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Fulton Market Meatpacking Exhibit Highlights Changing Neighborhood

By Stephanie Lulay | September 26, 2014 8:45am
 Artist Debra Henrichs opens "On Fulton Market," featuring acrylic paitings and photos of Chicago meatpacking workers, Friday night in the Gold Coast.
On Fulton Market Art Exhibit
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GOLD COAST — For more than a decade, Debra Henrichs has photographed workers making a living on Fulton Market.

In her bike rides to and from the West Loop to catch the cold storage workers in white coats, Henrichs had no idea that she might be preserving the history of a changing neighborhood.

Henrichs is now sharing those photographs and acrylic paintings in an exhibit for the first time. An opening party for 'On Fulton Market,' will be hosted from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Friday at Palette and Chisel, 1012 N. Dearborn St., in the Gold Coast.

Henrichs, an Old Town resident, has commuted to the West Loop via bicycle to visit her boyfriend since 2000. She said the buzz of Fulton Market action - forklift trucks whipping through the street, the slam of wood pallets and workers loading wholesale food in the open - captivated her.

"Fulton Market is unique because wholesale food loading is all done on the streets. The historic buildings do not have loading docks," she said hanging the gallery earlier this week.

Winding through delivery trucks and forklifts, Henrichs first photographs the cold storage workers, and then uses the photos as inspiration for her acrylic paintings.

Henrichs said she remembers the Fulton Market before trendy restaurants and condominiums hit the corridor - when food trucks hauling pizza and hot dogs nourished tired workers, not the foodies seeking the latest gourmet craze.

"I respect the workers - this is really hard work," she said.

Henrichs will be selling composite prints at the exhibit for $30 and all proceeds will benefit the Greater Chicago Food Depository.

To attend the show opening, RSVP to 312-642-4149.

The exhibit is open daily from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. through Oct. 5 at Palette and Chisel.


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