UPTOWN — A coalition of urban art programs in Uptown is calling on young photographers to enter a contest that celebrates Uptown's people and explores a changing community rife with class tension.
Rogers Park resident and photographer Tom Callahan, 23, is organizing the Uptown Portrait Photography Prize, a contest accepting submissions from applicants 21 and younger until July 15 in lieu of an August exhibition featuring 20 winning photos.
"I think [the contest] provides an opportunity for youth in the community to represent themselves on their own terms, outside of most of the dialog that is out there media-wise," said Callahan, who is affiliated with Connect Force, one of the contest's sponsors.
Callahan said he expects the young photographers to show "the positivity and the realness that only street portrait photography can show."
"There are those who think it’s unlikely for one Chicago or even one Uptown to exist," Callahan wrote on a gallery website. "Those residents will point their fingers and cameras, at gang fights or graffiti and wonder just what is happening to their neighborhood. Some will blame the alderman, the thugs, the homeless shelters, the poor, the gay, the immigrants, the kids, the parents, welfare and say they are the problem with Uptown, with Chicago, while others will simply not care."
"Still," he continued, "others will talk about the beauty of Uptown, of our city — the diversity, the food, the history, and say how it’s neighborhoods like this one that really show the beauty of Chicago."