UnOccupied | Lisa Beard 
As an artist who is drawn to exploration and storytelling, many of the places Lisa Beard has visited have been messy and oftentimes cluttered. According to Beard, "Although sifting through it can be interesting and reveal much, it can also be quite overwhelming in a sort of visual flooding."

Her series, UnOccupied, is a body of work that explores places left behind. The spaces shown were photographed exactly as found. The minimalist style allows the essence of what once was, to fuse with each viewer’s experience in order to form an individualized story. It also provides a nice break from the visual saturation we constantly face in today's environment.

"In a complicated world,” Beard states, “it’s nice to know that much is revealed through simplicity."

Lisa Beard is a fine art photographer who also enjoys creating mixed media work and writing.The images in this exhibition and the stories behind them will be included in  Beard’s upcoming book, Abandoned Illinois, which is scheduled to be published in December of 2018.

Wandering Yuma | Doug Haight
In the streets of Havana, 'Yuma' is the word locals use to refer to American visitors. Photographer Doug Haight found it to be the perfect title for his upcoming exhibit.

“In Havana, I’ve roamed the streets from before dawn to past dusk,” Haight says. “I’ve been invited into strangers’ homes and made good friends.”

In Havana, Haight also finds a study in contradictions.

“I’m entranced by Havana’s crumbling beauty and taken in by its open and welcoming people. At the same time, I’m saddened by its isolation, disheartened by its apathy and worried about its changes.”

To Haight, Cuba’s contradictions provide a compelling, if unsolvable, puzzle. 

“I cannot resist picking up another piece to see where it fits,” he says. “Exploration leads to encounter, and encounter leads to understanding.”

To convey that puzzle, “Wandering Yuma” presents images from crosscurrents of everyday life in Cuba, from young ballet dancers to butchers, from offerings to the sea to street parties; all displayed in a salon-style exhibit of more than 50 images created from multiple visits to the island.

For over 20 years, Doug Haight has been a photographer and video producer. His work has been featured in festivals, gallery shows, and publications including the New York Times. He is the owner of Evanston-based Fortune Fish Films.

The exhibit will be on display at Perspective Gallery, 1310 Chicago Avenue, May 31 - July 1. The public is invited to an artists' reception on Saturday, June 2, 5-7 p,m. There will be an artist talk on Thursday, June 21 at 7 p.m. All events are free of charge.
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