Jay Boersma

(American, b. 1947; resides in Oak Park, IL)

Jay Boersma’s photographic projects range from documentary to observational; from abstract to conceptual. For his series, The Built World (2007-2014), he focuses on the architecture of Spain, Israel, Italy, and Greece, to observe the subtleties and refinement of the ways urban spaces are used throughout the world.  Many of the structures he photographs were built centuries ago, yet still stand to serve new and various functions. Images of crosswalks, roads, alleys, lone structures, and stairwells—as well as subtle details of erasure in stone--explore the endless variations in human made structures and the ways the utility and perception of the buildings change over time. The Built World demonstrates Boersma’s interpretation of how the very act of photographing can reveal the nuances of a place.

Jay Boersma completed his BA in Photography at Columbia College Chicago (1974) and his MFA in Photography at the Rhode Island School of Design (1976). His work has appeared in numerous group and solo exhibitions, including at Argonne National Laboratory, Lemont, IL (2014); the Oak Park Library Art Gallery, Oak Park, IL (2013); and the Art Institute of Chicago (2008). In 1987, he participated in Changing Chicago, one of the largest documentary photographic projects ever organized in an American city. The project commissioned thirty-three photographers to document life throughout Chicago's diverse urban and suburban neighborhoods, and was published by the University of Illinois Press in 1989. Boersma is adjunct faculty at Columbia College Chicago.