Long-time Oak Park resident Nancy Rose Ortenberg will share photographs from her travels to Mississippi Delta where she started photographing blues musicians and their environments during the 1980's. Her exhibit, titled The Blues Highway: From Mississippi to Chicago will be in the Oak Park Public Library Art Gallery Feb. 1-27. A reception for Nancy Ortenberg will be held Sunday, Feb. 10, from 3 to 5 p.m. in the Library Gallery, 834 Lake Street. The reception is free and open to the public. The gallery is open seven days a week during regular library hours.
Nancy Ortenberg was working on a photography degree at Columbia College Chicago where she met Sterling Plump, an author and writer of blues poetry. While Nancy took photographs, using black and white film and Nikon cameras, Plump wrote poetry. Together they mounted exhibits of photographs of local blues musicians at which Sterling Plump read poetry.
Returning to Chicago, Nancy continued taking photographs of musicians including Valerie Wellington, Barbara LaShore, Billy Branch, Magic Slim and others in clubs including Blues, Kingston Mines Rosas and Blue Chicago.
Nancy graduated from Columbia College Chicago with a degree in photography. She also earned a two-year degree in early childhood education from Triton. She is currently retired and working on a nature project which she hopes will become a book someday. Nancy has been an active member of the Oak Park Photography Club since its founding in 2004. She has moved on to digital photography a whole new world!