The Doll Project

"Art is Business" Curators Lavon Pettis and Alan Emerson Hicks Presents

Opening reception Friday, October 10, 2014 5-7pm
Bronzeville Artist Lofts (BAL) Arts Incubator
436 E. 47th Street, Chicago IL  60653
Call for more info. 773-501-7730 or 773-458-9864

The Doll Project started out as way to document the shrines but it has evolved and expanded into dialogue and conversations with the youth and the community about effective ways to resolve conflict. Meaningful ways to express and value life and living.  Being involved and becoming involved in this process It also brought out, emphasized and made me realize the importance of using listening skills, because… when it comes to effective conflict resolution, how effectively we listen is at least as important as how effectively we express ourselves. It’s vital to understand the other person’s perspective, rather than just our own if we are to come to a resolution.

The story behind “The DOLL PROJECT”

As a photographer and business owner there have been many occasions where I have been involved in photo projects where students were documenting their community. In fact it is an integral requirement and expectation that my students capture images from the community in their composition. On more than one instance we would come across a memorial totem shrine.  These shrines were erected as an outpouring of love, as a remembrance of where a [person’s] child’s life has been cut short. We often discussed the various ones that we passed or captured on film or in our images. However, after many of these walks I stopped talking about the shrines with the students and we would just walk pass them. One day as I was out shooting and I walked past a newly erected shrine with no thought of the life that it represented - a young life that was no longer with us. I stopped to re-think the shrine, what it symbolized and truly and represented- a life; more often the life of someone’s child, the life of a loved one. 

This person, this child, who in actuality could have or might have been a future community leader, or possibly the leader of our country being gunned down before any of this could be realized. 

It was at that point I started taking photos of the shrines documenting and capturing the testament and outpourings of love, grief, loss. Expressed as visual display of deep heartfelt emotions publicly expressed and openly displayed for all to witness and see.

As quoted by my father many years ago, “a closed mouth and open hands can restore peace”. What this meant was, when you listen to the person you’re having conflict with you may find out that you are on the same side of the conflict. Having an open hand may mean a handshake is possible, whereas, with a closed fist it’s improbable.

Lois Ingrum                       
Saint Louis, Missouri
Lois Ingrum the CEO/President of L.D. Ingrum Gallery & Studio Inc (Ingrum Studio)., Ingrum Studio prides itself as one of the leaders in providing comprehensive range of photographic/graphic art, installation of fine art and signage. She has worked in media arts and conducted community arts programs since 1983. Her community arts experience includes work with Ranken Technical College, the Saint Louis Art Museum, the St. Louis Public Schools, North St. Louis Arts Council, COCA interchange, ArtWorks and Support-a-Child International. She has a B.S. in Business Management, Executive Director of St Peter Project UpLift, and has been awarded the Grand Center Visionary Award winner 2012. In 2001 she became a Fellow of the Community Arts Training Institute (CAT), an intensive program sponsored the Regional Arts Commission (RAC) (she is presently in the TIGER Fellowship). Lois technical skills and artistic accomplishments as a photographer and her deep connections to the St. Louis community and its African-American culture make her a valuable resource for the community.  In addition to her busy schedule as a professional photographer and teacher, she has worked as an instructor for The Doll Photography Project since 2008.

This project is funded in part by:
Sponsors for the art work:
Arts and Education A &E of St Louis Missouri
North St Louis Art Council
Saint Louis Art Museum
St Louis American Newspaper
Sponsors of the event:
Chicago Minority Business Council (CMBC)
Lovis and Mark Vorbeck
Phantom Gallery Chicago Network