“The photos I have taken represent life through a window. The window is in the urban back and side streets. This is my life,” wrote Mark Cabael, 15, a student who was enrolled in Marwen’s documentary photography course, Postcards from the Neighborhoods.
Seeing the Unseen, organized by Courtney Lance and Tim Brown, featured twenty-one students involved in Marwen’s project who drew inspiration from noted Chicago social documentary photographer, Ron Gordon. Gordon has noted that he has, “often in his life had the privilege of being the last person to document something as it was about to change or disappear.”
The Center combined these visions of Chicago’s neighborhoods in Seeing the Unseen. On the one hand, the young photographers wanted their viewer to see what they see and thus to understand their neighborhoods and themselves. On the other, their mentor, Ron Gordon, has captured images that make the viewer aware of how quickly and dramatically a neighborhood can disappear. Hyde Park Art Center collaborated with Marwen, a non-profit organization that provides high quality visual arts education, college planning and career development to Chicago’s under privileged youth.