Local photographer and former Joliet Junior College student Bob Campbell will showcase his favorite photographs throughout his 40-year career from March 9 through April 2 at the JJC Laura A. Sprague Art Gallery on the Main Campus, 1215 Houbolt Road in Joliet.
Campbell, who said about 80 percent of his work is portraits, will display dozens of images of families, children, and other models. The hardest – and most important part – of taking a portrait, according to Campbell, is capturing the subject’s personality.
Since he’s lived and worked in Joliet for almost his whole life, Campbell’s portraits are mostly of local people.
“That’s why I think this show will be fun for anybody who visits – they’ll probably see somebody that they know,” he said.
In addition to the portraits, photos of Joliet landscapes and other familiar locations will be on display. One photo, of the Joliet waterway, received a high honor award from the Professional Photographers of America in 1992.
Campbell first became interested in photography after taking a camera to a Beach Boys concert in the 1970s – but at the end of the night, he lost all his photos. That’s when his father suggested he take a photography class.
So, only two years out of high school, Campbell signed up for a night class at Plainfield High School, where he learned the tricks of the trade. He later attended JJC and Lewis University.
He didn’t start getting serious about photography until he attended Southern Illinois University, where he majored in cinema and photography. He graduated in 1975, and began a career that would span a lifetime.
In 2014, Campbell’s artwork was featured in the exhibit, “The Story Behind the Picture,” at Presence St. Joseph Hospital in Joliet. Now that he has an exhibit at JJC, Campbell feels as if he’s come full-circle.
“I’m honored that I was asked to put on this show at JJC,” he said. “Some advice I’d give to JJC photography students is that they really have to market themselves – especially in the world today, when people have so much more access to cameras. I have been marketing myself since the early days of my career.”
A reception for Campbell’s exhibit will take place on Thursday, March 12 from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Visitors are welcome to meet Campbell and talk about his work. In addition to the reception, visitors can see Campbell’s work Monday through Friday during the art gallery hours of 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
For more information about the Laura A. Sprague Gallery, or the JJC Fine Arts Department, visit www.jjc.edu/fine-arts.