Geoffrey Mikol Featured at ICI's New Changing Landscapes Display

Mon Sep 19 2016
Geoffrey Mikol with his camera in front of one of his photographs.

The Institute's Changing Landscapes  project - a rotating exhibition of work by artists with disabilities - launched its fall 2016 show with the September 9th opening of work by nature photographer Geoffrey Mikol (pictured). The photographer, who has Down syndrome, graduated with a life skills certificate from Harper Community College in Palatine, Illinois, but for years before that he was coached by his high school photography teacher who recognized his ability. Mikol went on to train with professional photographers in the Washington, DC area. While in college, he started his business by exhibiting at Chicago area art shows where he won numerous awards and built a following. After graduation, he chose photography as a full-time career, and in spring 2016 opened River Bend Gallery  in the historic district of his hometown, Galena, Illinois, to display his work. "We took his talent seriously and we were serious about the business and about preparing Geoffrey for it," says his mother, Ann Cameron Williams. "He is a successful business owner on Main Street and is an integral part of the community. I think he has actualized the vision of true community living in the way that self-advocacy has dreamed of." His advice to people with disabilities who doubt their talents? "Just get out there and do it." The public is invited to view Mikol's work. His photographs will be featured throughout Pattee Hall through November. If interested, stop by during regular business hours.