Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Historic Chicago

Historic Chicago is artist Ruth Sackheim's tribute to the city's graceful architectural structures built primarily from the 1880s through the 1920s. Sackheim's work on Historic Chicago began when she received a camera for a birthday present. During what she remembers as a string of cool, cloudless weeks, she walked through miles of city side streets, photographing the quaint and unusual sites she never knew existed. "At times," she said, "I felt I had wandered onto an old movie set or onto a real-life version of the Museum of Science and Industry's Main Street."
Sackheim's original thought was to photograph old Chicago neighborhoods over a period of years and publish the photos in a book. Her plans changed when she spoke before a community group in an effort to save the building where she was living at the time. Sackheim showed the audience the photos she had taken to document the destruction of her residence. "Afterward," she says, "I had a rush of creative energy. I went home and began using pastels to color the images."
Out of that original effort grew a new art form. Sackheim began using a computer to alter her images, which she then painted and printed. The resulting pieces are a combination of traditional and modern.

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