HILLARY JOHNSON PHOTOGRAPHY
  THE PERSISTENCE OF VANISHING THINGS
  THE WATERS WE SWIM IN
  HONG KONG: VING TSUN EPICENTER
  CHICAGO: WHERE LAND AND WATER MEET
  OAXACA
  ONLY THE FIGHTERS HERE
  1. THE WATERS WE SWIM IN
  2. THE PERSISTENCE OF VANISHING THINGS
  3. HONG HONG

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Winter chill is coming back in force in Chicago. Many people are living on the streets without access to clean warm clothing. One of the biggest challenges is keeping the extremities warm throughout the long cold winter. Access to new clothes especially socks is extremely difficult to come by. Two of the most requested items amongst the homeless people I've spoken to around Chicago are warm socks and chemical warmers for hands, body and feet. The danger of frostbite and the complications which can arise, including amputation, is serious.

A few years ago I started asking for donations for these items which are then handed out to those who need them and it's time to do it again. I ask that you please help us out by purchasing any of these items and depositing them through the mail slot at our studio/kung fu school at: 

1839 S Halsted St Chicago, Il 60608. 

Alternatively, you could mail them to us as well at the same address if that is easier. If you want to arrange to leave a larger package off let me know, and I will arrange to leave the front vestibule door unlocked or meet you to pick them up.

The first year we collected over 100 pairs of socks, I'd love to see if we can double it this year. The addition of the chemical warmers was something I did the second year. They are small things which make a huge difference.

Please help us again this year won't you? 

Thank you so much, Hillary

Here are some local resources as well for food and more:

Food resources and organizations that would appreciate your support:Greater Chicago Food Depository###emsearch by your address to find nearby food pantries and distributions and their hours. >/em###Love Fridge Chicago###em/em###Pilsen Food Pantry1850 S. Throop 
Open M-F, 10:00 to 1:30 and Thursdays 2-5pm
Community Canteen Free (or pay what you can) takeout hot meals Tuesdays through Saturdays from noon to 5pm at 960 W. 31st St.

Monthly food distributions: 
First Thursday of each month
2:30-3:30 at 1954 W. 48th St.
Sponsored by our office in conjunction with Commissioner Alma Anaya and The Greater Chicago Food Depository

Second Monday of each month (with any remaining food distributed the next day as well)
2520 S. Western Ave. 9-11am 
Sponsored by Instituto del Progreso Latino 

###strong/strong###
First Lutheran Church of the Trinity and God's Closet:
Clothing pantry 2-6pm; Community meal to go 5-7pm at 643 W. 31st. St.

When I look at this photo of Don walking through his shop which had existed for three generations in his family, before it was looted and burned in May, amid protests which turned in some cases into something more, what I see first is all the destruction of a place I love. The darkness and scorching, all those cameras neatly lined up on the shelves. How many hours have I spent staring at them, with my wish list for cameras or a new lens growing longer, talking with Don about the virtues of one over the other.

I see so much darkness. And feel the pain that propelled all that destruction.

But then, I look again and I see Don, persevering, his headlamp glowing, carrying bags of whatever gear he was able to save. He knew exactly where every single camera was and all the stories attached to each piece. Central Camera has always sold lots of great used gear and each kit came with a story; who'd owned it before, a man, a woman, a father, grandfather, an uncle, a mother, grandmother, aunt or nanny perhaps. In some cases the stories tended to kind of sad. Someone passed away and now, the gear had been found in a box and sat unused, and someone in the family had brought it all in to Don. Lots of times, many film cameras had lost a great deal of value but an exchange was made, money pocketed. But then, the cameras and lenses would be cleaned and prepared for sale and join the ranks of so many other cameras awaiting new homes. The resurgence of film especially for new young photographers, meant that many days, if you hung around the shop, you could watch fresh young faces come in and look and select a camera that somehow spoke to them or had just the fel or lens or format they were looking for. And so the cameras were transformed, much like the stuffed bunny in The Velveteen Rabbit, into an object of love and potential or new creative energy.

Where some may see a burned out store, I see love and community and diversity and a home for photographic arts in Chicago with Don and his staff right at the heart of it. 

