College of DuPage Photo Program Partnership with Easter Seals DuPage and the Fox Valley Region Celebrated at 15th Anniversary Exhibition in the MacIninch Arts Center

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On October 2nd, 26 children from Easter Seals and the Fox Valley Region were featured in the 15th Annual Photography Exhibition. For the last 15 years, the COD Photo Program has partnered with them to showcase portraits, photo essays and multimedia stories about the daily lives of children with special needs.

Every spring, COD Photojournalism students are paired with children from Easter Seals and photograph the daily lives of the families to portray a truthful story about the challenges and accomplishments of children with different disabilities. They also make multi-media presentations to be shown on the COD Photo website and Easter Seals website. The photos are also entered into a juried competition and the selected images are showcased as large format prints for the exhibit.

“Ever since the first show in 2000, the exhibit continues to grow,” says Terry Vitacco, COD Photography Professor. “Because there are more families that want to participate than there are students in my Photojournalism class, I have begun asking past students to become our ‘Special Forces’ photographers so that everyone can be accommodated.”

The exhibit itself not only brings joy to the families being photographed, but it also brings awareness to those who have never experienced the world of special needs children.

“I think the most important thing my students learn by doing the Easter Seals project is that their photography really makes a difference,” says Vitacco. “The families that see the photos hanging in the Easter Seals lobby are encouraged and heartened that their child can enjoy life despite their challenges.”

The exhibition was held on Thursday, October 2nd at College of DuPage. At the conclusion of the event, the photos were brought to the Villa Park Center to be hung in the lobby for the next year. Easter Seals is continuously grateful for the partnership with the COD Photography Department.

To learn more about Photojournalism at College of DuPage, contact Terry Vitacco at vitacco@cod.edu. The next Photojournalism class will be held in the Spring 2015 semester. Register early to be part of this enlightening humanitarian project.

To see a movie about the 15 year anniversary exhibit go to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gHakp1z_TIY

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The Opening Reception of the 15th Annual College of DuPage Photography Students’ Easter Seals & the Fox Valley Region Photo Exhibit was held in the MacIninch Arts Center Lobby. Photo by Mike McPherson

Patti Mendoza w supermanny & family

COD Photojournalism Student Patti Mendoza (far right) poses with her Manny (SuperManny) and his family at the Opening Reception. Photo by Jim Svehla.

Joann Hartley Nicole Siuda

COD Photojournalism Students Joann Hartley and Nicole Siuda stand and are recognized for their outstanding work at the Easter Seals 15th Anniversary Reception. Photo by Jim Svehla.

Easter Seals subject Peter

Easter Seals subject Peter smiles as he sees his 24 x 36″ portrait by Christine Carroll, which was chosen as the signature image for the exhibit. Photo by Jim Svehla.

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