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Saint Xavier University hosts Jay Wolke exhibit

Artist captures the beauty of southern Italy

Chicago (Feb. 28, 2006) – Artist Jay Wolke’s dramatic photographs of southern Italy will be featured in a special art exhibit on display from March 20 to April 11 at Saint Xavier University’s Chicago campus at 3700 W. 103rd St.

The exhibit, titled “The Architecture of Resignation: Photographs from the Mezzogiorno,” will display Wolke’s photographic collection of the area of Naples, Italy, and southward to Mezzogiorno.

With 4x5-inch view camera in hand, Wolke has traveled in Italy since 1999, photographing landscape and architecture. He captures images through lenses enhanced by the timeless belief in the bel paese, which means “the beautiful country.” Describing his work as both documentary and referential, Wolke also tries to expose what might not otherwise be seen. 

“Often, architecture and technology have been used as political smokescreens, hiding the much greater exchanges of power,” Wolke said. “With promises of progress, the land has been exploited and parceled out at the convenience of a few and accepted with resignation and submission by the many.”

Initially drawn to the many unfinished and unoccupied building projects found in the Mezzogiorno, Wolke’s eyes were quickly drawn to various other architectural works. He believes the mystery behind architectural construction and destruction can be traced to Roman times.

“The Italian consumption of concrete is representative of so many dreams per square foot poured: the ambitious leftovers dotting the landscape with shapes of every sort, the incremental compression of the various dreams both past and present,” said Wolke, whose photographs capture the beauty in the unfinished product.

Wolke will present an opening lecture on the exhibit followed by a reception on Wednesday, March 22, at 3:30 p.m. Both the exhibit and artist’s opening reception are free and open to the public. This exhibit coincides with the 43rd National Conference of The Society for Photographic Education, which convenes in Chicago March 23 through March 26.

The art gallery is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday. For more information, please contact the Saint Xavier University Art department at (77) 298-3081.


Saint Xavier University, a Catholic institution inspired by the heritage of the Sisters of Mercy, educates men and women to search for truth, to think critically, to communicate effectively, and to serve wisely and compassionately in support of human dignity and the common good.

Saint Xavier University Media Relations: 773-298-3325
3700 West 103rd Street, Chicago Ill. 60655 * 18230 Orland Parkway, Orland Park, Ill. 60467
online faculty expert guide: www.sxu.edu/relations/faculty_experts.asp