South Shore Arts announces Blockbust Exhibit, This Is It: documentary photography exhibition examines facets of American life

South Shore Arts announces Blockbust Exhibit, This Is It: documentary photography exhibition examines facets of American life

Featured image:  Mariah Karson, American Legion Series: Ski Inn, 2016

South Shore Arts is pleased to present THIS IS IT: A Human-Centered View of US opening at the Center for Visual and Performing Arts, 1040 Ridge Road, Munster, IN, November 11 through January 8, 2023. The exhibition features long-term-photodocumentary projects and photojournalism by award-winning and renowned photographers, including Pulitzer Prize-winning photojournalist John H. White. A free public reception will take place Thursday, November 17, from 5:00 – 8:00 p.m.

The exhibiting photographers include Jess T. Dugan, Mariah Karson, Jon Lowenstein, Stephen Marc, Carlos Javier Ortiz, and John H. White.

Excellent documentary photography has the potential to bring about change; it allows the viewer an intimate moment to empathize and stand in someone else's shoes. This was the guiding star in the selection of photographers for this exhibition” stated curators Linda Dorman and Tom Torluemke of Dorman + Torluemke. “Each photographer selected demonstrated a dedication to their practices and subjects through their unique approach, taking us on a visual journey through human experiences”. 

Copyright, John H. White, The Aim Is Fame, 1982 (from his Pulitzer Prize portfolio)

This blockbuster exhibit draws some of the largest crowds of the five exhibitions produced by South Shore Arts in its Bachman Gallery each year.  “We are very excited to host these amazing photographers. And the subject manner in This is It is a thoughtfully curated show that features multiple perspectives of life in the US” said David Mika, Executive Director of South Shore Arts & the Northwest Indiana Symphony. “It is designed to foster healthy consideration and conversation across these multiple perspectives”. The exhibition will be open for viewing daily except for holidays and the public is invited to a series of free, related programming throughout the exhibition:

THIS IS IT, a panel discussion with featured photographers Jon Lowenstein, Stephen Marc, and Carlos Javier Ortiz 
Saturday, November 19, 2:00 p.m.

Photo Projects - Slideshow Night with guest host Michael Zajakowski, Director of Photography, Chicago Magazine 
Thursday, December 1, 7:00 p.m. in the gallery

American Legion: gallery talk with featured photographer Mariah Karson 
Thursday, January 5, 2023, 6:00 p.m.

Carlos Javier Ortiz, Untitled, 2013

This exhibition was made possible by a Transform Lake County grant from the Legacy Foundation. Legacy Foundation invests in nonprofit services and capacity-building efforts throughout Lake County, Indiana. Through the generosity of a wide base of donors, Legacy Foundation has awarded $40 million in grants and scholarships to nonprofit organizations and individuals since its founding in 1992. Learn more at

South Shore Arts received a generous $10,000 from the Legacy Foundation grant to support THIS IS IT: a human-centered view of US. This grant will enable the free programs and events scheduled throughout the exhibit run.

In addition to exhibitions like THIS IS IT: a human-centered view of US, South Shore Arts serves as the Regional Arts Partner for Region 1 (Lake, Porter & Laporte Counties) for the Indiana Arts Commission.  It also provides a variety of Arts Education & Appreciation classes, workshops, and presentations at its facilities in Munster and Hammond as well as partnering with the local schools and organizations like the Boys & Girls Clubs and YMCAs across the Region to offer programming onsite. And it manages the Northwest Indiana Symphony and Symphony organizations like its 60+ member strong Community Chorus as well as its 40+ member Youth Orchestra Program where young musicians in 8th grade through high school from across the Region have an opportunity to enrich their musical experiences.