April 3, 2014

Breaking New Boundaries...

Piles of scrap car, truck and minivan parts at Adelman's heading to the metal recycler
With all the recent media surrounding Adelman's Truck Parts being a major (and international) chop shop, I wanted to share some images from a field trip last fall.  

To address the need for our commercial photography students to fully understand the social value and inherent non-financial value that their images possess, I wrote two classes, a 200 and 400 level 'Social Practices in Photography'. The idea is to get students out of the studio and into the community to add value and attention to an existing cause with the tools they already have. To lead this effort, the amazingly talented photographer and educator Jeff Cristman has been teaching (and preaching) both of these classes with some fantastic results.  

 The view of the Calumet region from atop the US Bank building
I have been attending the shoots, outings and field trips whenever possible for over a year now and am really looking forward to this summer when we will experiment with an eight-hour version of the class. Last fall I attended several of many trips to Chicago's Calumet area that included a rooftop vist to the Bank One building for an aerial view of industrial region,   

Nike Launch site C-44 at Wolf Lake

a stop at the former Wolf Lake Nike Missile launch site and you guessed it....(drum roll please) a trip to the now famous Adelman's Truck Parts, complete with a guided tour around the yard and a trip through the storage and shipping facility.
Jeff Crisman photographs Adelman's warehouse

Photography student Kate Kaplin interviews
 a yard worker with her iPhone 

The employee who gave us the tour was was very professional, helpful and answered numerous questions.  It was a cold evening and we were in the yard well after closing time and he could not have been more accommodating.    

So what are these brave new boundaries...?  Below is a snip from an email that Jeff sent right after the story broke: 'So how many photo programs can you enroll in where you get to go on a field trip to a chop shop?'
Adjacent to the dock, pallets of complete engines and parts await transportation