Don Flesch Walks through his shop after it was looted and burned

This is why I'm offering a special sale of prints of limited edition of 5 of one of my favorite photos from my project,The Waters We Swim In, which I've been shooting entirely on a Leica Q I purchased from Don. In fact, to get it, I had to trade in almost every other camera I had and then some, because Leicas have never been inexpensive but worth every penny, and it's been the perfect camera for this work. (if only it were waterproof...)

One of the reasons I love this picture is that it came into being with so much serendipity. I'd photographed my friend Tai last summer in Lake Michigan. Tai has been generous in her enthusiastic sharing of this project. Out of the blue, I received an email from Sylvia, a friend of Tai's who I didn't know at all but she had seen some of the mother and daughter photos from the project and wanted to participate herself. It's always amazed me how this works. The magic of the project and incredible community.

So we set a day for Sylvia and her daughter, Viola, to meet and float and make photos. To say that Viola is a much loved child is an understatement. She's always extremely comfortable in the water and arrived for the session with two complete mermaid outfits. I could see that Viola had this luminous quality as she floated and seemed completely able to ignore the camera and enter her own world. I feel like I always know when something special has happened, a decisive moment, but I always worry or suspend judgement till I see the film or in this case the digital file. This was one of those moments. 

Recently the image was selected for online exhibition by Elizabeth Avedon which was a real thrill and honor.

Now only three prints remain.

And to protect your investment, this image will never be printed at this size again.

25% of the funds go to Central Camera in support of their rebuilding. The sooner they can do this, the better. Make your purchase for yourself or as a gift for someone you love.


Print 3 is $250
Print 4 is $300
Print 5 is $350


Purchase with Venmo (Hillary-Johnson-1), Zelle (email to use is: calmchicago at gmail dot com, PayPal (@HillJPics), or cc.

Use contact page to arrange your purchase.

Support the dream and enjoy this beauty forever.

Please share this fundraiser with your friends.

PS. When you make your purchase feel free to add to the amount as a tip, extra investment in community and art.
Thanks so much.

#thewatersweswimin #centralcamerachicago #community #artistsupportpledge


Don Flesch of @centralcameraco has a dream to reopen as soon as possible to keep serving the community.

I have a dream to keep making new work for The Waters We Swim In, offering quiet from the noise and refreshment and renewal. So needed right now.

Have you ever thought of investing in a dream?

You can invest in these dreams by purchasing a print from this limited edition of five today. It would make a lovely gift for yourself or someone dear to you. Viola, to me, reminds me of our own capacity to be in the moment with child-like innocence and an open heart, ready to take flight to our deepest dreams of a full well-lived life.

There's only three prints left.

After that this photo will never be printed at this size again.

Print 3 is $250
Print 4 is $300
Print 5 is $350

Purchase with Venmo, Zelle, PayPal, or cc.

Use contact page to arrange your purchase.

Please share this fundraiser with your friends.

PS. When you make your purchase feel free to add to the amount as a tip, extra investment in community and art.

Thanks so much.

#thewatersweswimin #centralcamerachicago #community #artistsupportpledge

It feels good to give back. Especially now when we are experiencing so much isolation. When we find ways to help each other out of our difficulties, it's like getting a two for one on the warm and fuzzy feels. We help someone who needs what we can give AND we feel good ourselves from practicing generosity and selfless giving. It's 100% WIN WIN.

When Central Camera was looted and burned is felt like a real stab in the heart. As one news story put it, it was like a photography museum had been destroyed. Central Camera is much more than a camera store, selling gear and supplies. It's community center that brings people together from all over who share a love of photography. Some folks I know have been shopping at Central since they got their first cameras, perhaps as a gift when they were little and now, the still come.

One of the things I love most about Central Camera is that in an age where everything can be purchased online, they offer real people who know their stuff and will happily explain and answer questions, and deliver a level of personal service that no one ever gets from some online retailer. They all have a  real passion for photography and it shows.

And Don Flesch is always there with a bucket of candies, a funny story and a genuine love for the place and people who walk through the door. The store feels like generations of tradition and family-feeling are baked into every inch of the place.

