooted in family and society. I knew at a fairly young age that I was ‘half’ Italian. This came from my mother’s side who arrived among the many Southern European immigrants to the United States. I only came to appreciate the meaning of this heritage much later in life. When an initial opportunity to photograph restricted areas of the hospital complex on Ellis Island presented itself, it was the draw of this family connection that drew me here as a place. After many more visits it grew to an understanding of who was here and for me a connection to where I came from.” Selected works from this series have appeared in several group shows, received Paris Photo Prize recognition, exhibited in Blue Sky Gallery’s Viewing Drawers (2017) and published in Lenswork’s Sixes, 2017. Works are also held in private collections. The images are constructs framing past, historical images with the present state of Ellis Island and invites questions of self, history and our humanity.
John DuBois lives in Issaquah, WA (near Seattle) with his wife and two energetic Golden Doodle siblings. DuBois arrived in the Pacific Northwest by way of the East Coast and Wisconsin, growing up on the Jersey Shore, earning a B.A. in Economics at The George Washington University and then graduate studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He was introduced to photography early through the family’s Polaroid (the peel-apart film type) camera which instilled early on an interest in photographic arts that included a full slate of photography classes while in college and leading to an enduring, life-long interest in photography as a means of connections and communication.