Photo exhibit celebrates students’ ‘Realities’

“Untitled,” 2018, Jessica Brown.

The Gender and Sexuality Center at the University of Illinois at Chicago is hosting a photography exhibition by first-year students that helps document their roles as new UIC students.

Students used disposable cameras to document their experiences over the course of three months for the exhibit, which has the theme of “Realities,” said Carlos Bossard, the exhibit’s curator.

“This exhibition was created to highlight students at UIC and give them a creative outlet to tell their stories. As museum and gallery spaces are changing, it was our goal to represent the community we serve while making the exhibition as accessible as possible,” said Bossard.

An opening reception will take place between 3 p.m. and 5 p.m. March 14, followed by a curator talk and community project from 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. in Room 183 of the Behavioral Sciences Building, 1007 W. Harrison St. Light refreshments will be provided.

Youth, 2018, Victor Del Castillo-Chavez

First-year transfer student Benjamin Jaramillo said he was excited to display his work because often gallery and museum spaces like to only show known artists, and the exhibit allows the opportunity for people who don’t have “the name” to show their work.

“It feels exciting to display my work, especially because I’ve spent so much time doing photography as a personal hobby,” said Jaramillo, a psychology major.

The exhibition and the opening are open to the public. The exhibit will run until May 2 and will be available for viewing Monday through Thursdays, between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. On Fridays, the exhibit will be open between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.

“The images they created are their stories, their challenges and successes, their realities,” Bossard said. “At the Gender and Sexuality Center, we uphold everyone’s journeys and are mindful that they are all different. This exhibition aligned with the center’s mission, while giving students the opportunity to showcase art.”

According to Bossard, the exhibition was designed to impart a “transparency” between the curator and the audience. Often, in museum and gallery spaces there is a barrier separating who “put the art on the wall and who is looking at it.” Wall text identifies the biases of curators and statements talking about the artists’ “personal identities.” In addition, there will be audio descriptions for each piece along with large text labels to make them more accessible for people who have visual impairments.

For more information, visit or contact the GSC at (312) 413-8619 or by email at

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