Gina Grillo

(resides Chicago, IL)

Whether at the China Moon Festival or Oktoberfest, Mexican Independence Day or St. Lucia’s, Gina Grillo’s documentary-style black-and-white portraits testify to the diverse and vibrant heritages that immigrants have brought with them to Chicago. Moreover, these photographs investigate issues of cultural memory and assimilation, focusing on ways in which the children of immigrants manage to bridge the old and new world. A young woman in Aztec costume fidgets nervously with her tennis shoes; a wide-eyed toddler, still at the airport on her first day in the United States, clings to her mother; each child filled with the anxiety of transition.

Grillo earned her MFA from Columbia College Chicago (1998), where she is currently an adjunct professor. Her work has been published in The Chicago Tribune, among other periodicals, and is represented in collections that include The University of Chicago, Fannie Mae Foundation, and Albert and Tipper Gore. Already shown at The Field Museum of Chicago (2001) and Chicago O’Hare International Airport (1999 - 2000), Between Cultures: Children of Immigrants in America travels next to The Ellis Island Immigration History Museum, New York, and The International Institute’s Dreams of Freedom Museum, Boston.