Visiting Artist: Richard Ross

Richard Ross
Image: Richard Ross. Image courtesy of the artist. 

Award-winning photographer Richard Ross will be in Bloomington April 5–6, 2018, for a two-day, interdisciplinary arts program that highlights his nationally acclaimed, on-going photographic series, Juvenile in Justice. A unique source for images of the American juvenile justice system, the series depicts young people housed in facilities that treat, confine, punish, and, occasionally, harm them. Ross collaborated with juvenile justice stakeholders to produce images that serve as a catalyst for change. Ross will present his work during a public lecture on the IU Bloomington campus and will participate in multiple workshops and discussions throughout the community. His work will be on display at City Hall for the month of April, beginning Thursday, April 5, 2018.

In addition, Juvie Talk—a play composed of stories from the incarcerated youth in Ross’s photographs—will open at the Ivy Tech John Waldron Arts Center on Friday, April 6, 2018.

Ross is a photographer, researcher, and professor of art based in Santa Barbara, California. He has received grants from the National Endowment of the Arts, the Annie E. Casey Foundation, the MacArthur Foundation, and the Center for Cultural Innovation. Ross has also been awarded Fulbright and Guggenheim Fellowships. 


I'm waiting for my mom to come get me. Is she in there? She's at work today. I want to go home. I got in trouble at school today. Photo by Richard RossImage: Richard Ross (American, b. 1947). I'm waiting for my mom to come get me. Is she in there? She's at work today. I want to go home. I got in trouble at school today. -R.T., age 10. Washoe County Detention Facility, Reno, Nevada, from Juvenile in Justice, 2012. 

Schedule of Events 

Thursday, April 5

Lecture
4pm, Woodburn Hall RM 100

Richard Ross talks about his Juvenile in Justice series and his experience documenting incarcerated youth throughout America. Ross is a photographer, researcher and professor of art based in Santa Barbara, California. Ross has been the recipient of grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Annie E. Casey and MacArthur Foundations. Ross was awarded both Fulbright and Guggenheim Fellowships. His most recent work, the Juvenile In Justice series, turns a lens on the placement and treatment of American juveniles housed by law in facilities that treat, confine, punish, assist and, occasionally, harm them. Two books and traveling exhibitions of the work continue to see great success while Ross collaborates with juvenile justice stakeholders, using the images as a catalyst for change. This event is free and open to the public. 

IU First Thursday
5pm, Arts Plaza at Showalter Fountain

Interact with Richard Ross’ work at the IU Eskenazi Museum of Art's activity table. Write a postcard, send your own piece of art, and a note of hope to juveniles experiencing incarceration. Notes can also be written and sent to a judge or another elected official about current legislature. This event is free and open to the public. 

Juvenile In Justice, exhibition opening
7:30pm, City Hall Showers Building Atrium 

A selection of photographs from photographer Richard Ross’ Juvenile In Justice series is on display throughout the month of April. Ross’ exhibit documents the placement and treatment of American juveniles housed by law in facilities that treat, confine, punish, assist and, occasionally, harm them. The exhibition opens on April 5 at the City Hall Showers Building Atrium. Light refreshments will be served. This exhibition is free and open to the public.

Friday, April 6

Photos of People and Telling Stories, workshop
4pm, Ivy Tech Center for Lifelong Learning at the Ivy Tech John Waldron Arts Center, Room W201

Join photographer Richard Ross for a workshop and learn about the challenges of photographing people and how to effectively tell their stories through images and dialogue. During this workshop, Ross will discuss his unique skills and approaches when he photographs people and how to make people comfortable sharing their stories and talking about their experience.

Participants do not need to bring a camera or existing photography for this workshop, and all experience levels are welcome. This is a free workshop that is open to the public and requires registration by March 30th. To register for this event, please sign up online on the Ivy Tech Center for Lifelong Learning website. This course’s registration number (CRN) is 30458-173.

One week following this workshop, on Friday, April 13 from 4pm-6pm, participants are invited to put what they’ve learned into practice at a zine workshop with Monster House Press at Rhino’s Youth Center. Though it is optional, participants are encouraged to attend this second workshop to learn the art of zine making and have their work featured in a community-wide zine. See the listing below for more information on the zine-making workshop. 

Juvie Talk, performance
5:30pm, Ivy Tech John Waldron Arts Center

As an interdisciplinary project, Richard Ross’ Juvenile in Justice series expanded in 2017 to include a performance piece that features the stories of juveniles pictured in his exhibition. This Juvie Talk performance is created through the Juvie Talk play builder that allows individuals to create a custom script that encourages people to explore the language and engage with experiences and stories of juveniles in the system. Produced by Paul Daily through the Ivy Tech Student Productions series, Juvie Talk will run prior to Ivy Tech’s production of Anon(ymous) by Naomi Iizuka. Anon(ymous) is the story of a young refugee separated from his mother as he journeys through the United States, encountering a wide variety of people - some kind, some dangerous and cruel - as he searches for his family. Admission is free for Juvie Talk and seating is on a first come, first served basis. Tickets for Anon(ymous) can be purchased at the Buskirk-Chumley Theater box office or online.

Friday, April 13

Zine Making, workshop
4-6pm, Rhino's Youth Center
A week following Richard Ross' workshop at the Ivy Tech Center for Lifelong Learning, participants and community memebers are invited to attend this zine making workshop and put what they've learned from Ross into practice. Participants will have the opportunity to work with professional publishers at Monster House Press to create pages for a community zine. For this workshop, participants need to bring a photo of a person that is meaningful to them or has changed their life in some way, and if possible, interview that person about their childhood or adolescence. If an interview is not possible, do not worry! Monster House Press will help you write a creative writing piece based on the photo provided. Bring the interview text and photo to the workshop, where each participant will create one or two pages to contribute to the community-wide zine. The final zine will be published and distributed in Bloomington by Monster House Press. This workshop is free and open to the public. 

This exhibition and related programming is funded in part by the Office of the Vice Provost of Research and the Arts and Humanities Council at Indiana University Bloomington through the Public Arts Grant. These events are also supported by the City of Bloomington, IU Eskenazi Museum of Art, IU Media School, Your Art Here, Ivy Tech John Waldron Arts Center, Ivy Tech Center for Lifelong Learning, Monster House Press, Rhino's Youth Center, and Pages to Prisoners.    

For more on Richard Ross, visit his website at richardross.net