Don is a man of great integrity, old-school values and deep compassion and empathy. When the store was destroyed, he said honestly, that he wasn't angry and that clearly our country has so many inequities that need to be put right.

To help them raise the needed funds for re-opening, I'm offering a special, one-time only, opportunity to purchase a print of this photograph, Viola, from my project , The Waters We Swim In.  

The Waters We Swim In is a global photography project; portraits of people floating in water, transforming perceptions of ourselves as isolated, incomprehensible individuals to recognition of mutual belonging and beauty. The images stand as resistance to identity politics by celebrating human vulnerability, beauty and diversity.

I was thrilled to learn that Elizabeth Avedon selected this image for an exhibition, and doubly love that in the show catalog, it's the last photo on the last page. I feel like it sits there reminding of us of our hope and inner beauty, the childlike innocence paired with a deep knowing that children often possess, even when they don't yet always have words for it. Many people have said of this picture that it appears that the young girl is held by a great luminous hand, like God or Source or whatever you want to call it.

I am only printing 5 of these images using Piezography print, (edition of 5, on 8x10 paper, archival) of this photo. Right now there's only THREE left.

25% of each sale goes directly to Central Camera.

Print 1: $150 - SOLD!
Print 2: $200 -SOLD!
Print 3: $250
Print 4: $300
Print 5: $350

Use the contact page to inquire and purchase. I accept Venmo, Zelle, PayPal, or CC. I make all prints myself.

Please share and help save Central Camera, a vital piece of Chicago community.

Thank you so much, Hillary

Last year at this time I was getting ready to fly to Hong Kong to see for myself what was going on with the protests.

It seems like a lifetime ago now.

The concerns then felt so specific and clear.

When we arrived we tried to go see friends in the north part of Hong Kong and realized quickly that we wouldn't be able to get there. There was no MTR running, no taxis to take us.

And yet...

In the midst of the struggles there was so much joy.

(A big sigh.)

Every day we think of our friends there and miss them so much.

When will we be able to go back?


"On the night of May 30th into early morning May 31st, Chicago's oldest camera store, Central Camera, was destroyed and burned."  To help them reach their goal of $250,000 for reopening, I'm offering an exclusive print sale.

Here is a recent news piece from WTTW. I have to say watching the video brings tears to my eyes.

While most people may have felt extremely angry, owner, Don Flesch, has remained positive, kind and understanding. It's amazing and inspiring.

Central Camera has been an integral part of the Chicago photo community for three generations. Don Flesch has helped more people than can be counted (myself included). His selfless and generous spirit are an inspiration.

You may purchase a Piezography print, (edition of 5, on 8x10 paper, archival) of this photo, "Viola," from my project and global movement, "The Waters We Swim In," which was recently selected by Elizabeth Avedon for exhibition.

25% of each sale goes directly to Central Camera.

Print 1: $150
Print 2: $200
Print 3: $250
Print 4: $300
Print 5: $350

Sale expires on Nov. 13, National Kindness Day at 12noon.
Use the contact page to inquire and purchase. I accept Venmo, Zelle, PayPal, or CC. I make all prints myself.

Please share and help save Central Camera, a vital piece of Chicago community.

Thank you so much,

Hillary

 "On the night of May 30th into early morning May 31st, Chicago's oldest camera store, Central Camera, was destroyed and burned."  To help them reach their goal of $250,000 for reopening, I'm offering an exclusive print sale.

Central Camera has been an integral part of the Chicago photo community for three generations. Don Flesch has helped more people than can be counted (myself included). His selfless and generous spirit are an inspiration.

You may purchase a Piezography print, (edition of 5, on 8x10 paper, archival) of this photo, "Viola," from my project and global movement, "The Waters We Swim In," which was recently selected by Elizabeth Avedon for exhibition.

25% of each sale goes directly to Central Camera.

Print 1: $150
Print 2: $200
Print 3: $250
Print 4: $300
Print 5: $350

Sale expires on Nov. 13, National Kindness Day at 12noon.

Use the contact page to inquire and purchase. I accept Venmo, Zelle, PayPal, or CC. I make all prints myself.

Please share.